Even if only for a few hours, tensions between the U.S. and China were replaced by a celebration of culture at the 31st annual Washington Chinese Cultural Festival in Washington, D.C., over the weekend.
About the event: This year’s festival took place near Capitol Hill on Pennsylvania Avenue NW from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Organized by the Greater Washington Chinese American Community, the event attracted nearly 10,000 people and featured a diversity of artistic performances, cultural displays, interactive experiences and Chinese cuisine offered at
Attendees were treated to song and dance numbers, theatrical performances, martial arts displays, tea ceremonies, calligraphy and instrument demonstrations, among other activities. Food, culture and travel products were also sold at some of the more than 40 booths present.
Why this matters: The festival sought to promote an understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture. Additionally, it provided an opportunity to improve ties between Washington and Beijing, which have soured in recent years.
“It kinda makes you forget that there’s any tension between the two countries,” attendee Jesse Solano told CGTN. “It makes you feel that the American people and the Chinese people have no problem living together.”
What China is saying: Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Xie Feng spoke at the event. In his speech, he urged both China and the U.S. to have open minds and appreciate the beauty in each other’s culture as a means to improve bilateral relations.
“Differences between civilizations should not be the cause of conflict, but should be the impetus for progress…Let’s open our mind, appreciate the beauty in each other’s culture, break down barriers, and strengthen cultural ties, so that we will understand each other better and grow our friendship, and bring more positive energy into China-U.S. relations,” Xie said.