Confucius’ Hometown, Hospitable Shandong: Shandong Province’s Business Tourism Culture Promotional Activities Kick off at UK Parliament

[Source]    Confucius Institute for Business London, UK [Time]    2018-11-23 12:57:53 

On November 10th, a promotional conference themed “Opportunities the Hometown of Confucius in China: Business, Tourism and Culture” was held at the UK Parliament. About 150 guests from China and abroad participated in the event. David Stringer-Lamarre, Chairman of Institute of Directors London Region, Xiang Xiaowei, Minister Counsellor for Culture of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, Xia Jianhui, Counsellor of the Education Section of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, and Zhang Mingchi, Deputy Director of the Shandong Provincial Department of Tourism and Culture attended and addressed the event. The “Confucius’ Hometown, Hospitable Shandong” event in the UK was undertook by the Confucius Institute for Business London and received strong support from the Chinese Embassy in the UK, the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban), the Shandong Provincial Culture and Tourism Bureau, and the UK government.

In Xiang Xiaowei’s speech, he stressed that the friendship between peoples is the foundation of state to state relations. Culture is the soul of a country and a nation. It is a spiritual force that promotes the progress of human civilization and social development. Tourism is an important channel for exchanges and mutual learning between different countries and cultures. In 2015, President Xi Jinping paid a successful visit to the UK and opened up the “Golden Era” of China-UK relations. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Theresa May paid a successful and official visit to China, marking that China-UK relations in the "Golden Era" has enter the year of further development and embraced the best opportunities for mutual development between the two countries. The communication and cooperation of culture and tourism are indispensable factors to ensure that the China-UK “Golden Era” is steady and firm.

Xiang Xiaowei delivering an opening speech

David Stringer-Lamarre started his welcome speech in Chinese and commended the Confucius Institute for Business London for its contributions to cultural exchanges between China and the UK. He noted that after Brexit, the UK will offer more opportunities to business communication. He also looked forward to visiting Shandong next year.

David Stringer-Lamarre delivering a speech

Zhang Mingchi delivered a keynote speech, pointing out that Shandong is the birthplace of Confucian culture, the important source of Taoist culture, and a well-known “holy land of culture and a paradise for holidays”. Traditionally, Shandong is one of the most important sources of Chinese culture. To learn about Confucianism and Chinese culture, Shandong is the best place to visit.

Zhang Mingchi delivering a keynote speech

Xia Jianhui, a Shandong native, stressed the ancient saying “Traveling ten thousand miles is better than reading ten thousand books”, and gave his thoughts on the cultural impacts tourism brings. He believed that tour is a journey for pleasure in the first place, and a process of recreation for people will refresh themselves physically and mentally after a tour. People internalize and acquire knowledge through experience and practice in traveling, which is the process of cognition. Tour is also a way of cultural communication. Many disputes and conflicts among human beings are caused by insufficient cultural cognition, and misunderstandings lead to conflicts. Only through tour can we enhance our understanding and appreciation of other cultures and achieve mutual respect, understanding and tolerance, which lead to human harmony.

Xia Jianhui delivering a speech

The audience

The event

The event provided communication opportunities for Chinese language learners, Chinese culture lovers, experts of tourism, and industry media in the UK. Promotional activities also included Shandong tourism promotion, experience of a distinctive Shandong cultural program and a lucky draw.

Story by Lu Hong, Xu Yanhua