I was invited by my friends at The Embassy of China to attend the annual reception for the Lunar New Year. This year was the Year of the Pig!
The ground floor had a photo exhibition which commemorated 40 years of US/China relations, starting with when President Nixon visited China and the two countries started becoming friendlier to each other.
After I walked in, I met Ambassador Stuart Holliday, who was the US Ambassador to the UN under President Bush. He was the second Ambassador to the UN that I met this year! (See Meeting The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley ). He was really nice and gave me his card and told me to contact him if I ever had any questions about becoming a diplomat. (I already did this!) He also gave me the advice to never be photographed holding a drink, even if it only contained juice. I took his advice and put down my cranberry juice!
Downstairs, there were tables set up to show different Chinese crafts and some special New Year’s crafts.
I got to see some old friends! The woman who helped run the 2018 Chinese Bridge Speech Contest at University of Maryland was at one of the tables, showing a needlepoint craft. It was great to see her again and she recognized me right away!
I also got to see two of the reporters who covered the The Confucius Institute US Center’s People To People National Awards Gala last year were covering this event too, and recognized me right away! It was nice to see them both and they told me about a new contest the Embassy was running, called “My China Album” to share photos of working with people in China. I already entered 🙂
Then came the national anthems of both countries and the speeches. The honored guests lined up:
And Ambassador Cui gave a speech about relations between the US and China.
After the speeches, there was some great entertainment. My favorite was the magician, who was incredible! She made umbrellas appear from nowhere and open with a snap!
There were also folk musicians, dancers and martial artists there to entertain. And last but not least, there was an endless supply of food!
It was a great evening and I’m glad I went all the way to Washington to see it!