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Mutual Learning Among Civilizations, Flying Kites of Happiness and Dreams
Remarks by Ambassador Gui Congyou at the 2019 Chinese Kite Festival in Sweden

President of Ruijing Chinese Association Mr. Liu Shaohui and leaders and members of the Chinese community in Sweden,

Vice Mayor Mr. Jonas Naddebo,

Dear Chinese and Swedish friends,

The annual Chinese Kite Festival is here again, which brings wonderful joy to myself, my colleagues and everyone here. Let's share the blossoming Spring in Stockholm together.

This Festival is the tenth Chinese Kite Festival organized by the Ruijing Chinese Association. It has become a tradition for people in Stockholm. Moreover, it is an important platform for carrying forward the traditional Chinese culture and promoting friendship and exchanges between China and Sweden. It cannot develop to what it is today without the concerted efforts of major Chinese associations, the strong support by the Stockholm Municipal Government, and the active participation by the local Chinese community and Swedish friends. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Sweden, I'd like to extend heartfelt thanks to the friends who have been working hard for the Festival.

Dear friends,

This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Seeing the flying kites carrying the memories of China, I am once again deeply touched by the bond between the Chinese community in Sweden with China. Over the 70 years of forging ahead despite hardships, the Chinese nation, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, has created one miracle after another in the history of humanity, contributing the strength and wisdom of China to world peace, stability and prosperity. The kites in our hands speak much of the wisdom and philosophy of the Chinese nation, and are a symbol of the Chinese nation soaring against wind.

The Chinese nation has been committed to exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations since ancient times. As President Xi Jinping said, diversity spurs interaction among civilizations, which in turn promotes mutual learning and their further development. Over 2000 years ago, the Chinese philosopher Mo-tse made the world's first kite. The technique of kite-making was spread to other countries and brought to Europe by March Polo as a result of exchanges between China and other countries. Now kites are very popular in countries around the world. If it were not for exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations and if countries isolated themselves from each other, how could there be such a picture of a sky full of flying kites?!

The Chinese nation is always committed to openness and shared benefits. As a Chinese saying goes, "A single flower does not make spring, while one hundred flowers in full blossom bring spring to the garden." No matter how many kites there are or how different they are, the sky is vast enough to accommodate all of them. Coming from different cultures and having different interests and hobbies, we may make different kites. Whether we draw masks of Peking opera or Dalarna wood horse on the kites, whether we make a dragon-shaped or eagle-shaped kite, we all gather here with great joy, and we all fly our kites together and share the open blue sky and white cloud. As small as the lawn under our feet, and as big as international development cooperation, only through mutual learning and openness, can we achieve mutual benefits and shared development.

The Chinese nation always holds dear the tradition of unity and collaboration. As a Chinese proverb goes, "The fire burns high when everybody adds wood to it." Taking kite-making as an example, the procedures include making the frame, covering it with paper and painting. To fly a kite, someone needs to pull the string and someone needs to run to give it a lift. So a kite cannot fly without concerted efforts from all parties. In a world of increasing global challenges, it is ever more important for all countries to strengthen friendly exchanges and cooperation, so that we can overcome the challenges and create a brighter future for our next generations.

Dear friends,

Looking at the sky and the over 2000 years between the first kite and today, how many people flew their cherished kites and their dreams under one sky. Let us share the outcomes of mutual learning and exchanges among different civilizations and open cooperation. Let each kite symbolizing happiness fly higher and farther. Thank you!

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