Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Jiang Jiang at the Kite Festival
Your Excellency President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca,
Dear young friends,
I am delighted to come to the beautiful Verdala Palace and join you at the Kite Festival.
The youthful faces, your radiant smiles, and the lovely kites of diverse forms in front of us bring back my childhood memories -- fond and happy memories of course.
Kites were invented in China some 2,000 years ago. Kite flying is a popular pastime and entertainment for the Chinese.
In the ancient past, kites were also used for purposes other than pastime, such as signaling, distance measuring, wind direction monitoring, to name just a few.
History has it that in the 13th century Italian traveler and explorer Marco Polo returned to Europa from China with a Chinese kite. It was from then on that kites were made known to Europeans, who began to love, develop and use their own kites not only for fun but also for scientific experiments. More interestingly, kites inspired the invention of airplanes.
The Science and Civilization in China, a series of books by the British scientist and historian Joseph Needham, lists the kite as one of the significant Chinese inventions introduced to Europe. I think one may say that the kite has served as an envoy for cultural exchanges between China and the West.