Yesterday, on December 18, 2019, as a member of a small delegation from our Hefei University [合肥学院], I had the pleasure to participate in the Consultation Symposium and New Year Party for Foreign Experts [外国专家建言献策暨新年联谊会] of the Anhui province, organized by the Department of Science and Technology of the Anhui Province [安徽省科学技术厅], the Hefei Municipal Bureau of Science and Technology [合肥市科学技术局], and Anhui University [安徽大学].

The day began with a visit to the Anhui Museum of Innovation [安徽创新馆], which features a comprehensive and very interesting exhibition of the innovation power of the province. Examples for the future technologies developed in Hefei and presented in the exhibition include the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) [先进超导托卡马克实验装置], a superconducting magnetic fusion energy reactor constructed by the Hefei Institute of Plasma Physics [合肥等离子体物理研究所] of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) [中国科学院] and the Quantum Information and Quantum Technology Innovation Research Institute [量子信息与量子科技创新研究院] currently under construction in the Hefei High-Tech Zone [合肥高新区]. There are also many examples of past achievements from our province, including the first microcomputer developed in China and the world's first video CD player and bionic washing machine. The exhibition also contained many showcases of innovations from the present time, such as robotic arms that can move so precisely that they can balance a spinning top on the edge of a sword's blade, as well as flying or driving drones, and electric vehicles. But these are all just examples of the many displays of large and small innovations from Anhui. I can only recommend this exhibition to anyone interested in science and technology.

Our group of international experts then had a very nice lunch in the city hall of Hefei, before we moved to Anhui University [安徽大学]. There, we first visited the exhibition on the history of the university, which covers more than a century and is an impressive array of improvements and achievements.

Then, the actual program of the Consultation Symposium and New Year Party for Foreign Experts [外国专家建言献策暨新年联谊会] began, moderated by Mr. Ji XIA [夏辑副厅长], deputy director general of the Department of Science and Technology of the Province Anhui [安徽省科学技术厅党组成员] and director of the Anhui Provincial Bureau of Foreign Experts' Affairs [安徽省外专局]. Welcome speeches were then given by Prof. Guangli KUANG [匡光力], the president of Anhui University [安徽大学校长], Mr. Xiaochun WAN [宛晓春], the secretary of the CPC Leadership Group of the Department of Science and Technology of the Province Anhui [安徽省科学技术厅党组书记], and Mr. Ce ZHU [朱策], the deputy mayor of the Hefei Municipal People's Government [合肥市人民政府副市长]. Then, three outstanding international experts provided their opinion on the development of Anhui, the collaboration between national and international scientists, and the living and working conditions for us experts: Prof. Dr. Patrick Felix Simon Sole, Chair Professor of Anhui University [安徽大学讲席教授], Dr. Martin Grossmann Handschin, expert of the Hefei CAS Ion Medical and Technical Devices Co., Ltd. [合肥中科离子医学技术装备有限公司], and Dr. Björn Nashan, expert from the First Affiliated Hospital of University of Science and Technology of China [中国科学技术大学第一附属医院移植中心]. These opinions were all very positive. In the last session before the entertainment program, two certification ceremonies were held, for the Anhui Specially Recruited Foreign Experts Certificates [颁发安徽省外国专家特聘证书] and the Hefei Specially Recruited Foreign Experts Certificates [颁发合肥市外国专家特聘证书]. It was a great honor that I could receive the latter as one of four selected foreign experts.

After these formal parts, ten very nice art performances were presented. They included beautiful and perfectly choreographed dances (The blossoming Jasmine Flower and the Song of the Fisherman by Anhui University), a wonderful and enthusiastically performed song and dance by the Ukranian students of Anhui University, nice musical performances such as The Moon Represents My Heart (Xinhua Academy [合肥新华公学]), The Seasons of Life (Anhui Talent Way Education Consulting [安徽才格教育咨询有限公司]), and my personal favorite, Colorful Clouds Chasing the Moon, by the Artpod Music Dance and Art Academy [艺舱国际艺术中心], who also delivered an outstanding singing performance of I Love You, China with piano support. The closing songs, I Could Have Danced All Night and Auld Lang Syne, were, too perfectly sung and presented. The program was more than enjoyable and I want to thank the artists, students and teachers alike, for their effort and great performances. The day ended with a delicious dinner.

This was a very, very nice program and the organizers made everybody very happy. As Prof. Nashan said earlier, it is very unusual and lucky that we international experts get a chance to celebrate the end of the year so far at home. It shows the hospitality of Anhui and Hefei. (Which probably is one of the reasons why the city is the third in terms of popularity as working place by foreign experts in China). Anyway, a big thanks to the organizers, artists, and guides letting us enjoy this special event.


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