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Xi Jinping Welcomes Foreign Leaders Attending the SCO Qingdao Summit

On June 9, 2018, President Xi Jinping hosted a banquet at the Qingdao International Conference Center to welcome the foreign leaders who attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Qingdao Summit.

Qingdao in June is exuberant with green mountains and the beautiful sea. Located on the shore of the Yellow Sea, the Qingdao International Conference Center is beautifully lit in rich colors, constituting a colorful and splendid picture matched by the city night show on the opposite of the bay.

At about 7:10 p.m., leaders from the SCO member states and observer states and heads of the international organizations attending the SCO Qingdao Summit arrived successively. The motorcade went along the Binhai Avenue in an orderly manner. The distinguished guests walked along the lit red carpet towards the banquet hall with the national flags of various countries and the flags of the international organizations projected on the main gate. Along both sides of the red carpet, ebullient Qingdao teenagers welcomed guests and friends from all over the world, waving national flags, ball-flowers and glow sticks, and dancing merrily.

Xi Jinping posed for a group photo with foreign leaders in front of the large traditional Chinese realistic painting called Flowers Blooming in the Prosperous Age.

Inside the banquet hall were bright decorations and a houseful of distinguished guests. Xi Jinping and the distinguished guests jointly entered the banquet hall in the melodious tune of welcome.

On behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, Xi Jinping delivered a speech to extend his warm welcome to state leaders and heads of international organizations. Xi Jinping pointed out that Shandong is the home of Confucius and birth place of Confucianism. The Confucian concept of unity and harmony has much in common with the “Shanghai Spirit”. Under the guidance of the “Shanghai Spirit”, the SCO has not only delivered fruitful outcomes in cooperation fields including security, economy and people-to-people and cultural engagement, but also made historic strides in institution building. At present, the SCO has become a major force in maintaining regional security, promoting common development and improving global governance.

Xi Jinping emphasized that Qingdao is a famous “sailing capital”. It is from here that many ships set sail in pursuit of dreams. Tomorrow, we will hold the first SCO Summit here after the membership expansion of the SCO to draw up a comprehensive blue print for the future development of the SCO. The Qingdao Summit is a new starting point for us. Together, let us hoist the sail of the “Shanghai Spirit” and jointly launch the new journey for the development of the SCO.

The banquet proceeded in a relaxing and harmonious atmosphere. Xi Jinping had warm talks with various foreign leaders and they extended their joint wishes to the development and prosperity of the countries in this region, the happiness and well-being of the people, the better future of the SCO, and the success of the Qingdao Summit.

After the banquet, Xi Jinping, together with the distinguished guests, went to the sightseeing platform outside the banquet hall where they enjoyed the light and firework show called A Warm Welcome to Friends from Afar set on sea above the Fushan Bay.

The show consisted of several chapters including A Moonlit Night, The Charm of Shandong, Nation of Peace and Prosperity, Toward a Better Future, and the Community of a Shared Future. The evening party began with the display of the scenic photos of the capitals of the SCO member states and observer states. The melodious traditional Chinese classic music and the beautiful dance performed by young girls in clothes with luminous long sleeves created a wonderful atmosphere where “the bright moon shines over the sea, from far away we share this moment together”. Kites in various shapes led the changes of the scenes where tourist attractions and traditional culture of Shandong were displayed one after another, highlighting the long-lasting history and magnificent mountains and rivers in the land of Shandong. The video of China’s beautiful mountains and rivers and the Chinese people living and working in peace and contentment demonstrated the humanistic feelings of a prosperous China. The smiles of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups on the circular screen expounded that the Chinese people are striving to pursue happiness. In the starry sky, astronauts explored the secrets of the outer space through space trips, showcasing humans' beautiful wishes to build a future together through technological innovation. Accompanied by the inspiring music, colorful fireworks were let off, shining in the night sky of the city, while peace doves were flying on the circular screen. The firework show was themed on the four seasons. The green “spring” depicted the exuberant scene; the fiery red “summer” highlighted the splendid colors of flowers; the golden “autumn” conveyed the happiness of a good harvest; the snow-white “winter” brought the special coolness to the coast in summer. The evening party ended with the beautiful melody of the Nation of Peace and Prosperity.

Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Wang Yi, Zhao Kezhi, He Lifeng and others attended the above activities.

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