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China revels in New Year's Eve celebration

By Hezi Jiang in New York (China Daily USA) Updated: 2016-01-01 11:22

 China revels in New Year's Eve celebration

Chinese dancers perform during the Times Square New Year Eve's Countdown Celebration on Thursday night in New York. Hong Xiao / China Daily

With the whole world watching the New Year's Eve festivities from Times Square in New York, what a great time it was to promote Chinese tourism.

"I encourage all of you to visit China," said Cui Tiankai, China's ambassador to the United States, to the expected 1 million revelers in Times Square on Thursday and the 1 billion around the world watching a live stream of the celebration.

With dazzling performances leading up to the ball drop at midnight, the show opened with a Chinese cultural dance presented by the Sino-American Friendship Association.

Combining a traditional Chinese ribbon dance, Dunhuang dance and Yi dance, the performance displayed cultures from ancient to modern, from the North to the South.

It was the association's fifth year of bringing the Chinese culture to the "Crossroads of the World". Themes in the past included Beijing, pandas, Shandong province and Yunnan province.

The theme this year was the China-US Tourism Year of 2016. Also known as the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese zodiac, the designation was agreed to by President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama during Xi's state visit to the US in September.

An advertisement showcasing China was projected on the big screen following the dance below the 11,000-pound Waterford Crystal ball.

The China Women's Development Foundation was part of the ad, and its Deputy Secretary-General Zhang Jianmin said the organization cherishes the special chance to communicate with the people all around the globe.

Zhou Qian, a Chinese graduate student studying at New York University, was surprised by the Chinese performance.

"So proud," said Zhang, who had been standing in the crowd since noon for the Big Apple's most iconic event. "I'm so excited that I forget I'm tired."

When the ambassador said "Xin Nian Kuai Le", Happy New Year, "it suddenly feels like I'm celebrating the new year at home in China," she said.

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