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Xi Jinping Tours the Ancient City of Bukhara

On the afternoon of June 21, 2016 local time, accompanied by Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan, President Xi Jinping toured the ancient historical and cultural city of Bukhara which is hailed as a "living fossil of Silk Road" during his state visit to Uzbekistan.

At around 5:00 pm, Xi Jinping and his wife Mme. Peng Liyuan arrived at the Ark fortress by car. The ancient castle stands upright on the highland as a symbol of the medieval civilization in Bukhara. The marvelous walls and gigantic arches of the castle manifest its solemnity and magnificence, witnessing the vicissitudes of this ancient city of Bukhara. The Ark fortress, once residence of Bukhara's ancient rulers, has now been turned into a city culture museum. The great hall of throne and hall rooms of the castle host a series of antiques and relics including the manual script of the Koran, art crafts, ancient coins, and old weaponry, which all witnessed the stretching history of Bukhara.

Afterwards, Xi Jinping and Mme. Peng Liyuan visited the Samanid Mausoleum located at the urban central park of Bukhara. Ancient architects showed their own ingenuity by using 22 different ways to pile up single colored bricks to build the unique rooftop and wall space of the mausoleum, which are regarded as a treasure of ancient architectural art in Central Asia.

Xi Jinping and his wife also paid a visit to the Poi Kalyan ensemble at the center of the historical part of the city. The grand architecture complex consists of Kalyan Minaret, Kalyan Mosque and Miri Arab Madrasah. Bukhara used to be an important city of the Islamic civilization in Central Asia.

Xi Jinping and Mme. Peng Liyuan walked into a carpet and silk workshop near the Poi Kalyan ensemble, in which female textile workers were making traditional Bukharan handmade carpet and weaving colorful patterns with adept skills.

During the visit, Xi Jinping asked detailed questions on the materials and techniques of the architecture as well as local customs and traditions, so as to better understand the history and culture of Bukhara. Xi Jinping pointed out that Bukhara is a shining pearl on the ancient Silk Road. The tour today gave me more profound understanding of the deep-rooted historical connections between China and Uzbekistan. Moreover, it is conducive to our inheritance of the Silk Road spirit, enhancing friendship between the two peoples, and jointly promoting the construction of the “Belt and Road”.

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others accompanied Xi Jinping during the visit.

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