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The Sound of Friendship from GBA: Zhuhai’s Online Concert for the 50th Anniversary of China-Netherlands Relations


On May 23, an online concert, themed “Melodies over Seas and Mountains”, was jointly held in both Zhuhai Opera House and the Royal Concertgebouw, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between China and the Netherlands. As music danced through continents and oceans, Zhuhai and Amsterdam were connected more than ever, celebrating deep friendship, and looking forward to a better future built and shared with each other, according to Information Office of Zhuhai Municipal People’s Government.

There are 13 performances, including jazz, piano solo, wind music, chorus, fusion music, and many others. The concert featured world-class musicians and artists from the two countries – Nederlands Blazers Ensemble, Sinfonia Rotterdam, Zhuhai Golden Jazz Orchestra, Chinese singer Liu Yutong, Chinese Drama Plum Blossom Award winners Ou Kaiming and Qiong Xia, etc. The organizer called it “a musical conversation with the most pronounced local characteristics that transcended time and space”.

“Many elements of Lingnan culture and the city of Zhuhai blossomed in the concert,” said Yan Jihong, the chief director of the concert, “We strive to present Zhuhai, a city of youth and vitality, to the world.”

The evening feast for the ears kicked off with Petals Falling from Sky, a classical Cantonese song. Many original songs composed by Zhuhai musicians were also introduced, unveiling the charm of the special economic zone that is modern, coastal, and international.

Sinfonia Rotterdam performed My Motherland, a well-known patriotic song in China. Zhuhai Golden Jazz Orchestra started in-depth cooperation with Sinfonia Rotterdam to foster young musical talents in China. Notably, this would be the first attempt by Nederlands Blazers Ensemble – which enjoys a global reputation – to extend their prime art education beyond the border of the Netherlands.

As early as 400 years ago, China and the Netherlands had already started economic, trade, and cultural exchanges through the Maritime Silk Road. The two countries established diplomatic relations at the Charge d’affaires level in November 1954, which was upgraded to the ambassadorial level in May 1972. For the past 50 years, the close relationship – under multilateral frameworks and systems such as the United Nations – has born plentiful fruits in promoting economic cooperation, science and technology, sustainable development, and world peace.

Zhuhai’s increasingly close ties with Utrecht, the fourth-largest city in the Netherlands with a profound historic and cultural heritage, are a demonstration of the ever-growing China-Netherlands friendship. As a vital bridge for China to connect with the rest of the world, Zhuhai started the friendly exchanges with Utrecht in November 2013. In the following years, the two cities deepened the collaboration in investment, trade, science and technology, culture, tourism, education, healthcare, etc. Ninestar Corporation from Zhuhai set up its Europe sales center there. In 2019, The Charm of Zhuhai, a photo exhibition was held in Utrecht, inviting the locals to appreciate the city’s unique qualities, culture, and history.

Statistics reveal that the volume of bilateral trade and investment between China and the Netherlands has increased in recent years. It’s fair to conclude that the Netherlands is China’s gateway to cooperation with Europe. Looking forward, Zhuhai and Utrecht are ready to jointly hit a higher note in their song of friendship. Through cultural and people-to-people exchanges, the connected hearts of people in the two countries will become the living water of our bilateral relations, which will make greater contributions to the development of China-EU and China-Netherlands relations.

Source: Information Office of Zhuhai Municipal People’s Government