New Yorkers get taste of Chengdu food, opera - USA

The opening ceremony of the Chengdu Tourism Center (New York) kicked off at New Legend in Manhattan on Tuesday with Sichuan food and opera, detailed presentations of Chengdu's famous tourist attractions and its iconic pandas - providing a glimpse of the city from a variety of angles.

"Subnational, grassroots-level collaboration may prevail upon the leaders of China and the US to collaborate better than they have been, because the people of both counties are fascinated by each other's history and culture and want to get closer to each other," said David Paterson, former governor of New York, who attended the event.

Paterson said he has been to Chengdu twice, in 2013 and 2014, and "Chengdu is a fascinating city, it seems to have a spirit of culture, intellectualism, art, and the kind of sophisticated lifestyle you might see right here in Soho, Manhattan."

"Chengdu is becoming a national center city in China; national center city means you have to have international exposures," said Jeannie Yip, director of the experience center and president of CGGroup Management Consulting on Wall Street.

Yip said New York is the most international city, and Chengdu is also an immigrant city like New York. "There are many similarities the two cities share," she added.

"Chengdu is doing business with New York, especially through travel and tourism," Yip said.

She said she hoped the experience center helps New Yorkers learn more about Chengdu, not only just through pandas, but through food, culture, and the arts - and eventually get to know Chengdu by going there in person.

"We need more collaborations between the two cities; New York City is always an open environment that opens to people from different cultures and nations," said Fox News anchor Kelly Wright, who also attended the ceremony.

"Having this affiliation with Chengdu is extremely important because it goes to the core and the heart of how to build a better relationship between our two nations," Wright said.

"It's crucial to promote China at the subnational level because China is very big and diverse - each city has its own culture, history,and characteristics," said Huang He, a professor at Yeshiva University. "We should not only promote China as a whole - but also different cities - with their various features to Americans to provide them with a better understanding of Chinese culture."

Hosted by the Chengdu Tourism Bureau, Chengdu Culture and Tourism Group, Wall Street CG Group and New Legend restaurant, the event also featured a performance by Chinese opera master Liao Zuhua, who demonstrated a Sichuan Opera face-changing show.

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New Yorkers get taste of Chengdu food, opera - USA

(China Daily USA 12/06/2017 page2)