LOS ANGELES – China’s Anhui Province has sent its deputy governor to the United States to promote cultural and tourism exchanges between China and the U.S., a move explained by observers here as an effort by China’s local government to promote people to people friendship at a time when U.S.-China relations see some positive signs.
Sun Yong, deputy provincial governor of Anhui Provincial Government, arrived in Los Angeles Friday, December 22 with a delegation to meet with Chinese Americans originated from Anhui Province.
At the welcome dinner, Sun did not speak in political cliché, but talked about “affection” – the affection for the hometown, for the family and for the people.
“I am here to meet with friends, old or new, and have exchanges with you. I sincerely invite you to come to Anhui, your hometown, for a visit whenever you have the opportunity,” said Mr. Sun.
Anhui Province is rich in cultural and tourism resources, with Yellow Mountain (Mt. Huangshan) as the world famous attraction, and many other attractions such as Jiuhua Mountain, Ancient Villages, Picturesque Xinan River, Tunxi Ancient Street, Huizhou Ancient City, etc.
Anhui Province’s rich cultural resources include Hui Opera, where the popular Beijing Opera is originated, Huangmei Opera, the unique Huizhou Architecture, and Anhui Cuisine.
However, during the Covid-19 pandemic years, tourism has been severely affected and at sometime, even totally stopped. Now domestic tourism has been recovered, but international tourists have not come back, or come back very slowly.
It is at this particular moment, Sun Yong led his delegation to the United States. He first visited Maryland, the first U.S. state to establish sisterly or friendly ties with Anhui Province in 1979, one of the earliest Chinese provinces that had ever done it.
On December 19, the delegation led by Sun Yong held the “Beautiful Anhui Engages with the World” 2023 Anhui Cultural and Tourism (Maryland) Promotion Event in the state of Maryland, aiming to promote cultural and tourism exchanges between China and the United States, deepen cooperation in relevant fields, and further enhance the reputation and recognition of Anhui’s cultural and tourism brand.
During the promotion event, officials from the delegation introduced Anhui’s geographical advantages, economic development, resource endowments, technological innovation, manufacturing industry development, historical and cultural heritage, and more.
Zhou Mingjie, Director of the Anhui Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, presented the Anhui cultural and tourism promotion.
While meeting Chinese Americans originated from Anhui in Los Angeles on Friday, Zhou also briefly introduced the historical and cultural heritage of Anhui and attractions from the province and welcome Americans to visit Anhui.
When learned that many international tourists are reluctant to go to China because they have difficulties in paying with their phones apps in China, hard to send and receive some emails, difficult to use their own social media apps, and there are no direct flights from the United States to Anhui, Zhou said his cultural and tourism department will try to address those issues.
He said to solve those problems, it takes coordinated efforts from the local government and the central government. He admitted that some issues are easy to be solved but others take more efforts.
The event was co-sponsored by the Anhui Friendship Association and Anhui Association of Southern California and coordinated by Tony Sun, President of Anhui Friendship Association.
Li Zhiqiang, Deputy Consul General in Los Angeles, was present to welcome the Anhui delegation. Also present was Sue Zhang, a well-known leader in the Chinese community in Los Angeles.