China lost on Tuesday to the Philippines in the arbitration case that the Philippines filed with the U.N. Permanent Court of Arbitration over disputed islands in South China Sea. However, in a university choral competition, China was victorious several times over.

Global Times reported that the Nankai University Student Choir bagged three gold medals and two championship titles at the Ninth World Choir Games in Sochi, Russia. The Chinese students won first place in the Scenic Folklore and Mixed Choir categories.

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It is their third time to top the Scenic Folklore category. The Nankai choir won the same category in 2002 in Busan, South Korea and in 2014 in Riga, Latvia. Their winning piece was “Hua Mulan,” a combination of Henan Opera and Northeast Song-and-Dance Duet, plus Chinese martial arts which were a showcase of the profound nature of the Asian giant’s cultural heritage.

Meng Chaomei, the conductor of the choir and professor at the university’s School of Literature, attributed their win to not sparing effort in composing, designing and rehearsing their number during their spare time.
The choir, which was established in 1995, is composed of undergraduate and graduate students of the university from different departments. It has won different major international choir awards.

The World Choir Games, held every two years, is run by the Interkultur Foundation, and is the biggest international choir festival in the world. For the Sochi-hosted event, 283 choirs from 76 countries joined with over 12,000 choir singers. But the nations that joined excluded the Philippines which instead battled it out in The Netherlands before the PCA.