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Embassy in Belgium supports adopted Chinese children

By Fu Jing in Brussels | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-09-02 00:47

Embassy in Belgium supports adopted Chinese children

China's Ambassador to Belgium Qu Xing (second from right) poses with Lingmei (middle), aged 13, whose brother and Belgian parents attended a gathering at the embassy in Brussels on Thursday for adopted Chinese children living in Belgium. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

Thursday's gathering was designed to give Theo and other adopted children a glimpse of China's culture, history and economic development. The embassy screened a short film, held a China-themed quiz and invited kids to take part in painting and paper-cutting.

In his address, Ambassador Qu gave his heart-felt thanks to those Belgian families who have adopted Chinese orphans, saying they had "changed their fate" through affording them access to quality education and high living standards.

Qu told the children: "You have every reason to feel proud that you are Belgian citizens and at the same time, you can also feel proud of being Chinese as you were born in China. China will join Belgium to doubly care for you."

Around 2,700 adopted Chinese children are currently living overseas, according to official figures cited by Qu, with hundreds residing in Belgium. The majority of China's orphans are adopted by Chinese families or are still living in orphanages.

Qu said the embassy will deliver support to adopted Chinese children in Belgium, including Chinese lessons.

Lingmei De Bondt, 13, delivered a presentation about a recent trip to China where she learned about the culture of her country of birth.

"China is a fantastic country, I am so proud of it," she said.

Lingmei was adopted from an orphanage in Luoyang city, Central China. Her father Tim De Bondt says it is likely Lingmei is from South China as she was abandoned on a train linking Beijing and Hong Kong.

De Bondt, who is the head of the European Affairs unit at the Belgian Senate, wrote to Ambassador Qu a year ago, hoping to build connections between adopted children and the Chinese embassy and strengthen his daughter’s knowledge of her roots.

"Ambassador Qu responded very quickly and that is how we come to meet today," said De Mondt, who has also an adopted son from Cambodia. "We hope this is only the start and our connections will become stronger and stronger."

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