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Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan Welcome Foreign Leaders and Their Spouses and Guests Attending the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation

2019-04-27

On April 26, 2019, President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan held a banquet at the Great Hall of the People to welcome foreign leaders and their spouses as well as guests attending the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng and Wang Qishan were present.

Beijing in April was full of vibrant sceneries of spring. The Great Hall of the People was splendid and magnificent at night, and guests and friends were talking in a cheerful atmosphere. At around 19:35 p.m. Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan went to the reception hall on the second floor and shook hands with the foreign leaders and their spouses as well as exchanged greetings with them. Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan posed for photos with foreign leaders and their spouses before a large mural depicting the magnificent landscapes of China.

Inside the banquet hall were bright decorations and a houseful of distinguished guests. The veil curtain and scroll, painted with architectural monuments along the ancient Silk Road, stretched out like a ribbon on both sides of the hall.

Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan entered the banquet hall along with the distinguished guests in the melodious tune of welcome.

Xi Jinping delivered a speech and warmly welcome all guests on behalf of the Chinese government and people. Xi Jinping pointed out that in a season of hope, we have come together for the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Coming from all corners of the world to meet in Beijing, we have all the more reason to cherish the time we spend together.

Our gathering today helps revive the beautiful memories of our past interactions. Despite our geographical distance, we have become like-minded partners, thanks to our common pursuit of peace and development and shared aspiration for a better life for our people. No matter how the international situation evolves, our true friendship will endure and win-win cooperation will prevail.

Our gathering today gives us much food for thought. The charm of human civilization lies in its variety; the secret of human progress, in mutual learning. For millennia, the Silk Road had witnessed how countries achieved development and prosperity through commerce and enriched their cultures through exchanges. Facing the myriad challenges of today, we can draw wisdom from the history of the Silk Road, find strength in win-win cooperation in the present day and build partnerships across the globe to jointly usher in a brighter future where development is shared by all.

Our gathering today reminds us of the weight of responsibility on our shoulders. We are on the cusp of a new industrial revolution, which brings with it both opportunities and challenges. For world leaders, going backward is not an option. We can only forge ahead, rain or shine, in order to live up to the trust of our people and deliver on the promise for a better life. At a time of major changes rarely seen in a century, I hope we will all fulfill our mission and prove worthy of our time.

Xi Jinping stressed that in 2013, I put forth the initiative to jointly build a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. With the concerted efforts of many parties, we have developed a plan for advancing Belt and Road cooperation and reaped many benefits. As we did this, people from different countries have got to know each other better and forged close partnerships in cooperation. Belt and Road cooperation is still at an early stage. But either in good times or bad, either on a smooth road or a thorny path, we will uphold the spirit of partnership, keep in mind what brought us together, and march forward without hesitation. For we all believe that our people deserve a better future, and Belt and Road cooperation will make the world a better place.

The banquet was held in a festive atmosphere, and songs from countries participating in the roundtable summit were played. During the banquet, Xi Jinping held warm talks with leaders of all countries, and they extended their common wishes of the development and prosperity of all countries, the happiness and well-being of the people, the success of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and fruitful outcomes of the Belt and Road Initiative.

After the banquet, Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan watched an art performance themed with the boom of the Silk Road together with the guests.

The performance started with the dance Silk Road Blossoms. Dancers in gorgeous costumes whirled about elegant posture and movement, which shows an everlasting friendship developed through closer exchanges and better connectivity. The Duet of Mountain and Sea brings together Chinese folk songs and Italian operas, which envisions a future of deeper bonds between peoples and better connectivity among countries. In the ballet Dunhuang, through graceful posture and movement, dancers bring to life the graceful apsaras in the murals of the Dunhuang Caves, a world-famous cultural heritage on the ancient Silk Road. The violin music and chamber music Harvest Celebration, with its enthusiastic and cheerful melody, describes a jubilant scene of harvest celebration. The dance Samawar, originated from the dance accompanied by music from western regions of China, fully represents the features of the Silk Road. Dancers, dancing with teapots and tea bowls on their heads, to welcome distinguished guests from afar. In the children dance in Chinese opera, Spring Seedlings in the Garden of Opera, little performers impersonate various characters with considerable artistic skill, such as the Dao Ma Dan (young female warriors) and Wu Sheng (young male warriors). The song and dance Ride the Waves and Sing Together consists of songs from Egypt, the Philippines, Serbia, and Russia, reflects the harmonious coexistence of diverse cultures along the Belt and Road. The performance ended with the chorus A Journey Hand in Hand. The beautiful melody of the song expresses Chinese people’s best wishes for closer ties and cooperation between Belt and Road participating countries and pictures a even more beautiful future for the Belt and Road cooperation in the journey ahead.

Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Hu Chunhua, Huang Kunming, Cai Qi, Wang Yi, Xiao Jie, Zhao Kezhi, He Lifeng and others attended the above activities.

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