Citizen diplomacy

Hundreds of visitors in Washington DC enjoyed a lively show of liondancing, the presence of two oversized giant panda mascots, and a taste of Chinese cuisine and snacks.

To commemorate the 35th anniversary of its sister-city relationship with Beijing, Washington DC hosted a series of events at the end of last month, presenting an opportunity for the two capitals to reflect on their constructive ties.

While hailing the milestone, both sides agreed that the relationship has brought the two cities closer. They called for broadening ties to set an example for relations at the subnational level between China and the United States.

Day of culture

As part of the celebration, the 2019 Beijing Day Cultural Festival was staged on Nov 22 at the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington DC.

Executive Vice Mayor of Beijing Lin Keqing, who headed a delegation to Washington DC to mark the anniversary, welcomed the attendance of local residents to the event and expressed his desire to promote the Chinese capital.

The fest, co-sponsored by the Beijing Municipal Government and the Office of the DC Secretary, showcased some features of traditional Chinese culture, including paper-cutting, fan-painting, and calligraphy, as well as a photo exhibition displaying Beijing’s landmarks and moments of some notable events the city held.

A group of teenagers played jianzi, a traditional Chinese sport where players kick a feathered shuttlecock and are prohibited from using their hands.

Jan Kalicki, a visitor who works at the Wilson Center, a Washington DC-based think tank, told Xinhua that he thinks the event is “a wonderful expression of variety in China”.

“I find all of the photographs showing the variety of Beijing are really very impressive,” said Kalicki, while pointing to a photo of the Bird’s Nest, the main stadium of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, as his favorite. He said he would like to return to Beijing after visiting several years ago.

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