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Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan Welcome Leaders and Representatives of Member Economies Attending APEC Informal Leaders' Meeting and Their Spouses

In the evening of November 10, 2014, President Xi Jinping and his wife Mme. Peng Liyuan held a banquet at the Beijing National Aquatics Center (Water Cube), welcoming leaders and representatives of the member economies attending the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Informal Leaders’ Meeting and their spouses. Relevant foreign leaders who attended the Dialogue on Strengthening Connectivity Partnership and their spouses were present at the banquet upon invitation.

At the time when autumn turns into winter, trees are tinged with yellow in Beijing. Both sides of the avenue of the Olympic center are decorated with lanterns and streamers shining like stars. The blue Water Cube, the red Bird’s Nest and the neon emblem of “APEC” enhance each other’s beauty, composing a colorful picture.

At 6:30 p.m., leaders and representatives of the APEC member economies and their spouses, and relevant foreign leaders who attended the Dialogue on Strengthening Connectivity Partnership and their spouses arrived successively. The motorcade went in turn through the rainbow gate built by lamplight, and the red carpet made by laser light stretched forward, leading the distinguished guests to the Water Cube. The welcoming people were singing and dancing, presenting a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan welcomed the distinguished guests at the entrance, shaking hands and exchanging greetings with each of them. Leaders and representatives of the APEC member economies signed their names on the sail of the “APEC Boat of the Future”. Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan took a group photo with leaders and representatives of the member economies and their spouses. They worn Chinese-style attires specially designed for this meeting, which combined traditional Chinese elements with modern flavor, to record this unforgettable moment in history. The blue water and waving colorful signs created a harmonious scene yet with their own distinctive beauty, revealing the expectation of doing supreme good as water and making concerted efforts to brave the waves.Xi Jinping, Peng Liyuan and the distinguished guests entered the banquet hall in the joyful tune of welcome. Here used to be the water events venue of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. After renovating and decorating, it is now a place makes one feel as if immersed in a poetic Chinese landscape painting, in which the softly hanging silk yarn, winding water and exquisite pavilions create a beautiful and fabulous scene.

Xi Jinping delivered a speech, extending a warm welcome to the distinguished guests on behalf of the Chinese government and people. Xi Jinping stressed that when greeting you at the entrance just now, I saw you all dressed in Chinese-style attires, which made us feel even closer. And the Chinese people will also feel warm about this, taking you as neighbors and friends who drop by to have genial talks.

Xi Jinping pointed out that the place where we are now at is called the Water Cube, across which lies the Bird’s Nest. With the former being square and the latter being round, they convey the philosophical concept of round heaven and square earth, and form a unity of balance between Yin and Yang. The reason why we chose the Water Cube to hold the banquet is that water bears an important symbolic meaning in the Chinese culture. The APEC members are linked together by the water of the Pacific Ocean, and we are responsible to make the Pacific Ocean truly become an ocean of peace, friendship and cooperation, and witness peace, development, prosperity and progress in the Asia-Pacific region.

Xi Jinping emphasized that this is a highly meaningful night. As we came here for the common mission of the long-term development of the Asia-Pacific region, we should take this opportunity to jointly outline a vision for Asia-Pacific’s long-term development and chart the course for future Asia-Pacific cooperation. Tomorrow, we will meet at the foot of the Yan Mountain and the bank of the Yanqi Lake to commence the leaders’ meeting. In such a place with mountain and water, all of us can contribute different points of view to jointly discuss the cause of Asia-Pacific development and jointly consider the vision for Asia-Pacific cooperation.

After the banquet, Xin Jinping, Peng Liyuan and the distinguished guests enjoyed the art performance. The performance began with the grand dance “Thriving Peonies in Prosperous Age”. The a cappella style “Youth Dance Music” by over 400 people conveyed mankind’s permanent pursuit of youth. The “Flying Carps” comprising dance, long ribbon performance and Tai Chi told the legend of diligent carps finally being incarnated into dragons. The ballad “Blue Flowers” expressed the longing and love for homeland of people who travel far away from home. The ballet “Heavenly Fragrance” brought the audience into an exquisite state where bamboos cast their shadow in the moonlight. The “Banners and Drumbeats High in Cloud” depicted the grand sight of banners glittering in the sunlight and drums thundering above the heaven. The tune of the male and female duet “Nessun dorma” lingered in the hall for a long time. The “Blossoms of Chinese Opera” exhibited the charm and brilliance of the unique skills in Chinese opera. The dance “Thousand-hand Guanyin” performed by the handicapped showed grandeur and sanctity, and won prolonged applause. The song and dance “Brave the Waves Together Towards Future” concluded the art performance.

Xi Jinping, Peng Liyuan and the distinguished guests then went to the square outside the east gate of the Water Cube to watch the fireworks show. The giant screen set in the Bird’s Nest alternately showed the gorgeous and beautiful scene of the boundless sky, deep ocean and fertile land. In the square, 640 drummers simultaneously beat the Ansai Waist Drum, Luochuan Jumping Drum and awe-inspiring gong and drum. The gorgeous fireworks soared and bloomed in the night sky, showing different features of spring, summer, autumn and winter. The perfect combination of fireworks in the sky, drumbeats on the ground and sceneries on the screen presented a unique auditory and visual feast. The “APEC Boat of the Future” set sail from here, braving the waves and heading towards a better future of Asia-Pacific.

Ma Kai, Wang Huning, Liu Yandong, Wang Yang, Meng Jianzhu, Li Zhanshu, Guo Jinlong, Yang Jing, Chang Wanquan, Yang Jiechi, Guo Shengkun, Wang Yong and others were present at the above activities.

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