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  Chinese Way>Life

World Tai Chi Day marked in Malta

2014-04-27 11:00:36



Moving with gentle oriental grace, red or white silk clad figures whirled before the stately palace here on Saturday, giving a Chinese aspect to the grand main square.

This came as Malta joined dozens of countries around the world to mark World Tai Chi Day, on the last Saturday of April.

Performers all the way from Beijing Sports University joined local aficionados in an elegant display of this ancient and best known Chinese martial art, including Chen-style and Yang-style Tai Chi Quan, Sword and Broadsword.

Addressing a gathering of officials, participants and spectators in the capital's St. George's Square, Chinese Ambassador to Malta Cai Jinbiao called sport an important part of bilateral exchanges between the two countries.

Internationally popular for its health benefits, Tai Chi is known as well for its "unique beauty," the Chinese ambassador said.

The traditional art, familiar to early morning visitors to Chinese parks or squares, where people practice it, is a "typical embodiment of traditional Chinese culture" that can also "bring peace of mind in today's fast-paced world," Ambassador Cai said.

He said he personally could attest to the benefits for a better quality of life as a practitioner himself.

Both the Maltese and Chinese representatives at the event were agreed that there could be a place for more Tai Chi instruction in Malta in future.

Malta's Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport, Chris Aguis, said in his prepared remarks that the Maltese could certainly benefit from the practice, noting lackluster physical fitness statistics, and expressed an interest in seeing Tai Chi taught in the schools here.

"We should try to...promote the sport in our schools for the benefit of our children and our people" in both mind and body, Aguis told Xinhua.

For his part, Ambassador Cai told Xinhua that Tai Chi teachers could be made available here according to local interest.

Malta has been organizing the event, in collaboration with the Chinese Cultural Centre in Malta, since 2007.

Sino-Maltese relations, going back to 1972, passed a new landmark last month with a record foreign investment for Malta in its state energy utility "Enemalta" when the Chinese firm Shanghai Electric Power Company took a 33 percent stake in the company for 320 million euros (440 million US dollar).

Strategically located between continental Europe and Africa, Malta is a small archipelago in the heart of the Mediterranean, which joined the European Union in 2004.

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