MONTEVIDEO - The Chinese community in Uruguay on Sunday held celebrations for the upcoming Chinese New Year with traditional dance shows, martial arts and the launch of a commemorative stamp marking the beginning of the year of the Fire Rooster.
The celebration was held at the central square Liber Seregni in Montevideo and was joined by China's ambassador to Uruguay, Dong Xiaojun, diplomats from several countries and the mayor of Municipality B, Carlos Varela.
Through a translator, Xiaojun said that during 2016 China and Uruguay have had "exchanges in various fields, such as politics, economics and culture."
The diplomat referred especially to President Tabare Vazquez's official visit to the Asian country in October 2016.
"The friendly relationship" between the two countries "has steadily deepened and the exchange among people has increased," Xiaojun said.
He said he hoped that cultural exchanges could "increase mutual understanding" between the two nations, and deepen their relations and cooperation.
"Chinese New Year is not only a festival of the Chinese people, but it is also a festival of nature, of family. It is an international festival. Let's celebrate the Chinese New Year together and enjoy the friendship between China and Uruguay," the diplomat said.
Xiaojun wished "good health, good luck and a good year" to all present, among whom were members of the Chinese community in Uruguay, which includes some 5,000 people.
Meanwhile, authorities of the Uruguayan postal service unveiled a stamp illustrated with a picture of a rooster, the zodiac of the upcoming year, which begins Jan. 28.
Traditional lion and dragon dances, martial arts shows, music, painting and Chinese cuisine were among the highlights of the celebration.