ADDIS ABABA, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese cultural performances were held at the headquarters of the African Union (AU) in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Friday to mark the joint celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the AU, and the AU Day.
The Chinese cultural performances were jointly hosted by the Chinese Mission to the AU and the AU Commission, featuring Chinese folk art and traditional opera performances along with theatrical performances.
During the event, some 30 Chinese opera artists presented theatrical performances to guests along with the display of Chinese opera costumes and accessories as well as Chinese wooden carvings and paper-cuts. Martial arts performances were also held.
Hu Changchun, head of the Chinese Mission to the AU, said during the occasion that China and Africa have in recent years forged strong people-to-people and cultural exchanges, which serve the overall Sino-Africa ties.
"Both China and Africa are cradles of civilization, with time-honored history, culture and splendid artistic heritages. Our civilizations have played an irreplaceable role in flourishing human development and the world," he said.
Albert Muchanga, AU commissioner for economic development, trade, tourism, Industry and minerals, addressing the event emphasized the need to deepen comprehensive China-Africa relations under the umbrella of the continental bloc, AU.
The AU commissioner reaffirmed the AU's commitment to broadening and deepening cooperation with China. "The opportunities are vast and expanding. A brighter future of friendship and win-win benefits awaits us," he said.
Guests who enjoyed the Chinese cultural performances also emphasized the need to deepen people-to-people and cultural relations between the two peoples so as to consolidate the ever-growing cooperation.
"Cultural exchanges and cooperation serve to promote the common values of not only China and Africa but the entire mankind. It will also serve as a connecting bridge between the two peoples," Frew Bekele, one of the audience, said.
According to the AU, the annual AU Day, celebrated every year on Sept. 9 following the Sirte Declaration of Sept. 9 back in 1999 to create the AU, serves as an avenue to celebrate some landmark achievements of the union. It also serves as an opportunity to reflect on the major challenges faced by the continent, and the successes of the pan-African bloc.