A musical celebration of Chinese-Israel relations

Israel - China concert celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and the Embassy of Israel in China sponsored a joint concert celebrating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries on January 17, 2022, at the Poly Theatre in Beijing.

The event was held before an audience of 1,000 guests, including distinguished contacts of the embassy, ​​the heads of the Israeli missions in China, senior officials of the local government, foreign diplomats, members of the business community and culture and industry leaders.

In an online speech opening the event, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said: “Just a few weeks ago, I had extensive and friendly discussions with President Xi. Over the past 30 years, we have been very honored to establish a variety of methods of contact and communication channels. Through joint cooperation, Israel and China are building a very dynamic bilateral relationship.”

President Herzog speaking at the concert (Credit: Embassy of Israel in China)President Herzog speaking at the concert (Credit: Embassy of Israel in China)

Herzog added that the harmonious melodies played by the orchestras of Israel and China broke through the obstacles between Israel and China and the physical distance between the two countries. “As we celebrate the achievements we have made together in the past, I believe that the future of Israel-China bilateral relations must be even brighter.”

In his remarks at the event, Chinese Minister of Culture and Tourism Hu Heping said that China and Israel are good partners and even good friends. Over the past 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China-Israel relations have developed healthily and rapidly, and practical cooperation in various fields has yielded positive results, especially in the fight against the pandemic through solidarity and mutual assistance. Together, the two countries have continued to write a new chapter of friendship in which true friendship in adversity has been displayed.

Israeli Ambassador to China Irit Ben-Abba and Chinese Minister of Culture and Tourism Hu Heping (Credit: Embassy of Israel in China)Israeli Ambassador to China Irit Ben-Abba and Chinese Minister of Culture and Tourism Hu Heping (Credit: Embassy of Israel in China)

The Minister noted that in recent years, under the framework of China-Israel innovation and cooperation, the two countries have achieved fruitful results and cooperation in culture, art, tourism promotion, and numerous other areas. Cultural and tourism exchanges and cooperation have become important bridges in the friendly relations between the two countries.

Israeli Ambassador to China Irit Ben-Abba said: “Both Israelis and Chinese appreciate our ancient cultures and traditions, which have an impact on our modern lives. We are both eager to understand what made our societies, geographically so far apart, nonetheless close to each other. We are both people that highly value our old scripts, we use languages spoken by our ancestors thousands of years ago, and we found similarities in our belief that books and education are sacred values for success.”

The concert of classical music was the first joint performance of the China National Symphony Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the two top orchestras from their respective countries.

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra played pieces familiar to Chinese audiences, such as Ode to the Red Flag and Dance of the Yao People, via video link. The China National Symphony Orchestra performed Symphony No. 5 in C-Sharp Minor, composed by Gustav Mahler, and orchestral works influenced by Chinese folk songs.

The audience was visibly moved by the joint performance and signaled its approval with thunderous applause.

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