On the evening of October 21, Beijing, for the first time, held its annual Reception in Honor of Foreign Diplomatic Missions to China in the administrative complex of Beijing's sub-center. The theme is “gathering in the administrative center, chasing dreams in the new era”. A fleet of 500 UAVs staged a spectacular light show over the Millennial Forest, lighting up the night sky with best wishes for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and for Beijing in the new era. Foreign envoys and representatives of international organizations from 120 countries gave warm applauses and high praises to the debut of Beijing's sub-center (administrative center).
This year's reception was at the highest level and attended by the largest number of foreign guests ever since its launch in 2003. Most foreign envoys who had been in China for years knew about the city's administrative center, but this was their first visit to it. In Wenchang Pavilion, the highest point of the landmark Millennial Forest, a series of photos told stories about the planning and construction of the administrative center. Looking north, the administrative complex is just across the lake; in the south, “Oriental Green Star”, the 10,000-mu green space, extends into the distance. Such a pleasant view is exactly what the couplet on Wenchang Pavilion describes: Swathes of lush green trees within my reach, a millennial dream in my heart.
Many foreign envoys took photos and chatted on the site, and praises were heard almost everywhere. Envoy Gabriele Gil-Feigl from the Austrian Embassy in Beijing, exclaimed in fluent Chinese, “Seeing is believing. The buildings at Beijing's administrative center are magnificent, the environment is pleasant and relaxing. Beijing's advanced concept of city governance is a good example for many other cities in the world.” Her view was echoed by William Klein, Minister Counselor at the US Embassy in Beijing, who added that Beijing's hospitality made him and his families feel at home during their three years living in the city; Beijing had been developing by leaps and bounds and the trip to the administrative center was amazing.
In addition to the vast green space, foreign envoys were deeply impressed by a high-tech light show. A fleet of 500 UAVs designed and manufactured by Beijing-based ZEROTECH formed various images and words in the night sky. “Welcome to Beijing”, logo of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Chinese characters for “I love you China”, an image of Beijing Daxing International Airport, mascots Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, and the Randeng (“burning lamp”) Pagoda of Tongzhou took shape one after another, and every one of them met an outburst of cheers. The light show culminated with a colorful presentation of the words “gathering in the administrative center, chasing dreams in the new era”.
Dance Legend of the Grand Canal
“The show is so high-tech, just like this city. I watched it without blinking. I was told long ago that it is better not to blink in Beijing because you may miss something new in the city any minute. That's so true,” said H.E. Baudelaire Ndong Ella, Ambassador of Gabon to China. Speaking of his work and life in Beijing, the ambassador had quite a lot to share, “the sky is getting bluer, the traffic is getting better, and life is more convenient. I feel extremely proud to work here. The CPC Beijing Municipal Committee and municipal government shall get full credit for the wonderful changes here.”
Children's chorus We Are All Dream Chasers
The children's chorus We Are All Dream Chasers brought the night show to an end. The memorable night left a great impression on all participants. H.E. Mr. Abdullah Saleh Al Saadi, Omani Ambassador to China, gave his wishes to Beijing on behalf of all foreign envoys. “We have no doubt that Beijing will have a bright, beautiful future. We have great expectations for Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games and many other important events to be held in the city. Wish Beijing greater achievements.”
The UAV show, which was hailed by Chinese and foreign guests as a visual feast, was presented by ZEROTECH, an innovative technology company in Haidian District. ZEROTECH has launched many UAV formation products, and its performing team has staged indoor and outdoor shows on many important occasions, including the CCTV Spring Festival Gala of 2017 and 2018, and the special program Grand Journey produced by CCTV in celebration of the convening of the 19th CPC National Congress. To date, the company has presented hundreds of UAV shows in more than 50 cities across the country, and set a Guinness world record in Dubai.
“You You”, the cute robot welcoming the foreign envoys before the reception is an intelligent robot developed by CANBOT. As the first human-like server robot in China, “You You” boasts technological breakthroughs in the fields of deep voice interaction, robotic vision, automatic positioning and navigation, movement control, robotic bionic simulation and modular design. The 22 moving parts on its body make the robot very agile, and its appearance also made it approachable and adorable. “You You” has participated in the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the float parade of Expo 2019 Beijing, and many other major events.
Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon, the mascots of the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who also welcomed the guests at the gate, were on the sports-themed float of the National Day parade not long ago. They are currently the only pair of physical mascots of the Games.
Tongzhou thrived because of the Grand Canal beside which lies the city's administrative center. The dance Legend of the Grand Canal is a major part of the visual feast on the night of the reception thanks to multimedia technologies and ingenious choreography. The black-awning boats used for the performance were a renovation based on regular tourist boats, and the hi-tech ice screens mounted to them can serve as both displays and transparent panels.
The children's chorus We Are All Dream Chasers was performed by 80 children from Angels Chorus. The little singers capered to the stage, sang for friendship and dream, and illustrated with their innocent voice the theme of the reception.
Presented by a team headed by famous director Wang Rongqi, the performance made full use of the surroundings and perfectly combined the setting with the content. The programs reflected the canal culture of Tongzhou with such elements as the UAV light show, boats, dance and chorus, and created a visionary and memorable artistic experience through the integration of history and modernity, culture and technology.