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China-U.S. Cultural Exchanges, Tourism Cooperation See Rapid Recovery: Chinese Diplomat

China-U.S. cultural exchanges and tourism cooperation have seen rapid recovery and development this year, Chinese Consul General in New York Huang Ping said Friday.

Huang made the remarks during the Evening of Chinese Culture event held Friday in New York’s Citi Field baseball park.

“Since the beginning of this year, we are pleased to see the recovery and growth of the global tourism industry … China-U.S. cultural exchanges and tourism cooperation have also seen rapid recovery and development,” Huang said at a ceremony marking the start of the 14th annual event.

On Tuesday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo met with Chinese Minister of Culture and Tourism Hu Heping in Beijing. Both sides agreed that people-to-people ties play a very important role in bilateral relations.

China and the United States have agreed to hold the 14th China-U.S. Tourism Leadership Summit in the first half of 2024 in China to further revive and develop bilateral tourism cooperation.

Huang noted that both China and the United States are rich in cultural and tourism resources, both are the most important tourism markets in the world, and before the pandemic, China and the United States were important tourist destinations for each other.

“The relationship between countries lies in the mutual affinity between the people, and the friendship between the people lies in the mutual understanding of the hearts. Is there any better way to promote mutual understanding and trust than travelling? I sincerely hope and believe that more and more tourists from the United States and all over the world will visit China and experience a journey of discovery beyond imagination,” Huang said.

“An Evening of Chinese Culture,” beginning since 2012, has become “an important platform” for feasting fans and audience in Eastern Coast of different ethnicities to experience the fusion of Eastern and Western cultures, he said.

After the ceremony, Huang walked onto the field to throw a ceremonial first pitch during a baseball game between the New York Mets and Seattle Mariners.

China’s new tourism brand — Nihao!China, launched recently by the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism, was also unveiled at the ceremony.

The logo features a chubby cartoon panda, the colorful letters of “Nihao China” and a traditional Chinese seal of Nihao Zhongguo in Chinese characters.

Last month, China announced the resumption of group tours to dozens of more overseas destinations, including Japan, Britain, the United States and Australia, a further boost to outbound traveling demand.