Guests at a dinner reception for Chinese wind power executives this week were at the Danish ambassador’s residence, but the host wasn’t there.
Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen missed the long-scheduled event, part of a seminar preceding the three-day China Wind Power 2011 exhibition in Beijing, so he could accompany Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi to Denmark this week at the invitation of Villy Sovndal, the country’s new foreign minister, and Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the new prime minister.
Standing in at the wind-power reception was the embassy’s deputy head Soren Jacobsen, who applauded 20 years of wind-energy exchanges between the two countries, going back to the first windmill erected in China, a Danish model that still produces electricity in Xinjiang. Klaus Rave of the Global Wind Energy Council trumped that, earning laughter and applause when he told the Chinese executives that the two nations’ wind connection goes back much further: to the Vikings and the medieval Chinese fleets of Zheng He.
“Each ruled their part of the high seas,” he said, “but the beauty of the story is that they never met in battle.”