NEW YORK, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- With small national flags of China and the United States wavering, dragon and lion dances attracting passers-by, and rhythmic thud of drumbeats spreading a festive ambience, New York City's Foley Square was packed with Chinese Americans celebrating the first China Day in the New York State on Tuesday.
The New York State Senate in June passed a resolution recognizing Oct. 1 -- the date of China's National Day -- as the China Day, in a bid to strengthen the friendship between the state and Chinese Americans. The first week of this October is also designated as the Chinese American Heritage Week in the state.
"I think the resolution indicates that the New York State government has been very confident in the development of China-U.S. relations," Chinese Consul General in New York Huang Ping told Xinhua at the event.
"Meanwhile, it was also a high recognition of the contributions the Chinese-American community and the Chinese community have made to the building of the American nation and China-U.S. friendship," he stressed.
With the two countries' national flags raised, representatives from local Chinese-American groups and New York State Senate kicked off the event with speeches that hailed the friendship between people of the two countries.
"Today's celebration shows Chinese Americans' standing in the U.S. and the recognition from the U.S. mainstream society," said Chen Weiping, a senior member of the Gee How Oak Tin Association which was founded in 1910 by a group of Chinese Americans to preserve and protect the Chinese culture and traditions.
The milestone event also suggested that Chinese Americans are overcoming controversies against them and comforted the first generation of the Chinese immigrants to the United States, Chen noted.
As a Chinese American, John Liu, a New York State Senator representing a broad area of northeast Queens, said that the celebration showed the kind of influence the Chinese-American community has on the country.
"We as Chinese Americans, of course, want to see a much closer relationship between China and the United States," Liu said in his speech, adding that the passing of the China Day resolution sent a strong signal across the state about "the wonderful, long-standing friendship between these two countries."
"All people who know the history of China and know the incredible contribution of the Chinese people should be celebrating today," said James Sanders Jr., state senator representing the 10th senatorial district in southeast Queens.
"I believe that we need to add some more voices for peace and prosperity (of the two countries). And I want to be one of them," Sanders told Xinhua.
The celebration featured a series of singing and dancing performances that highlighted traditional Chinese culture, such as a show of Hanfu, a traditional clothing of the Han ethnic group dating back to over 2,000 years ago.
Cheng Shuang, a Chinese-American performer of the Hanfu show, told Xinhua that the performers wanted to promote China's ancient dressing culture of the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-220 A.D.) in a modern and fashionable way, so as to make more communication with the broader world and seek more understanding.
Additionally, Huang expressed his confidence in the future of U.S.-China relationship, saying it has become a mainstream opinion at the state that the friendship between Chinese and U.S. people has enhanced the stability of bilateral ties.
"All the voices I heard are in favor of a friendly China-U.S. relation ... People know that healthy, stable and long-lasting China-U.S. ties will not only bring them real benefits, but also (be) very critical to world peace and stability," Huang said.