Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan Host a Welcome Ceremony and Banquet for Heads of State of Central Asian Countries and Their Spouses Attending the China-Central Asia Summit and Watch Together with Them Performances Marking the Opening of the Year of Culture and Art of the Peoples of China and Central Asia and the China-Central Asia Youth Arts Festival
2023/05/18 23:00

On the evening of May 18, 2023, President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan hosted a welcome ceremony and a welcome banquet for heads of state of Central Asian countries and their spouses attending the China-Central Asia Summit at the Tang Paradise theme park in Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province.

In the summer month, flowers are in full bloom. The magnificent towers and pavilions of the Tang Paradise were aglow with radiant and colorful lights at twilight, creating a beautiful and enchanting scene.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan, President Sadyr Zhaparov of Kyrgyzstan and his wife Aigul Zhaparova, President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov of Turkmenistan, and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan and his wife Ziroat Mirziyoyeva arrived in succession.

Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan shook hands with the distinguished guests, exchanged greetings, and posed for a group photo in front of the Ziyun Tower.

President Xi Jinping and his wife hosted a traditional Tang Dynasty welcome ceremony for the distinguished guests. Accompanied by ritual music, dancers performed the lively and vigorous Yi Dance, an ancient ritual dance of China, and the gorgeous and graceful Hibiscus Mutabilis Flower Dance in front of the Ziyun Tower, expressing the warm hospitality of the people of Xi'an, an ancient capital of China, and demonstrating the inclusive spirit of Chinese culture.

Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan proceeded together with the distinguished guests to Yuangong Gate for the welcome banquet.

Xi Jinping made a welcome speech, warmly welcoming the heads of state of Central Asian countries on behalf of the Chinese government and people. Xi Jinping pointed out that as the eastern starting point of the ancient Silk Road, Shaanxi has witnessed the profound friendship between China and Central Asian countries spanning over 2,000 years. For millennia, the people of China and Central Asia have complemented and learned from each other, creating the glories of the ancient Silk Road and writing a magnificent chapter in the history of inter-civilization exchanges. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and Central Asian countries have gone through an extraordinary journey and made remarkable achievements that have impressed the world. Despite the changes in the international landscape, China and Central Asian countries have always respected each other, enjoyed good neighborliness, and worked in partnership and solidarity for mutual benefit through thick and thin. Their state-to-state relations have grown from ones of good-neighborliness to strategic partnerships, and then to a community with a shared future, achieving historic leapfrog development, injecting positive energy to the advancement of regional peace and development, and making new contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Xi Jinping stressed that deepening China-Central Asia cooperation is a strategic choice made by the leaders of this generation with a future-oriented vision, which is in line with the prevailing trend of the world and meets the expectations of the people. Xi expressed the belief that with their joint efforts, the summit to be held the next day will be a complete success and open a new era for China-Central Asia relations. He also noted  that Central Asian countries are welcome to board the "express train" of China's development to jointly strive for an even brighter future of China-Central Asia cooperation.

After the banquet, Xi Jinping, Peng Liyuan and the distinguished guests watched art performances marking the opening of the Year of Culture and Art of the Peoples of China and Central Asia and the China-Central Asia Youth Arts Festival.

The performances presented the grandeur of Xi’an, the ancient capital of thirteen Chinese dynasties, and the shared sentiments of the countries along the Silk Road. They also showcased the lucid waters and lushness of the Qinling Mountains that stretch over a thousand kilometers across China, and the people's yearning for a happy life. Singers from China and the five Central Asian countries jointly performed the theme song Flourish and Prosper Together, winning warm applause from heads of state, their spouses, and the audience on site.

Cai Qi, Wang Yi, and Qin Gang, among others, were present at the above events.

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