Wuxi blossoms culturally and economically
A pavilion stands in the Sino-Japanese Cherry Blossom Friendship Forest at Yuantouzhu. [Photo by Gao Yuepeng/For China Daily]
Wuxi city in Jiangsu province becomes a popular destination for flower lovers each spring as the 30,000 cherry trees at the Yuantouzhu (Turtle Head Isle) Scenic Area blossom, producing a panorama of delicate splendor.
Planted with around 100 different varieties of cherries and covering an area of 650,000 square meters, the scenic area in Binhu district allows visitors to enjoy the transient beauty of cherry blossoms over the course of a month.
Cherry trees have been cultivated in Yuantouzhu since 1933. From the 1980s onward, some 30,000 trees were planted with the help of thousands of Japanese volunteers, creating the Sino-Japanese Cherry Blossom Friendship Forest.
Since Thursday, Wuxi has been celebrating its annual International Cherry Blossom Week as well as its 2022 International Month, opportunities not just to admire cherry blossoms, but also to promote friendship with foreign countries.
"People from Wuxi and Japan planted the Sino-Japanese Cherry Blossom Friendship Forest together 35 years ago. After years of careful cultivation, it has become famous for cherry blossom viewing," Jiang Jiang, vice-president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, said at the opening ceremony of the two annual events.
"Meanwhile, Wuxi has turned the events into a grand festival for people from around the world to enjoy cherry blossoms, enhance communication and develop together by introducing elements of economics, trade, culture and tourism."
Visitors can also enjoy cherry blossoms at the scenic area in the evening. [Photo by Lu Jianhua/For China Daily]
Zhao Jianjun, mayor of Wuxi, said: "It's not easy to hold the Wuxi International Cherry Blossom Week and the International Month during the pandemic, which is making travel difficult. But as a series of cooperative platforms and projects, it shows our sincere hope to overcome these difficulties and develop together with other countries."
Over the next month, there will be a series of activities, including a cooperative forum for Wuxi and its member sister cities in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a China-EU sustainable development financial cooperation conference and an international talent recruitment fair.
Foreign envoys, business leaders of multinational companies and nongovernmental groups have been invited to take part. Due to pandemic control measures, the activities will be held online.
With a GDP in excess of 1.4 trillion yuan ($220 billion) last year, Wuxi tops all other Chinese cities in terms of per capita GDP, which stands at $29,000.
Wuxi currently has economic and trade relations with 224 countries and regions. Its companies have invested in 92 countries and regions.
Last year, it became the second city in Jiangsu to boast an import and export volume in excess of $100 billion, according to the local government.
Visitors admire cherry blossoms at the Yuantouzhu Scenic Area in Wuxi city, Jiangsu province, this month. [Photo for China Daily]
In January, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with six visiting Middle Eastern foreign ministers in Wuxi and the same month, together with Emmanuel Bonne, diplomatic counselor to French President Emmanuel Macron, Wang co-chaired the 22nd China-France Strategic Dialogue.
"As it always has, Wuxi will continue to deepen opening-up and work toward creating a better environment," Zhao said.
"We will participate more actively in international competitions and cooperation and promote international exchange in fields such as economy, trade, education and health.
"We'll work hard to turn Wuxi into one of the best cities for foreign investment and create better conditions for foreigners to invest and live here."
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