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Embassy welcomes 'home' overseas Chinese

A first such event held after pandemic holds music performance, singing, lion dance

By YIFAN XU in Washington | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-02-07 17:15

The Chinese embassy in the United States welcomed home overseas Chinese in a celebration of the upcoming Lunar New Year, with optimism about the future.

With the theme of "Warmly Welcoming Spring — Celebrating the Chinese New Year", the reception on Monday, the first for overseas Chinese after the COVID-19 pandemic, opened with a performance that included children playing the guzheng in Battling the Typhoon, a musical rendition.

Students also sang Reed Flower, and there was a lion dance by Chinatown Lion Dance troupe.

A short video highlighting the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the US was played before Ambassador Xie Feng's speech for the Lunar New Year.

"The embassy is always the home of overseas Chinese around. Welcome home for celebrating the Chinese New Year," said Xie.

Xie said 2023 was a year of solid advancement in Chinese-style modernization. He said the notion that China's economy would collapse has repeatedly been proven wrong, and the contention that China's economy has peaked has no basis in fact.

"No matter whether it is a tariff war, science and technology war, or cognitive war, it can't stop China's high-quality development," he said.

Xie said 2023 was a year when China-US relations stopped falling and stabilized, and people should cherish that hard-won achievement.

"Both sides should follow the road map drawn by the two leaders, build a breakwater to eliminate interference, gather positive energy for exchanges and cooperation, adhere to mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation," he said. "And we should promote the stable, healthy and sustainable development of China-US relations."

Xie also said 2023 was a year for overseas Chinese to unite their hearts and minds, and now they are faced with a broad opportunity to do more.

"Only when the nation is good, will the Chinese people be good. And when China-US relations are good, our compatriots in the US will be better off," he said.

The ambassador mentioned a series of new measures, saying that the embassy is making every effort to provide high-quality services to Chinese living in the US, whom he also encouraged to contribute more wisdom and strength to the exploration of the right way to improve bilateral relations in a new era.

The embassy also set up Chinese culture-experience stations such as calligraphy and paper-cutting and a "Wall of Wishes" at the reception.

The guests put up small lanterns inscribed with blessings for their families, relatives, and friends, as well as China-US relations, on the Wall of Wishes.

The Chengdu Sichuan Opera Research Institute presented a special show, part of the 2024 "Happy Chinese New Year" event, an annual brand activity held to celebrate the Spring Festival, organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China.

In the hourlong performance, the artists displayed the charm of Sichuan Opera, such as voice, posture, performance and stunts, which drew continuous happy laughter and applause. "Face-changing", a unique feature of the Sichuan Opera, pushed the atmosphere to a climax at the show's conclusion.

One of the guests, Xie Zongqi, the founder and managing director of the International Center for Tai Chi Health, USA, said that he was thrilled to attend the reception.

"This kind of event and the spread of traditional Chinese culture will be of great benefit to deepen the US people's understanding of China," he said.

Xie said he has more than 300 tai chi students since moving to the US less than two years ago, and they are hoping to enhance their physical and mental health through the traditional Chinese martial art.

Chen Nanping, the founding president of the Rose Group for Cross-Cultural Understanding, said she hoped that more Chinese domestic cultural and artistic groups would come to the US.

"So that more Chinese here, as well as the US people, would have the opportunity to learn about the excellent traditional Chinese culture," she said.

Hongyi Ho, the president of the US Chinese Industry and Commerce Association, East US Chapter, said he hopes to lower tariffs and facilitate trade exchanges between the US and China.

"US-China relations also greatly impact overseas Chinese and Chinese Americans. We should engage in US politics more often, conveying China's goodwill and positively impacting this bilateral relationship," he said.

James Xuefeng Zhang, the president of the South Florida Chinese Business Association, said that 2024 marked the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the US, and it is also an election year in the US.

"We hope to improve the US-China relations through people-to-people exchanges," he added.

Jiang Mingrui, the director of the Chengdu Sichuan Opera Research Institute, said he was glad to gather with the Chinese community in the US and create the festive atmosphere of the Chinese New Year in the US to represent the people of the motherland.

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