RIJEKA, Croatia, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- The participation of Chinese performers in the Rijeka Carnival parade on Sunday would surely help promote friendly ties not only at the city level but also on a broader national scale, Marko Filipovic, mayor of Rijeka, said on Monday.
In an interview with Xinhua, Filipovic said he was extremely glad to see the participation of Chinese performers in the International Carnival Parade of the 41st Rijeka Carnival that ran from Jan. 17 through Feb. 11.
He also said that Rijeka, Croatia's third-largest city, has maintained friendly cooperation and ties with three Chinese cities, namely Dalian, Ningbo and Qingdao. In 2000, a group of dancers from China's east coastal city of Qingdao participated in the Rijeka Carnival, he added.
A group, comprising members from the Confucius Institute at the University of Zagreb and a Chinese company, engaged in the Rijeka sewage treatment plant project, showcased a Chinese dragon dance and Hanfu show at the parade, the culmination of the Rijeka Carnival, one of the most important carnivals in Europe.
Extolling the show as a "special attraction," Filipovic expressed his belief that the carnival will serve as a platform to present distinct cultural features and improve ties between Rijeka and Chinese cities.
Referring to the Rijeka sewage treatment plant project, worth 69 million euros (74.3 million U.S. dollars), Filipovic said it was one of the largest projects of its type in Croatia while expressing his confidence that the China Energy Engineering Group Jiangsu Power Design Institute Co. Ltd would do the job "professionally."
He also said he believed that the Chinese involvement in the project would promote "cooperation between Croatia and China" and that the relations between Rijeka and Dalian, Ningbo and Qingdao would be "improved and deepened."
Moreover, Filipovic expected more Chinese tourists to visit Rijeka, a "year-round" tourist destination that receives increasing tourists in recent years.
"I invite all Chinese tourists who intend to visit Europe and Croatia to definitely include Rijeka in their itinerary, and I believe that tourists from distant China will enjoy Rijeka no matter what time of year they visit us," he said. ■