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Envoys get their kicks from martial arts

By Mike Peters | China Daily | Updated: 2013-06-30 07:34

Envoys get their kicks from martial arts

After savoring life in China for two years, the children of US Ambassador Gary Locke will head home this summer. Jiang Dong / China Daily File Photo

The China Foreign Affairs University has launched a "Wushu Carnival for Diplomats" to offer free Chinese martial arts classes to diplomats and their family members in Beijing. The goal: better health. The initial sessions run from June 30 to Aug 4, every Sunday from 4 pm to 5:30 pm, at the university's stadium. Embassy staff members who want to continue their studies can do so until October, pursuing different styles of wushu, including tai chi boxing and "long fist". For more information, contact Zhou Qingjie by e-mail or by phone at 010-6832-3878.

While US Ambassador to China Gary Locke will continue to serve in Beijing "at the president's pleasure", the embassy has confirmed that his wife and children will be moving back to Seattle this summer.

The Lockes have three children - Emily, 16; Dylan, 14; and Madeline, 8 - and embassy spokesperson Nolan Barkhouse says the move is planned "so that Emily and Dylan can complete their high school education in their hometown."

Mona Locke will be commuting back and forth between US and Beijing, he said. She will continue to work with the State Department's educational advising service, and continue to host the embassy's live-audience online program USChina Focus with Mona Locke, which recently featured visiting US soprano Renee Fleming.

Philippine Ambassador to China Erlinda F. Basilio hosted a series of events for "Tastes of the Philippines", a food festival at Beijing's Westin Chaoyang hotel that continues through June 30. Celebrity chefs Roland and Jackie Laudico have been giving cooking demonstrations and preparing a flurry of their specialty foods for the restaurant buffet.

The Commonwealth Society of Beijing hosted a charity gala evening for about 700 guests recently. CSB chair Joan Chong Leung said some contributions are still coming in but she expects the final proceeds from the event to exceed 400,000 yuan ($65,100). The All China Women's Federation partners with the society to designate the Chinese charities that benefit.

VIP guests included Mu Hong, director-general of the All China Women's Federation; Li Zhaoxing, the former Chinese foreign affairs minister; and Qin Xiaomei, Li's wife. About 20 ambassadors currently posted in Beijing and about 50 former Chinese envoys joined members of the business communities of commonwealth countries at the dinner.

European Union Ambassador to China Markus Ederer traveled to the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region recently for the "EC2 Alliance Trade Mission to Urumqi", along with representatives from the French, Italian and Irish embassies, European industries and project developers from Urumqi.

The event was opened by Vice-Mayor Fan Xinhe, who said Urumqi's extensive measures for energy saving and pollution control and its fast growth represent a strong business opportunity for international players.

One of the longest-serving diplomats in Beijing, Madagascar's Ambassador Victor Sikonina, marked his Independence Day on June 26 with a ballroom buffet dinner at the Marriott Northeast hotel.

Deng Zhangyu contributed to this report.

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