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China Evening 2021 with Global Young Leaders Union Kick-off

5. Nov. 2021

50 years of diplomatic relations between China and Austria were just as much a reason to celebrate as the first-ever awarding of the "Confucius Prize" for dissertations with a connection to China...

Last Friday, a long-awaited China Evening in Presence took place in the auditorium of the University of Graz, which was fully occupied in accordance with corona guidelines. The visitors were enthusiastic about the high-ranking opening speakers and the interesting presentations! Rector Martin Polaschek welcomed the guests, as did the General Manager of the Bank of China Vienna Branch and the Director of the Styrian Chamber of Commerce, Dr Karl-Heinz Dernoscheg. Representing the City of Graz and the Province of Styria, City Councillor Dr Günter Riegler and Member of Parliament Mag. Pichler-Jessenko opened the event on behalf of the Provincial Governor. Even His Excellency, the Ambassador of the PR. China to the Republic of Austria, Xiaosi Li, honoured the Confucius Institute at the University of Graz. This year (exactly on 28 May 1971) marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Austria. Congratulations on the 50th!

After a brief introduction by Dr Wan Jie Chen, Christoph Kovacic reported on the recent founding of the "Global Young Leaders Union", which was initiated by Dr Wan Jie Chen and is an international network of young leaders and a project of the Confucius Institute. It promotes exchange and sustainable development in various areas, supports global networking and prosperity, particularly in the fields of business, science and technology, education and culture, and contributes to global cooperation and world peace.

The highly interesting keynote speeches were also mainly dedicated to this topic. Anita Höller spoke about the success factors of today, Craig Matthews about smart globalisation and Jianan Bi from the Bank of China about the internationalisation of the RMB.

In order to promote young academics at the Karl-Franzens-University Graz, the Confucius Institute Graz - in addition to the extensive scholarship programmes for research work on China - has for the first time announced a dissertation prize for China research. It is awarded for a dissertation project submitted and completed at the KFU within the last 2 years that deals with China from the perspective of the respective field of study or research. The Confucius Prize 2021 is endowed with €1,000 and goes to Dr Xuehong Nöst for her dissertation on "A metabolomics approach for the holistic investigation of two complex herbal TCM formulations".

The event was accompanied by the chamber ensemble of the Graz University Orchestra, which had even rehearsed Chinese pieces of music especially for the occasion. The choir of the HLW Weiz concluded this extremely successful evening with the song of the Confucius Institute Graz: "It's time to learn Chinese".

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