Speech on behalf of International Guests at Shenzhen, 2010
Mr Lu Chen Yen,
Members of the organising committee,
ladies and gentlemen,
I'm pleased to have been asked to speak for the invited international kite fliers during this opening ceremony.
I first came to Dameisha beach to fly kites in 2006, and in even the few years between then and now have seen the most amazing change and growth here in Shenzhen. What were vacant areas have become huge international class hotels, major roads appear as if magically between one year's visit and the next, while the growing affluence and leisure-time aspirations of Chinese people are everywhere apparent.
There can be no other place in the world where economic growth has ever been more rapid and sustained than here in Shenzhen.
For this I offer our congratulations and heartfelt admiration.
But during this time of rapid change it would have been easy to lose contact with elements of culture linking back to the long history of this country.
Kite flying is one of these, an important aspect of the Chinese character for at least 3000 years.
What is especially admirable therefore is that kite flying has not been forgotten in the rush to the future but is honoured and supported at events such as this.
As fliers from other countries, with our own kite histories and traditions we thank you therefore, not only for the care you are taking with your own traditions but also for allowing us to contribute an international flavour to this celebration of kite culture.
For the international guest kite fliers.
Dameisha Seaside Park, 30 October '10.