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Haimen launches Sino-French cultural exchanges

en.nantong.gov.cn Updated: 2024-04-15


A group of foreign friends who share a particular love of Chinese culture are appointed as promoters of Haimen district on April 14. [Photo provided to en.nantong.gov.cn]

Haimen district in Nantong, Jiangsu province launched Sino-French cultural exchanges in Changle town on April 14.

French nationals working in Haimen, other areas of Nantong, and Shanghai attended the event along with several expatriates from other countries residing in Nantong.

Beatrice Fanetti, an Italian opera singer who is now teaching at Nantong University, performed the French song Habanera and joined Haimen singer Zhang Sai in a duet of What a Beautiful Jasmine Flower. A solo guqin performance was also staged during the event.

A group of foreign friends who share a particular love of Chinese culture and had formed an international communication volunteer team were appointed as promoters of Haimen district.

Vivien Bataille, who is now working as a pastry chef in Nantong, shared his story of how he came to embrace China as a representative of the promoters.

The attendees also visited the district's Qinglong Port 1806 scenic area and the Yisheng Cultural Park, reminiscing about the splendid industrial achievements of Zhang Jian (1853-1926) and indulging in the district's liquor culture.


A musical performance is staged during the Sino-French cultural exchanges event in Haimen district, Nantong on April 14. [Photo provided to en.nantong.gov.cn]

Zhang, a native of Changle town, was an industrious entrepreneur who not only established the Dasheng Cotton Mills, leading China's cotton-spinning industry in the early 20th century, but also contributed to the establishment of museums, hospitals, nursing homes, and founded approximately 370 schools in Nantong.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France. The friendship between Haimen and France can be traced back to 1924, when Zhang sent college graduates to study in France, bringing back advanced scientific concepts, knowledge, and technological methods, according to Huang Jing, head of the publicity department of the Haimen CPC committee.

Huang noted that the cultural and economic exchanges and cooperation between Haimen and France have experienced a boom in recent years, with the Haimen High School Choir being invited to perform in France in 2019 and Dehecq launching its high-end fashion project in Haimen in 2021.

In addition, the China Merchant Industry Haimen Base entered into a patent cooperation agreement with GTT in 2022, reaching status as yet another shipyard in China qualified to build large LNG ships.

Haimen has established economic and trade relations with over 110 countries and regions and is currently home to more than 700 foreign-funded enterprises, with over 800 foreign experts residing in Haimen for work and life.

With access to the Yangtze River, Yellow Sea, and proximity to Shanghai, Haimen achieved a GDP surpassing 100 billion yuan ($13.82 billion) in 2023, largely due to its efforts to boost foreign trade and international cultural exchanges.


Foreign friends pose for a photo during the Sino-French cultural exchanges event in Haimen district, Nantong on April 14. [Photo provided to en.nantong.gov.cn]