An Azerbaijani cultural and art gallery is to be established in Bengbu city in east China's Anhui province.
Ma Guoxiang, founder of China Ancient Building and Architecture Expo Exhibition Center, made the announcement during the China International Musical Instruments Expo and the second Belt and Road Commercial and Cultural Exchange Forum, which were held in Bengbu on December 1 and 2.
Azerbaijani ambassador in Beijing Akram Zeynalli attended the events, for which he was thanked by Ma, who said:
"The Ambassador has come to the Bengbu-based China Ancient Building and Architecture Expo three times before both sides agreed to set up the center. Also, he has invited four artists from Azerbaijan to play magical Azerbaijani music during the forum, hard proof of the friendship between China and Azerbaijan."
Ambassador Akram Zeynalli outlined his hopes for the new center:
"I believe that the landing of the gallery will further strengthen the bilateral relationship between China and Azerbaijan and become a bridge to connect different countries and civilizations," he said.
The ambassador said that the gallery will be Azerbaijan's first cultural exhibition center in China, and explained what visitors to the center can expect:
"We welcome all Chinese people to come and see our country's traditional cultural heritage like architecture, music, carpet weaving and other exquisite art works. I think it is a good chance for Chinese people to understand Azerbaijani culture," he said.
The Amazing Azerbaijani Music Meets Bengbu, an event to mark the announcement, was held on December 1, featuring, Azerbaijani musicians playing Muqam music.
"Muqam is the classical music of Azerbaijan that shows love and respect. It is a traditionally well-structured music genre, which is suitable for impromptu performances," said Nurivey Kamal, one of the musicians.
"China have a totally different architecture style compared to Azerbaijan , but music is the best way to communicate with other people. No matter how different the expressions are, music can go directly to the soul of different backgrounds," he said.
Azerbaijan is considered a crossroads between Eastern Europe and West Asia, bordering both Russi and Iran. The country participates in the Belt and Road initiative, and has collaborated with China on a number of projects in the recently held Shanghai International Import Expo.