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Remarks by Consul General Zhang Ping at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Second Phase Construction of the Huntington Chinese Garden

It gives me great pleasure to attend this Groundbreaking ceremony of the second phase construction of the Huntington Chinese Garden---Garden of Flowing Fragrance to celebrate with the friends of the Huntington Library this auspicious moment which marks another important milestone in the course of Huntington Library’s development as well as its cultural engagement and collaboration with China.

Five months ago, when my wife and I first visited the Huntington Chinese Garden, we were quite amazed by the fact in Southern California, which is tens of thousand miles away from China, there is such a wonderful Chinese garden with its exquisite architectural style and beautiful landscape bearing the vivid resemblance of the Humble Administrator’s Garden in Suzhou, the place that my family originated from and the place that I take great pride of its rich cultural heritage. Wandering in this garden and seeing those familiar scenes: the houses, pavilions, corridors, stone bridges, winding foot paths, lakeside rocks, rippling ponds, the changing views from window to window, aroused my nostalgic sentiments and those childhood memories of my numerous visits to the various gardens in Suzhou.

Suzhou garden art represents the traditional Chinese aesthetics in architecture. It reflects the understanding of our ancestors on the relationship between man and nature, which emphasizes on harmony, peace and tranquility. It also embodies the aspiration of the Chinese people toward the outside world.

The philosophy and ideas behind the Chinese garden art still remain relevant to the current international circumstances. While we strive for harmony between man and nature, we should not forget that harmony between different countries and different cultures is of vital importance to the peace of the world. To achieve this, to learn and appreciate the values and ideas of different cultures is the right way to start with.

The Huntington Chinese garden is not merely an attractive duplicate of a classic Suzhou garden. It is also a good example of mutual learning and mutual respect between different cultures. The Huntington Chinese garden not only provides a tourist spot for people to enjoy the beauty of a foreign garden, but also an experience to appreciate the beauty of cultural inclusiveness and diversity.

China and the US are two great nations. We have much to learn from and share with each other. The Huntington Chinese garden is a masterpiece of China-US collaboration based on the spirit of mutual learning and sharing. The success of the first phase construction has already made the garden an icon of China-US cultural exchange and played a significant role in promoting friendship and understanding between our two peoples. I believe with the completion of the second phase construction, the garden will present the Chinese garden art and culture more in its entirety to the American people, providing a bigger platform for the people-to-people exchange between China and the United States.

I appreciate the long term commitment and efforts by the Huntington Library in promoting cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Chinese and American people. It is our sincere hope that with the concerted efforts, the second phase construction will proceed smoothly and the new garden will open to the public at an early date. I wish you all the success.

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