Remarks by Chargé d’ Affaires Xu Xueyuan for the 2023 Chinese Embassy Open House Presenting Yunnan Province
Remarks by Chargé d’ Affaires Xu Xueyuan for the 2023 Chinese Embassy Open House Presenting Yunnan Province

Dear Guests,

Washington D.C. offers the best of spring time in May. In this lovely season, I warmly welcome you to the Chinese Embassy. Our open house this year is themed “Yunnan — A Many-Splendored Life”. Today, we proudly present to you this southwestern Chinese province. We are honored to have with us a big delegation from Yunnan, led by Vice Governor Wang Hao and consists of the artists from the province. We hope to introduce to American friends a panorama of Yunnan.  

So, why Yunnan? Let me try to answer with 4 words that all begin with the letter D. I think they can capture the best features of Yunnan and epitomize today’s China and the Chinese modernization.

First, diversity. China has 56 ethnic groups, 25 of them live in Yunnan province. They each have their own customs and culture, but they are united as the seeds of a pomegranate. The same is true for the whole country: harmony without sameness, beauty out of diversity. 

Second, development. Yunnan is a gateway for the opening-up of southwestern China. In recent years, together with other provinces, Yunnan has won the battle against abject poverty, and is now focusing on high-quality development. It has come a long way in economic and social progress. The local people of all ethnic groups are now striving for a better life of common prosperity.

Third, decarbonization. Yunnan has excelled in pursuing growth while protecting the environment. The blue waters and green mountains have won Yunnan the reputation: “a kingdom of fauna and flora”. Its success exemplifies China’s consistent efforts to uphold harmony between man and nature. In 2022, Yunnan’s provincial capital, Kunming, hosted the 15th meeting of the conference of the parties to the Convention on Biodiversity. Last summer, a herd of elephants in Yunnan became a real hit on the global internet, as they wandered several months before returning to their natural habitat.

Fourth, dynamism. Yunnan has both the hustle and bustle of modern cities like Kunming, and verdant landscape in scenic attractions such as Xishangbanna. In cities and countryside alike, people lead a vibrant and dynamic life, and they look forward to an even brighter future.

Like all Chinese people, people in Yunnan are welcoming and hospitable. As we Chinese often say, “isn’t it a great pleasure to have friends coming from afar?” We welcome American friends from all walks of life to travel, study, work and recreate in Yunnan. We encourage you to have a first-hand experience of this place, and share the story to many others. 

Yunnan has a special place in China-U.S. relations. The Flying Tigers Museum in Kunming houses many proofs of Chinese and American pilots and civilians fighting shoulder to shoulder against fascism and pioneering the Hump Route.

Mr. Brian Linden, an American from Chicago, has settled down in Dali, Yunnan for 20 years. Dedicated to the preservation of ancient architecture and promoting ethnic cultures in Yunnan, Brian is affectionately called by the locals “village chief Lin”.

Dr. John Flower and Mrs. Flower have led the rebuilding of folk houses in the Cizhong village of Yunnan to West Virginia. The architecture project has offered to Americans, especially the younger generation, a glimpse to the traditional Chinese culture.    

Last November, when President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden met in Bali, an important common understanding was to expand people-to-people ties. Between our two countries, there are 284 pairs of friendship provinces/cities. If we draw these relationships on the map, the lines will form a close network. They are the lifelines of sub-national and people-to-people ties between our two countries. They provide the fresh blood and oxygen to keep the overall relationship sound and healthy.

People-to-people exchange forms the social basis for China-U.S. relationship to grow. When our peoples are brought closer, it is easier to bridge differences, understand each other’s values and interact in a sound manner. People in Yunnan are leading a many-splendored life. People in China are striving for the Chinese modernization. Along the way, we will continue to expand opening-up, promote mutually-beneficial cooperation and share with all others the opportunities for development.

I hope you all enjoy today’s 4D experience about Yunnan and about China. And I wish all of you a most enjoyable, memorable and unforgettable experience of the embassy tour.

Thank you.

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