|Remarks by Consul General Zhao Weiping at 2016 Chinese Cultural Activities Kick-off Reception|
Honorable Deputy Mayor,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, we gather here to kick off a series of Chinese cultural activities in Chicago for the year 2016, including especially the activities celebrating the upcoming Spring Festival, the Chinese lunar New Year.
First, I wish to thank you all for your kind attendance. It's indeed my great honor that Deputy Mayor Koch is also with us today. His presence tells us that Chicago, as a world-renowned city of culture, has always embraced cultures from other countries with great enthusiasm.
Chicago has been so far the only American major city which hosts Chinese Spring Festival celebrations in the name of the City Government. And Chicago is also one of the two American cities having established cultural exchange mechanism with China.
We have so much to do in terms of cultural exchanges between China and Chicago in 2016. Not only many Chinese arts performing groups will come to Chicago, but also Chicago-based arts institutions will go to visit China. As you may know, Chicago Symphony Orchestra will land in Shanghai next week for its third tour of China.
According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, this is the Year of the Monkey. Monkey is a very active and energetic animal. We in the Chinese Consulate and our friends with Choose Chicago are surely more active and energetic. We will work hard together to ensure the Year of the Monkey a very active year for China-Chicago cultural exchanges.
I believe, through these exchanges, the Chicagoans will know more about China, and vice versa, people in China will know more about Chicago, which will certainly create more favorable environment for the further increase of two-way tourism between us.
This year is also the China-US Year of Tourism as announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Obama during President Xi's visit to the US last September. I am sure what we are going to do in cultural exchanges between China and Chicago will also make contribution to fulfilling the purpose of the China-US Year of Tourism.
In closing, I wish everyone a happy and prosperous Year of the Monkey. Thank you.