MEXICO CITY, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- China and Mexico established diplomatic ties in 1972, but their interactions date back as early as more than 450 years ago.
In Mexico City's Franz Mayer Museum, an ongoing exhibition explores the trade relations between the two countries from 1565 to 1815.
At the dawn of global trade, Spanish galleons sailed from Manila, the Philippines, to Mexico's Pacific coast port of Acapulco, carrying fabrics, lacquerware, porcelain, spices and other goods mainly made in China.
Brisk trade in goods offered numerous and sustained opportunities for the two cultures to meet and enrich each other, a historic development that is being celebrated now as part of the China-Latin America Year of Cultural Exchange.
Back then, Manila's port served as a departure point for Chinese embroidered silk, carved ivory and other valued products that were in high demand in the New World.
It was the China galleon that "gave rise to one of (history's) most enduring commercial ventures, a venture that generated wealth and work on both continents," Hector Rivero Borrell, director of Franz Mayer, told reporters at a preview on Tuesday.
Exhibit organizers, according to the Milenio daily, noted that Chinese artists would often be asked to create works in honor of Mexican religious or cultural icons, leading, for example, to images of the Virgin dressed "in oriental garb."
The exhibition features some 250 pieces, some from the Franz Mayer's own collection and others from museums in Spain, which ruled Mexico and most of the Americas in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. It will be on show until the end of October.
This month, China and Mexico also celebrated their relations with musical performances, including a Beijing Opera performance and an evening of combined Mexican and Chinese performing arts titled "China and Mexico with Hands United."
"Amid the melodies and sweet, elegant songs, the audience could well sense the unique charm of the blending of the two cultures," Chinese Ambassador Qiu Xiaoqi wrote in La Jornada daily.
"The show was a faithful reflection of the vigorous cultural exchange between our two countries. China and Mexico are ancient civilizations and countries with very rich cultures. Both civilizations mutually highlight and learn from each other."
In this Olympic year, the ambassador also noted that Mexico and China have cooperated in other areas, such as sports, where Chinese diving coach Ma Jin has been instrumental in getting Mexico's diving talent into the elite ranks of Olympians. For that, she was awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor given a foreigner for services to the country.
More cultural events are in the offing, not just in Mexico, but in the rest of Latin America as well.