SAN FRANCISCO, June 13 (Xinhua) -- China's Nanjing City on Wednesday launched activities at the Union Square here to showcase the city's abundant tourism resources including intangible cultural heritage.
Two iconic installations of Zhonghua Gate (Gate of China), a preserved 14th-century section of the massive ancient wall that contained the city's southern entrance, and Jiqing Gate, another symbolic part of the City Wall, were erected at the square to allow visitors to delve into the legacy of the city as an ancient capital of six dynasties in Chinese history dating back to as early as 220 AD.
The two gates were unveiled at the opening ceremony of the "Light of Integration" exhibition to inaugurate the Nanjing Tourism Week.
Speaking on the occasion, Chinese Deputy Consul General Zhang Jianxin said that Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, is a diversified, inclusive international city that has maintained close connections with San Francisco.
Over the past 100 years, particularly in the recent 40 years after China and the United States forged diplomatic relations, Jiangsu Province and California have established a sisterhood relationship and engaged in extensive exchanges in the cultural, economic, trade and technological sectors, thus making significant contributions to subnational communication between China and the United States, he said.
Zhang noted that the current China-U.S. relations are experiencing some difficulties as a result of the U.S. government's blatant act to slap steep tariffs on hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars' worth of Chinese exports, but local-level exchanges such as the "Light of Integration" event will help boost mutual understanding between Chinese and American people.
Alex Foard, director of business development - Hangzhou and Nanjing of the Bay Area Council, said the event will make it more accessible for people in San Francisco who have little knowledge about China to connect with Chinese people.
"Nanjing is a beautiful city. It's definitely a great partner for our region and offers a lot of resources for complimentary industries here... it's kind of an underutilized resource for the Silicon Valley area," Foard said.
"The exhibition is a very good representation of what Nanjing is and I think this is a good start and there is a lot of work ahead to build a practicable, amicable relationship between San Francisco, the larger bay area and Nanjing," he said.
At the opening ceremony, two artists from Nanjing performed an episode of the Kunqu opera "Peach Blossom Fan." Kunqu, one of the oldest forms of Chinese operas, was listed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2001.
The Nanjing Tourism Week, which runs through June 14 in San Francisco, will feature a lot of other signature tourism resources of the city, including the Nanjing Bell, which was made in Nanjing and won a Gold Medal at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in this American city.
Nanjing's renowned Qinhuai Lantern, which was selected as the Chinese National Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2006, was also put on display to showcase the craftsmanship of silk binding, paper cutting, paper hanging and embroidery of the Nanjing people.