Light Bridge links Belfast and China
5 Mar 2018
Belfast is making itself a beacon for China after lighting up a number of buildings in red and gold as part of the 2018 EU–China Tourism Year (ECTY).
The city signed up to be part of the EU-China Light Bridge aimed at creating a bridge between the EU and China, not only by illuminating landmarks with the colours of their flags on symbolic nights but to do so alongside local, festive and cultural initiatives.
It was launched by the European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker and the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the first illumination coincided with the day of the Lantern Festival in China on Friday 2 March.
Among the iconic buildings which lit up were City Hall, Titanic Belfast, Belfast Waterfront, and the dome of Victoria Square. The Chinese Consul General in Belfast, Madame Wang Shuying joined the Lord Mayor, Councillor Nuala McAllister at the City Hall illumination.
Councillor McAllister, said: “We are really looking forward to being part of a Europe-wide initiative that aims to raise the profile of destinations within Europe to a Chinese audience and I am delighted that Madame Wang is here to share this occasion with us.
“We have already established links through our Sister Cities Network with Shenyang and this wider initiative will help us to expand the work we are doing economically, culturally and socially with China,” she said.
“We have previously welcomed a delegation from Shenyang to City Hall and our work to promote Belfast continues with further visits planned between our cities.
“With Madame Wang’s support we hope to promote Belfast throughout China with the aid of this EU initiative,” added the Lord Mayor.
The EU-China Light Bridge aims to:
Promote lesser-known destinations;
Improve travel and tourism experiences;
Provide opportunities to increase cooperation;
Create momentum for quicker progress on visa facilitation and air connectivity.
In China, the Blue of the EU will be used on Europe Day – 9 May 2018 - to illuminate landmarks including the Macao Tower and part of the Great Wall of China.
The Chinese Consul General, Madame Wang, said: “I am delighted to mark the Chinese Lantern Festival and the beginning of the EU-China Light Bridge which will strengthen links between China and the European Union.
“I believe 2018 China-EU Tourism Year is an opportunity to expand tourism cooperation and people to people exchanges, injecting new impetus into China-EU as well as China-UK comprehensive strategic relationship.
“I think it is important that Belfast is seen to participate in this initiative. It is wonderful to see the support that it has been given locally and I wish the city and everyone in it good fortune as we send forward our best wishes for the year ahead,” added Madame Wang.