On January 28, 2024, Ambassador Cui Aimin and Mrs. Li Lihong hosted a reception for celebrating the Spring Festival at the Stockholm Concert Hall. More than 1,000 people from the Swedish government, parliament, industry and commerce, education, science and technology, culture, think tanks, media and other sectors, foreign envoys in Sweden as well as representatives of overseas Chinese, Chinese companies, Chinese students studying in Sweden attended the event.
The century-old Stockholm Concert Hall was decorated with warm lights and festive decorations. People from all walks of life in Sweden exchanged greetings together, enhanced friendship and celebrated the Chinese New Year together in a festive atmosphere. The Chinese Auspicious Dragon Lantern and the twelve zodiac lanterns in the main hall complemented each other with lights glowing vividly, attracting guests to take photos while giving warm praises.
Ambassador Cui Aimin delivered a speech and wished happy new year to all guests. He said over the past year, solid gains have been made in China’s pursuit of high-quality development with China’s economy picking up, and strong impetus has been injected into global economic development. The employment situation has been stable overall, people’s well-being in areas of education, medical care and elderly care has been significantly improved, and people’s sense of fulfillment, happiness, and security has continued to increase. China’s new productive forces have been fostered at a faster pace. A number of high-end, intelligent and green new pillar industries have been rising rapidly. China’s modern industrial system has become more sound. Products “smartly made in China” such as the latest models of mobile phones and new energy vehicles have enjoyed great popularity. There were many highlights in carrying forward major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics and solid progress in building a community with a shared future for mankind. The Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was successfully held, ushering Belt and Road cooperation into a new stage of high-quality development. China has actively built various platforms for boosting high-level opening-up, improved protection of foreign investment and intellectual property rights in an all-round way, facilitated people-to-people exchanges between China and other countries, and shared China’s development opportunities with the world. China has vigorously promoted the implementation of the Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative, and Global Civilization Initiative, and contributed Chinese wisdom and solutions to global governance. In 2024, China will strive ahead in full confidence and advance in building a strong country and realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. China will join hands with other countries to meet challenges, achieve common prosperity and make greater contribution to global peace and development.
Ambassador Cui pointed out that, in the past year, China-Sweden relations have enjoyed stable development with exchanges in various fields resuming in an orderly manner, and the potential of practical cooperation has been further unleashed. Economic and trade cooperation has continued to advance. Major projects have made steady progress. New energy cooperation has enjoyed strong momentum. Scientific, technological and educational exchanges have been bursting with vitality. Cooperation in green, low-carbon, medicine and health, sustainable development and other fields has deepened and made concrete progress. The number of Chinese students in Sweden has returned to pre-pandemic level. Cultural exchanges have been brilliant and colorful. Many cultural events hosted by the Chinese side in Sweden have been warmly received. With a long history of people-to-people exchanges, our traditional friendship has continued to develop with touching stories of mutual assistance emerging one after another. Through extensive contacts with Swedish friends from all circles and visits to dozens of counties, cities and institutions, he has felt the eagerness of different people of vision for exchanges with China, huge potential of bilateral cooperation and the friendliness of the Swedish people.China and Sweden have no geopolitical conflicts or historical grudges, but traditional friendly relations, highly complementary industries and broad prospects for cooperation. In the new year, the Chinese side is willing to share development opportunities with Sweden and enhance bilateral exchanges and cooperation, and to bring more benefits to the two countries and peoples.
Ambassador Cui said, overseas Chinese in Sweden have taken root, worked hard and made achievements in their respective areas, playing a positive role in promoting friendly cooperation between China and Sweden. As descendants of the Dragon living in Sweden, he hopes they will further strengthen solidarity and cooperation, integrate into and give back to the local society, play a better role as the bridge linking China and Sweden and promoting diversification and harmony, be an envoy of China-Sweden people-to-people exchanges, and continuously promote mutual understanding, friendship, mutual trust and mutual benefit between the two peoples.
At the reception, the guests enjoyed the wonderful performance “Celebrating Spring Festival Together, Embracing an Auspicious Year of Dragon” brought by the China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater. The whole performance kicked off with a group dance “Decorating with Lanterns and Streamers” which created a joyful and harmonious festive atmosphere with dancers holding lanterns and waving red silk. Winner of Plum Blossom Award Ms. Chen Xiaoduo, winner of the Wenhua Performance Award Mr. Wu Pan and other artists presented an audio-visual feast combining ancient and modern elements and styles from the East and the West. The powerful solo dance “Invitation to Wine” expressed unrestrained feelings and emotions. The group dance “A Homesick Warrior” was soft and restrained, peaceful and natural. The vocal solo “Moonlight” expressed people’s love and longing for hometown. The Kazakh folk song “Mayira Variations” presented a prairie style. The Dai girls’ group dance “The Spirit of Water” conveyed auspicious meanings. “Waltz of Love”, “The Quiet, Peaceful Melody” and “Magnolia Blossom” were all attractive. Classic aria from the French opera Carmen, the famous duet from the Italian opera La Traviata and the classic folk song “O Sole Mio” resonated in the hall. The male and female duet “You and Me” brought the audience’s thoughts back to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games with its soulful melody. The brilliant performance earned endless applause and cheers. At the end of the performance, Swedish children from Lilla Akademien wore traditional costumes and played the violin on stage, accompanying the song “Auld Lang Syne”. The violin and the song complemented each other, offered best wishes for the friendship between China and Sweden, and pushed the performance to another climax.
The Swedish people from all walks of life attending the event presented their best wishes for the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, saying that the lantern exhibition and song and dance performance of the reception were unforgettable. China’s achievements in economic and social fields have attracted worldwide attention and contributed greatly to the prosperity and stability of the world and the region. They look forward to the steady development of China-Sweden relations in the New Year. Overseas Chinese in Sweden sincerely appreciated the Chinese artists’ dedication of the New Year “feast”, deeply felt the warmth and care from the motherland, expressed their love for their hometown and their best wishes for China-Sweden relations. They also prayed for the prosperity and peace of the motherland in the New Year.
After the performance, Ambassador Cui Aimin and Mrs. Li Lihong, representatives of the guests and all the performers took photos together. The Embassy specially prepared DaoXiangCun pastries from Beijing for guests, inviting every one to feel in the taste of the pastries the strong Chinese New Year flavor and warm friendship.