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A Refreshing Fujian, a Beautiful China — The Chinese Embassy in the U.S. Holds an Open House Event Presenting Fujian Province

Source: | 2024-05-04 23:25   Click:

On May 4, 2024, the Chinese Embassy joined the Around the World Embassy Tour of Washington D.C., by hosting an open house event — “Refreshing Fujian: Starting Point of the Maritime Silk Road” to present the southeastern Chinese province. Vice Governor of Fujian Jiang Erxiong and Mayor of Zhangzhou city Wei Dong led delegations and art troupes to the embassy. The performances showcased Fujian and Zhangzhou’s vast potential and unique charm, inviting American friends to visit and explore the two places. Minister Jing Quan delivered remarks. Over 200 guests from various sectors attended the VIP session, including Deputy Assistant Secretary for China and Mongolia at the U.S. Department of Commerce Scott Shaw, Acting Coordinator of the Office of China Coordination at the U.S. State Department Benjamin Sand, Deputy Director of Office of East Asia at U.S. Department of the Treasury Tyler Makepeace, Managing Director and World Bank Group Chief Administrative Officer Zhang Wencai, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Li Bo, Secretary of the District of Columbia Kimberly Bassett, as well as foreign diplomats in the U.S. It was a rainy day, but over 5,000 local Americans visited the Embassy.



Following a promotional film titled The Mountains, Seas and Culture of Fujian, Minister Jing Quan delivered remarks. Minister Jing said that Fujian’s story is not only a story of an open, enterprising and beautiful China, but also a story of China-U.S. friendship featured by the Kuliang story. Last November, President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden agreed in San Francisco that the two countries will jointly promote people-to-people exchanges, and support greater interactions between the two peoples. Jing also expressed his hope that the American friends can see the best of Chinese culture, have a bite of Chinese delicacies, and witness a developing China at the open house event.



Vice Governor of Fujian Jiang Erxiong, in her remarks, outlined the geographical environment, tourism resources, transportation conditions and culinary culture of Fujian. Vice Governor Jiang said that more than 100 years ago, American friends took refuge from summer heat in Kuliang, a resort in Fuzhou. Last June, in his congratulation message to the Bond with Kuliang Forum, President Xi Jinping expressed his hope for the two peoples’ friendship to be strong as the thousand-year-old cedar trees in Kuliang. As the saying goes in both China and the U.S., “seeing is believing”, American friends are warmly welcomed to Fujian for work or sightseeing.



Mayor of Zhangzhou city Wei Dong, in his remarks, introduced the historical culture and modern development achievements of the city of Zhangzhou. Mayor Wei said that over 400 years ago, numerous Chinese commodities, such as porcelain and tea, were shipped from Zhangzhou’s Yue Port to America and Europe. Since the reform and opening-up, Zhangzhou has further tightened its economic and trade cooperation and people-to-people exchanges with the U.S. It established a sister city relationship with Honolulu, Hawaii, over a decade ago. Approximately 30,000 people from Zhangzhou now reside in the U.S., where foods, home goods, and guitars made in Zhangzhou are widely popular. Zhangzhou welcomes American friends to visit, explore, and invest.



Artists from Fujian Province and Zhangzhou City presented to the audience authentic cultural performances on the stage of the embassy. Artists from the Fujian Opera and Dance Drama Theatre, Zhangzhou Art School, and Zhangzhou Gezi Opera Heritage Conservation Center presented the opening dance Golden Drums and excited the guests with the combination of big drums and parasols. Performers of Zhangzhou Glove Puppetry Heritage Conservation Center brought to life the captivating stories of Daming Prefecture from Water Margin, one of China’s most beloved classic novels. The performers have such dexterous fingers to manipulate the glove puppets as different roles that they won bursts of applause from the audience. Artists from the Fujian Opera and Dance Drama Theatre also merged leaf-blowing and dances into Fujian’s folk songs. A popular melody, “Make best efforts and you will win”, embodies the hard-working spirit of the local people. Catching Butterflies While Picking Tea Leaves, with soft music and graceful dancing, vividly depicts the scenery of tea-picking girls working and playing in the tea garden. At the end of the performance, all the performers presented A Land of Blessings, with folk music, dance and puppets echoing each other and bringing the atmosphere to a climax.




In the lucky draw, a most exciting part of the session, three visitors and their families gained a round of applause for winning the grand prize, which includes an all-inclusive five-day trip to Zhangzhou city.


The Embassy Open House provided a rich variety of exhibitions and interactive experiences. At the Fujian-themed culture and tourism exhibition booths, the guests steeped and tasted tea, tried their hands to write Chinese characters, and experience Fujian tea and calligraphy culture; tried floral headdress and Hanfu to experience the beauty and happiness of the ladies in Jingpu, Fujian; took a close look at the Zhangzhou Glove Puppets and interacted with the performers of Zhangzhou Glove Puppetry Heritage Conservation Center. The guests also tasted special refreshments from Fujian, such as maltose, Mazao, red bean cakes, mung bean cakes, and took photos in front of the message wall with Wuyi Mountain as the background and the “Nihao! China” Chinese national tourism image poster.



In the open area of the embassy, the guests watched lion dance and drum performances, and took photos with giant panda puppets; visited a science and technology exhibition themed “45 Years of China-US Science and Technology Cooperation: Outcomes and Future Prospects”, experienced the LAMOST, KeXue Multipurpose Oceanographic Research Vessel and other big scientific equipment through VR, watched the Tiangong space station, “China sky eye” FAST and other models. These provide a glimpse of the progress in China’s science and technology development. Visitors were able to take a closer look at the Embassy’s unique architectural art and nearly 100 pieces of art works of Chinese painting, calligraphy, Suzhou embroidery and porcelains. They spent some time in parent-child activities such as coloring and paper-cutting themed on the Chinese Year of the Dragon, and tasted Chinese snacks made by the chef of the Embassy, including spicy beef slices, Sichuan cold noodles, spring rolls stuffed with three delicacies and walnut cookies. The chancery building was crowded with visitors all day long. The guests not only encountered a “Refreshing Fujian”, but also embraced the beauty of China.



Before leaving the embassy, visitors queued up to get embassy-themed and Fujian-themed stamps on their “passport”. Many of them said that today’s trip has deepened their understanding of Fujian and Zhangzhou and increased their interest in China’s traditional culture and art as well as its latest development. They look forward to opportunities to travel to China, see giant pandas, embrace Chinese culture and know more about the China’s economic and social development.



The event was covered by Xinhua News Agency, People’s Daily, CCTV, China Daily, China News Agency, Phoenix TV, Dragon TV, local televisions and community media outlets of Washington D.C. and American KOLs.