The China International Musical Instruments Expo and the second Belt and Road Commercial and Cultural Exchange Forum were held in Bengbu city, East China's Anhui province, from Dec 1 to 2.
Ambassadors and envoys from more than 30 countries, together with directors and representatives from over 30 business associations both at home and abroad, participated in the event and exchanged ideas.
The forum was themed "culture boom with shared interest", a continuation of the theme from the China-Africa Cooperation Forum held in Beijing last September.
In addition, the forum also focused on issues like cultural exchanges, paying respect to the diversity of world civilization, inheritance of traditional culture, innovation of modern culture, heritage protection and building a shared future for humankind.
Music without borders
During the expo, music once again became a link, connecting countries with different cultures. Local authorities said the expo was not only a silk road music carnival across the globe, but also a top exhibition stage for world-class musical instruments.
The expo sets out to promote musical instrument trade and cultural exchanges through the exhibition of musical instruments, performances, conferences and cultural ideas.
Event organizers said musical instruments can become connectors of different cultures because music is the most intimate and vivid language.
There are a large number of countries along the Belt and Road. Among these are Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Iran — all countries that love music. With precious few resources, each country can find music as a way to break through barriers of geography, race and belief.
Also worth noting: a red piano specially made by China's top piano brand Steinway & Sons was played by Chinese pianists for the first time at the expo. The piano gained much attention at last month's China International Import Expo in Shanghai. The red color is the same as the Chinese flag, and the instrument is the only red piano Steinway has made so far.
Many countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative like Azerbaijan have showed their unique national culture and expressed friendship by displaying national-level musical instruments at the expo, like the muqam, tal and kamancha.
Likewise, top domestic instrument collectors also exhibited a number of pieces, including the guqin from the Northern Song Dynasty, the guzheng from the Ming Dynasty and the classic pipa. Among these, some instruments boast a history of more than 1,000 years, while the most valuable instrument is worth over 100 million yuan.
The China International Musical Instruments Expo and the Second Belt and Road Commercial and Cultural Exchange Forum were jointly sponsored by the Commercial Industry Committee of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, the Association of China Commercial Enterprise Management, Shanghai Council Committee China National Democratic Construction, the Benbu municipal government and Shanghai Xiangjiang Industrial Co., Ltd.