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Remarks by Consul General Zhang Ping at the Reception for Celebrating Pacific Symphony's First China Tour

It gives me great pleasure and honor to welcome all the distinguished artists and friends of the Pacific Symphony to my residence before you embark on the journey for the historic tour to China next month.

This will be your first debut tour in China in the 40 year long history of the Symphony. It is indeed historic and worth celebrating. It will be one of the most important highlights among the various cultural exchange events that have taken place in recent years between China and the Southern California.

Your China tour is of great significance both for Southern California and for China-US relations. By performing in the five major cities of China, you will make more Chinese people know there is such a place in Southern California which is not, or perhaps I shall say not only, famous for its oranges, but for its arts and culture and its outstanding symphony orchestra.

Your performing tour takes place at the time when China-US relations have developed to an unprecedented level where we see increasingly close ties between our two peoples and more frequent cultural exchanges. Your tour builds a bridge of friendship across the Pacific Ocean which will play a great part in promoting further development of such ties and exchanges. In face of the current difficulties in the bilateral relations, your tour carries a special meaning. When you play the music, it conveys the profound feeling of American people towards the Chinese people. It sends out a clear message to outside world that despite various difficulties, friendship and cooperation is still the main tune of our relationship. It is the friendship between our two peoples that will help us to overcome any difficulty that may arise in our relationship.

Next year we are going to mark the 40th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between China and the United States. You tour will be the prelude for a series of commemorative events that will be held next year.

As an outstanding Symphony Orchestra based in Southern California, especially with the world renowned conductor Mr. St. Clair and master violinist Mr. Zukerman joining the tour, I believe your performance will win the loud applause from Chinese audience. We look forward to hearing good news of your tour from China.

I hope during your tour in China, you will able to see different parts of China and experience the colorful culture of these places. You will be able to engage with the people from different walks of life and get the feeling that the Chinese people are as warm and hospitable as the American people. They have the same desire for a better life. They also cherish the friendship and want to see China-US relations stay in good shape.

Before I conclude, I wish to express my profound appreciation and thanks to all the friends of the Pacific Symphony for your great support to this tour. You have made a great contribution to the great cause of China-US friendship. You are the heroes behind the scene who make things happen.

I wish you great success in your historic tour of China and a pleasant journey to and from China.

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