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China Day celebrated in Philadelphia

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-10-08 10:46

PHILADELPHIA, the United States, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- China Day was celebrated in Philadelphia, the largest city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania on Friday, highlighting the city's close bond with China.

Under the theme of "Friendship, Cooperation and Win-win," the day featured various cultural programs, including a traditional Chinese dance and a concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the first U.S. orchestra to make a China tour since the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

The event was co-sponsored by the Chinese Consulate General in New York, the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Chinese Consul General in New York Huang Ping said it is crucial that China and the United States work together to advance ties and deepen cooperation.

Extending congratulations on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, James F. Kenney, mayor of Philadelphia, recounted the city's lasting friendship with China at the event.

Having China Day being celebrated in Philadelphia, especially at the home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, well-known both in the United States and in China, is important to facilitate bilateral ties, Kenney told Xinhua.

"With what's going on in Washington D.C. and some of the difficulties that we're experiencing between the two countries, it is important that all of us maintain relationships," he said, adding that Philadelphia is expected to strengthen collaboration with China in education, culture and commerce.

Many others at the event shared views on the significance of a closer relationship between the two countries.

"When the United States and China work together, the world is a better place," said Al Taubenberger, a Philadelphia city councilman.

Calling the China Day celebration a landmark event, Mohan Seshadri, executive director of the Governor's Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs in Pennsylvania, told Xinhua that the activity could facilitate people-to-people understanding between the two countries.

Matias Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra, deemed it a special honor for his orchestra to co-host China Day.

"To be able to celebrate an important moment in the history of China in this special way with many friends from Philadelphia, from China and many other places as well is very significant for us," he told Xinhua.

The relationship between the Philadelphia Orchestra and audiences in China predates diplomatic relations and the orchestra would like to continue to build on those connections, Tarnopolsky added. The Philadelphia Orchestra made history with a pioneering trip to China in 1973.

The activity followed another China-themed celebration earlier this week in the city.

A flag-raising ceremony was held Tuesday morning at city hall to observe the 70th anniversary of the PRC founding that fell on Tuesday, and to salute the many contributions the Chinese American community have made to the city.

Philadelphia's relations with China dated back several decades when it established a sister city tie with the coastal city of Tianjin, becoming one of the first U.S. cities to initiate such a relationship with a Chinese city in December 1979 after the two countries established diplomatic ties the same year.

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