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Chinese culture once again lights up New York Times Square on New Year's Eve

On the evening of December 31, 2018, New York, the annual New York Times Square New Year celebrations were warmly opened in cheers from live audiences around the world. Chinese culture once again illuminates New York, showing the unique natural and cultural heritage and tourism resources from Chongqing, the "land of mountains and rivers" to more than one million people on the scene, and sending the New Year greetings and blessings from China to the world through television and webcast. Ambassador Huang Ping, Consul General of China in New York, Wang Dingguo, Deputy Director of Chongqing Municipal Culture and Tourism Committee, Gu Yaming, Member of the New York City Council, Tim Tompkins, Chairman of the Times Square Alliance, Zhang Jinping, President of the Sino-American Friendship Association, Zhang Aiping, wife of Consul General Huang Ping, and Qian Jin, Deputy Consul General, Li Liyan, Cultural Counsellor, and Fan Xiuyun, deputy director of the China Tourism Office in New York, attended the celebrations that night.

Consul General Huang Ping said in his speech: China is opening a broader embrace to the world. We welcome people to travel to China, experience the ancient Chinese civilization, and make more Chinese friends in the globalization era! He also blessed everyone a "Happy New Year" in both Chinese and English. Deputy Director Wang Dingguo warmly welcomed friends from all over the world to Chongqing for sightseeing and experience the wonderful charm of the city of landscapes in his speech.

At 18 o'clock that night, the New Year's Countdown celebrations kicked off in a live Chinese cultural performance. The Chongqing Tongliang Dragon Dance, which was listed by the State Council as the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage masterpieces, was once again on the main stage after the debut of the countdown opening ceremony last year. Artists from Chongqing danced with dynamic performances accompanied by the songs such as "The Shipman's Son", "The Legend of the Dragon" and "Chinese Style". They were flying and jumping in the rain, rolling and circling, showing the image of the Yangtze River's fierce torrent which is very artistic. These traditional dances with Chinese elements highlight China's unique artistic charm and cultural heritage while demonstrating the Chinese people's expectations for the new year. The first electric smart car manufactured by Chongqing Xiaokang Group also made its debut on New York Times Square, allowing the world to not only appreciate China's traditional culture but also witnessed the achievements of China's scientific and technological progress in the past 40 years of reform and opening up.


Consul General Huang Ping was interviewed by Chinese and foreign media after the ceremony. He said that in the New Year, China will promote reform and opening up with a more positive attitude, better shoulder its due responsibilities, safeguard world peace, and promote mutual development. We welcome more friends from all over the world to visit China, experience China's traditions and culture, and feel the excitement and beauty of China.

The whole year's New Year's activities were carried out in cold winds and drizzle, but the audience's enthusiasm did not diminish. Many people enter the square in the afternoon and stand in the wind and rain for nearly 10 hours, waiting for the arrival of the New Year. Many people surrounded the red scarf with the words "Chongqing: The Beautiful Land of the City of Mountains and Waters", which was particularly festive. Chinese elements can be seen everywhere, and people from time to time shouted "Happy New Year!" in Chinese.

The New York Times Square Crystal Ball Countdown Celebration has been in operation since 1904 and has been held for 111 sessions. It is understood that since 2011, Chinese elements have entered the New York Times Square countdown celebration for the eighth time this year. Jeff Strauss, president of the New Year Countdown Entertainment Company, said that the reason why the Chinese dragon dance performance was chosen as the opening of the celebration was that of the desire to present the culture of the world on this stage. The New Year's Eve celebration is a global event, and we hope that through this year's "harmony" theme, people from all over the world will unite and express their expectations for the New Year.

On the afternoon of the same day, the Chongqing Municipal Culture and Tourism Committee also held a tourism promotion conference in New York to introduce Chongqing's rich cultural tourism resources. Huang Ping attended the promotion meeting and witnessed the awarding ceremony of "Chongqing Cultural Tourism New York Promotion Center".

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