Inviting Central Asian First Ladies to Yisushe Theater, Peng Liyuan Demonstrates China’s Commitment to Cultural Exchanges
Peng Liyuan, the esteemed wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, extended a warm invitation on Friday morning to the first ladies of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The purpose of this gracious invitation was to showcase the rich cultural heritage of China at the historic Yisushe Theater, located in the enchanting city of Xi’an, nestled in the northwest province of Shaanxi. The visit took place in the context of the China-Central Asia Summit, which recently concluded, further highlighting the significance of cultural diplomacy in fostering mutual understanding and friendship among nations.
Exploring the Qinqiang Opera Art Museum: A Glimpse into the Rich Tapestry of Chinese Folk Opera
Accompanied by Aigul Japarova, the wife of Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, and Ziroatkhon Mirziyoyeva, the wife of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Peng Liyuan embarked on a captivating journey through the Qinqiang opera art museum housed within the cultural enclave of Yisushe Theater. Within its hallowed halls, the distinguished guests were treated to an up-close encounter with exquisite artifacts related to the vibrant world of Chinese folk opera. The first stop was a mesmerizing mural depicting musicians from the Tang Dynasty, when Qinqiang performances witnessed harmonious collaborations between local artists and those from the Western Regions.
Embracing the Artistic Traditions: Shadow Puppets and Conversations with Veteran Artists
Immersing themselves in the realm of Chinese folk art, Peng Liyuan and the esteemed guests partook in the craft of making shadow puppets at an exhibition hall. Engaging with experienced artists and gaining insights into the intricacies of this cherished art form, they were captivated by the intricate beauty and storytelling prowess of shadow puppetry. These exchanges not only celebrated the artistry but also fostered a deeper appreciation for the rich cultural tapestry that both China and Central Asia share.
A Cultural Extravaganza: Witnessing a Classical Qinqiang Performance
The highlight of their visit to the Yisushe Theater was a captivating classical Qinqiang performance. The distinguished guests were treated to an enchanting showcase of this Chinese folk opera genre, which traces its origins back to the Western Zhou Dynasty over two millennia ago. Qinqiang Opera, added to China’s intangible heritage list in 2006, intertwines elements of singing, dancing, martial arts, and acrobatics, enchanting audiences with its age-old tales and folklore. The performance served as a testament to the enduring cultural traditions shared between China and Central Asia.
Strengthening Cultural Exchanges: A Commitment for the Future
During the visit, Peng Liyuan emphasized China’s unwavering commitment to strengthening cultural exchanges and cooperation with Central Asian countries. Recognizing the Silk Road as a historical conduit connecting the cultures of Central Asia and China, Aigul Japarova and Ziroatkhon Mirziyoyeva expressed their hopes for further deepening people-to-people exchanges and mutual learning. The bonds forged through long-lasting cultural exchanges have yielded fruitful results over the past three decades, encompassing education, culture, health, tourism, and sub-national exchange. These ties have fostered a multi-faceted framework of collaboration between China and Central Asian nations.
Educational Empowerment: Confucius Institutes and Growing Student Exchange Programs
A testament to the deepening educational ties between China and Central Asia, Peng Liyuan highlighted the establishment of 13 Confucius Institutes and 24 Confucius Classrooms in Central Asia since 2004. These learning institutions have become thriving hubs for over 18,000 students, fostering cultural understanding and language proficiency. In recent years, the number of Central Asian students studying in China has experienced exponential growth, with China emerging as a preferred destination for higher education. The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated this trend, showcasing the resilience of educational partnerships.
Xi Jinping’s Call for Civilizational Dialogue and Cultural Cooperation
President Xi Jinping, in his keynote speech at the China-Central Asia Summit, emphasized the importance of strengthening dialogue between civilizations. He extended an invitation to Central Asian countries to participate in the “Cultural Silk Road” program, promoting mutual understanding and exchanges. Additionally, President Xi highlighted plans to establish more traditional medicine centers in Central Asia, underlining China’s commitment to holistic healthcare practices. The establishment of cultural centers, the provision of government scholarships, and support for universities to join the University Alliance of the Silk Road were also emphasized, further underscoring China’s dedication to cultural cooperation.
Expanding Cultural Horizons: Year of Culture and Arts and Tourism Initiatives
President Xi Jinping’s vision for cultural cooperation and exchange extends beyond educational initiatives. The Year of Culture and Arts for the Peoples of China and Central Asian Countries aims to celebrate the richness of artistic expression and further enhance cultural ties. The high-level media dialogue between China and Central Asia will foster closer collaboration in the realm of media and information exchange. Furthermore, the China-Central Asia Cultural and Tourism Capital program seeks to leverage the unique cultural heritage of the region, promoting tourism and facilitating special train services for cultural exploration in Central Asia.
Conclusion: A Harmonious Melody of Cultural Diplomacy Unites China and Central Asia
The visit of Peng Liyuan, accompanied by the first ladies of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, to the Yisushe Theater in Xi’an showcased the enduring bonds between China and Central Asia. Through engaging with the vibrant world of Qinqiang Opera and fostering dialogues between artists and enthusiasts, cultural diplomacy served as a powerful catalyst for understanding and friendship. As China and Central Asia continue to deepen their cultural exchanges, the rich tapestry of shared heritage will flourish, paving the way for a future of mutual enrichment and cooperation.
David Brobst is a journalist who reports on news and current events. He has extensive experience covering a wide range of topics, including politics, business, and technology. Brobst is known for his thorough research and in-depth analysis of complex issues. He is a skilled interviewer and storyteller, and his work is highly respected in the industry.
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