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Memorable moments cement China-US ties

(China Daily) Updated: 2017-11-10 07:43

High notes, warm welcomes and tasty dishes greet US president

Editor's note: China continued its "state visit-plus" reception for US President Donald Trump on Thursday, with special arrangements at a number of official events in Beijing. China Daily brings you a detailed account of the events and exchanges between President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart.

Bells chime for friendship

A special performance of chimes, known in Chinese as bianzhong, was arranged for US President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday.

Melodies greeted President Xi Jinping and Trump as they walked in the Great Hall of the People to the venue of their talks, following the welcoming ceremony outside the hall.

The ancient musical instruments, which first appeared around 3,000 years ago, were displayed at the Great Hall to display the rich traditions and long history of Chinese culture to the high-level US guests.

The artists performed music specially composed for the event by the president of China Conservatory of Music.

The bells of bianzhong, cast in bronze, are oval and of different sizes arranged to the order of the pitch. They are hung on a large wooden frame.

The bells are struck with a wooden mallet or a long stick to produce the tones.

International welcome

A group of Chinese elementary school students is usually invited to take part in welcoming ceremonies hosted by President Xi for foreign leaders on state visits to China, at the square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People.

Thursday's ceremony reflected the special arrangements being made for Trump's visit, with 10 US schoolchildren joining their Chinese counterparts next to the military band greeting Xi and Trump.

As the two leaders walked by, they stepped up to the children and greeted them.

The music played by the People's Liberation Army Band included special arrangements for the visiting top US leader.

After Xi and Trump examined the PLA honor guard, the band played the US march The Stars and Stripes Forever, composed by John Philip Sousa. It is the national march of the United States.

A tie to celebrate ties

The US presidential couple wore carefully prepared outfits at the welcoming ceremony on Thursday morning, with Trump sporting a red tie, a point that was quickly noticed by the Chinese media.

Many reports said the tie was "China red", as the color is traditionally regarded as auspicious in China

Melania Trump, the US first lady, wore a long black and white dress with floral motifs.

The US leader has several times expressed his appreciation for China's great hospitality on his state visit to the country.

He pledged to work even harder to strengthen US ties with China when addressing journalists alongside President Xi on Thursday.

"Melania and I are honored to visit your country, with its ancient history, dynamic people and thriving culture," Trump said.

He also expressed appreciation to Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, for the tour the visiting couple received on Wednesday of "the very majestic Forbidden City", also known as the Palace Museum.

"In the coming months and years, I look forward to building an even stronger relationship between our two countries - China and the United States of America - and even closer friendships and relationships between the people of our two countries," Trump told reporters.

Fine cuisine

Delicate Chinese cuisine and popular Western dishes made a great mix for the menu at the State Banquet at the Great Hall of the People on Thursday evening.

Among the five hot dishes served, Kung Pao Chicken caught the eyes of the guests as the Chinese dish is also popular in Chinese restaurants in the United States.

Coconut-flavored chicken soup showed the evolving side of Chinese food, while stewed beef steak in tomato sauce and seafood chowder expressed elements of Western cuisine.

As the banquet started, all the guests had their attention caught by a video aired on the giant LED screens at the front.

The new video, of about six minutes and 30 seconds, collected moments of the three key interactions between Xi and Trump - in April at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida; in July in Hamburg, Germany; and the Trumps' visit to Beijing starting on Wednesday.

Trump's granddaughter Arabella Kushner appeared twice in the video, speaking in fluent Chinese at Mar-a-Lago and in a recent video message sent to Xi.

Footage from the two first ladies' visiting a local elementary school in Beijing earlier on Thursday was also included.

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 Memorable moments cement China-US ties

President Xi Jinping holds a welcoming ceremony for visiting US President Donald Trump at the square outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday.Wu Zhiyi / China Daily

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