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Building bridges

The winner of a language competition is enhancing China-Belarus relations, writes Enoch Wong.

By Enoch Wong | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-03-15 08:31
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Kaligaeva with other contestants of the Chinese Bridge Competition in 2017.[Photo provided to China Daily]

She has taken part in many documentaries and has traveled across the country while filming vlogs to introduce China to her compatriots back home — presenting an authentic side of China in the West. She finds it difficult to choose her favorite moment among the many media-related appearances she has made, but she says her highlight has been hosting one of the celebratory events in both Chinese and Russian to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of China-Belarus diplomatic relations. The event was co-organized by the All-China Youth Federation and Belarusian Republican Youth Union in 2022, and was attended by the Belarusian Ambassador to China Yuri Senko, as well as officials from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

There were many memorable instances for Kaligaeva, including telling her China-Belarus story through a short film, exemplifying the bonds, hearing touching accounts of young Chinese entrepreneurs and scientists working in Belarus, facilitating youth from both countries to share significant achievements through the Belt and Road Initiatives, Confucius Institute and other educational exchange programs that form a foundation for the China-Belarus comprehensive strategic partnership, signed by the leaders of the two countries.

All this reminds her of the progress she has made since becoming the Belarus State Chinese Bridge Competition champion in 2017 and the responsibility in bridging her home country and China which she proudly calls her "second home".She says the bilateral cooperation is promising and sustainable because it is a "two-way bridge" that creates mutual benefits for both countries. In language education, she has discovered that Chinese institutions are opening in Grodno, Brest and some other cities in Belarus in addition to the capital Minsk. At the same time, Belarusian research centers are also being opened in various Chinese universities. She anticipates scientific, creative and technological potential in the future, which will reflect in the social and economic development of both countries. She says the joint efforts will continue to gain momentum in the next 30 years and beyond.

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