From “Spring Festival in Xi’an” to “Fascinating Xi’an”: Xi’an Highlights Cultural IP
Published:2018-03-23
 

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On February 12, a view of Bell Tower of Xi’an in bright light show, from high above of an unmanned aerial vehicle.

Shaanxi Opera, yummy foods, colored lanterns, temple fairs, folk customs, intangible heritages…Xi’an, a city full of traditional flavors of Chinese New Year is so impressive that “visitors are reluctant to leave and want to come again”.

The campaign “Spring Festival in Xi’an, Most Cultural and Traditional” at the beginning of 2018 went viral in all social media of China, making the cultural tour of “Great Xi’an” in the Chinese New Year very popular, with some 30 sessions of traditional festive programs gaining more than 180 million followers online, and over 10 million visitors from home and abroad received within some 20 days, and the city becoming the fourth hottest destination in China during the holiday of Chinese New Year.

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On March 21, another important activity, the spring trip to Xi’an themed on “Blooming China - Fascinating Xi’an” was initiated, having the city, an ancient capital of a thousand years history, engaged in the efforts to remodel its cultural intellectual property and to start a new era of cultural tourism based on cultural confidence.

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The newly decorated embrasured watchtower at the Xi’an City Wall Lantern Show for Spring Festival. On the evening of February 8, the 2018 Xi’an city wall lantern show for Spring Festival was opened at the Ming Dynasty city wall of Xi’an, Shaanxi. Tens of thousands of red lanterns featuring “fish-turned dragon”, “flowers and birds”, “dreams and flying”, etc, made the ancient capital city resplendent and magnificent.

Openness, inclusiveness and self-confidence—Great Xi’an represents DNA of Chinese cultures

Performance of drums and gongs, lion dance, Shehuo folk performance, prayer for blessing, lantern show, riddle guessing game, float parade, light show of unmanned aerial vehicles, digital 3D with naked eyes…

“Science and technology and fashion” and “ancient capital and ancient rhythm” were interwoven, offering the experience of “time-travel”, across all the scenic spots of the city including Great Tang All Day Mall, City Wall, Daming Palace, Huaqing Hot Spring, Louguantai Taoist Garden…in the minds of residents and visitors, Xi’an was brimming with the traditional “cultural flavors of Chinese New Year”.

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On February 26, at the temple fair held at Small Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi’an, tourists from Argentina (first left and second left) experience Chinese New Year with works of sugar painting in hand. That day marks the 11the day of the first month on Chinese lunar calendar or the near end of Chinese New Year, but the number of visitors to Xi’an remains to be high. At the grand temple fair for ushering blessing, a number of artistic performance such as Shehuo folk performance, intangible heritage show, Shaanxi Opera performance are held, attracting a lot of residents and visitors.

“We have never seen wonderful celebration activities like those on the Chinese New Year’s eve and day, which look like a Disneyland of China, with so much drum-beatings, lion dances and dragon dances on the dreamlike stage with grand spectacle,” commented Mary and her husband Kevin from Kansas, the US on the Chinese New Year festival in Great Xi’an.

They also wrote a letter to Wang Yongkang, Secretary of Communist Party of China Xi’an Municipal Committee or top leader of Xi’an, extolling their unforgettable experience in Xi’an, focusing on the campaign “Spring Festival in Xi’an, Most Cultural and Traditional”.

“The whole scenario is very mind blowing and it is really an audio-visual feast. It is really a dream to see a show combining ancient civilization and modern hard technology in this ancient capital city of Xi’an. Especially the incorporation of high technology in the show has made the Chinese New Year in the city more fashionable, more fascinating and more internationalized. My friends in Shanghai said to me it was amazing after seeing the video. I have been very proud to be a native of Xi’an and now I am more proud to say, if you want to have a tour, come to Xi’an! And it is worth everything!” said Guo Yang, a native of Xi’an now working in Shanghai.

“The rapid development and huge changes of Xi’an in recent years really stun me. The activity of New Year of Xi’an in Great Tang All Day Mall is very traditional and infectious. My fellow traveler who is from Hangzhou said, compared with the mild and tender nature of Hangzhou, the new year in Xi’an is more lively, more wonderful, and more people-centered and we will spend Chinese New Year here in Xi’an next time,” said a lady surnamed Wang from Chengdu, Sichuan Province, who traveled with her family to Xi’an for the Chinese New Year.

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The pit of Terra Cotta Warriors located in Lintong District, Xi’an City of Shaanxi Province. The pit of Terra Cotta Warriors was discovered in 1974 and is honored “the eighth wonder in the world” and “one of the greatest discoveries of archaeological history in the 20th century”.

According to statistics, during the long vacation of Chinese New Year, Xi’an City totally received 12.6949 million visitors/times, a rise of 66.56% year on year, generating tourism income of 10.315 billion yuan, a growth of 137.08% over the same period, ranking No. 4 of the tourist cities in China with income of over 10 billion yuan.

Xi’an was also voted by netizens as “the hottest tourist destination in 2018 Chinese New Year”, “the city with best night view in China” and “the city with richest feast and best tradition in Chinese New Year”. In Billboard of Public Reputation of China Travel and Report on Trips of Spring Festival of Year of Dog, or the ranking and reports concerning tourism jointly prepared by some China’s well-known and popular tourist websites including ctrip.com, qunar.com, and lvmama.com, Xi’an overtook Chengdu and Hangzhou to rank No. 3 out of the ten best destinations in China and to rank No. 4 out of the ten best destinations for long trip in China.

“As an ancient capital city with a history of a thousand years, Xi’an is one of the root cities of the Chinese civilization. We must comprehensively raise the cultural confidence and promote the cultural prosperity. Xi’an will deeply excavate the heyday cultures of Han and Tang Dynasties and implement cultural restoration projects to wake up the common memory of Chinese people and to build one of landmarks of the common spiritual home of the Chinese nation,” said Wang Yongkang, Secretary of Communist Party of Xi’an Municipal Committee in an interview on Xi’an promoting the building of Silk Road cultural highland and “powerful cultural city”.

The end of Spring Festival or the holiday of Chinese New Year does not stop the pace of Xi’an City for building the “powerful cultural city” and pursuing the DNA of the Chinese cultures. When the spring arrives, after the event of “Spring Festival in Xi’an, Most Cultural and Traditional”, the “Blooming China Fascinating Xi’an” spring trip was launched on March 21, which is themed on “viewing spring, visiting spring, collecting spring, playing spring, seeing spring, tasting spring, exploring spring and missing spring” and covers 28 major programs, some 100 featured events, some 200 spring trip destinations. Upholding the “Four Confidences”, the Great Xi’an has comprehensively initiated the new era of cultural tourism.

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Foreign visitors have cycle pleasure ride on the ancient city wall in Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province. The existing City Wall in Xi’an was built in Ming Dynasty, some 600 years from now. 

Science and technology, innovation, talents—“return of peacock” Great Xi’an represents attraction

“Hard technology changes the world and leads the future”. On November 7 last year, some 1,000 experts, scholars, entrepreneurs from home and abroad attended the “Global Hard and Core Technology Conference 2017” that is fashionable and frontier. A variety of frontier elements of hard technology made their presence in Xi’an, such as artificial intelligence, space technology, biotechnology, optoelectronic chip, new materials, new energy, intelligent manufacturing, etc.

“My comparison of the history of Silicon Valley in the US and that of Xi’an finds that Xi’an is not short of the factors that are key to the rising of Silicon Valley and even has some advantages over it. I am convinced that with the development of hard technology in Xi’an, the city will be likely to become the next Silicon Valley,” said Mi Lei, the initiator of the concept of hard technology, associate research fellow of Xi'an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences and co-founder of Casstar, an incubator for startup companies.

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On November 7, 2017, a technician demonstrates the operation of human body 3D imager. On the same day, the Global Hard and Core Technology Conference 2017 is held in Xi’an of Shaanxi, which conducts 16 forums and programs focusing on artificial intelligence, space technology, biotechnology, optoelectronic chip, new materials, new energy and intelligent manufacturing.

As the headstream of the concept of hard technology, Xi’an has developed the Eighth Route Army (or eight major industries of hard technology covering space technology, optoelectronic chip, new energy, new materials, information technology, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence, and intelligent manufacturing) which has positive momentum and huge potential for development. Xi’an will make the development of hard technology industries the concrete action and important steps for carrying out the national strategy of “Made in China 2025” and strive to build itself into a model city of “Made in China 2025”. “Xi’an will be built into the global capital of hard technology!” said Wang Yongkang, Secretary of Communist Party of Xi’an Municipal Committee at the hard technology conference.

“Where there are phoenix trees phoenix will surely come.” All resources of innovation and entrepreneurship from home and abroad will come to Xi’an with high speed, and all vitality of innovation and entrepreneurship from home and abroad will be released in Xi’an with high speed and the capital of innovation and entrepreneurship of the “Belt and Road Initiative” will be created in Xi’an.

An administrative ecosystem with minimum red tape, highest efficiency and best investment environment will be built where the reform of “deregulation, management, service” will be deepened, the formality streamlined, and the “last kilometer” of implementing policies stressed, with a view to making Xi’an the “paradise” for development of enterprises and the “fortune land” for dream fulfillment of entrepreneurs.

Xi’an nowadays ushers in a most favorable environment for itself, which sees that within the half short year Xi’an has become a hot spot for global investments: Hainan Airlines, JD.com, Geely Group, top firms of express delivery service and other businesses chose to settle in Xi’an; the total value of projects signed at the 2017 Silk Road International Exposition reached over 1100 billion yuan; Overseas Chinese Town Group signed a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement with Xi’an Municipal Government with a total amount of 238 billion yuan…

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On March 7, police officers of Yudou Road Police Station and Household Registration Administrative Brigade of Gaoxin Sub-office of Xi’an Municipal Public Security Bureau visited colleges based in Xi’an for publicizing the latest administrative policy on household registration, which aims to stimulate college graduates to work in Xi’an, and for guiding them using the smart phone application “handy household registration” for completing relevant formalities. In early 2018, Xi’an Municipal Government launched the “5-year action plan for employment of one million college graduates in Xi’an” which strives to fulfill the goal of “retaining 5 million college graduates in 5 years”.  

Financial aid of 1 to 5 million yuan granted to individual startup companies, discount of 20% in purchasing housing, reduction and exemption of income tax, employment of spouse in Xi’an, optional settlement in Xi’an…all of which were the “most favorable policies in history” for attracting talents issued by Xi’an authorities, providing a specialized coordination, upgraded management and in-depth optimization of the talent incentive policies in terms of employment and entrepreneurship of high-level talents and commercialization of research achievements.

Xi’an authorities also held special on-campus job fairs and talent attraction promotion conferences in prestigious colleges of China such as Tsinghua University, Peking University, Renmin University of China for introducing high-level talents to Xi’an by publicizing new incentive policies of talents offered by Xi’an authorities. Important employers in Xi’an were also organized by Xi’an authorities to hold 70 sessions of targeted recruitment programs in 30 other prestigious colleges based in 20 cities in China.

For obtaining good human resources, Xi’an has tried its “utmost” by offering the most favorable policies for permanent resident status in China. According to statistics, a total of 250,000 people were accepted by granting permanent resident status in Xi’an, with 140,000 people were granted the favorable treatment during March to December, 110,000 of which were favored in accordance with education background, accounting for 80.64% of the total. In February 2018, Xi’an issued the 2.0 version of household registration policy, with conditions eased and formalities further streamlined, which led to immigration of 85,544 people from outside Xi’an, including 2,885 graduates with Master degree or above, 27,331 undergraduates and 2,140 talents.

A series of incentive policies featuring “knowing talents, caring talents, utilizing talents, accommodating talents, gathering talents” have highlighted the “sincerity of Xi’an”. Since 2017, the unprecedentedly favorable policies of Xi’an and the improved service system that covers the entire process have attracted a large number of talents to Xi’an, making the city ranking the fourth place in terms of net talent inflow and a “highland of talents” in China.

As the starting point of the ancient Silk Road that gathered a large number of camel trade caravans, Xi’an used to be the hub and bridge connecting the East and the West and was left a deep branding of Tang Dynasty, one of the golden eras in the history of China. As time goes on, Xi’an today is gathering the great “magnetic power” as charming as the capital city of Tang Dynasty, to present a new Xi’an that is innovative, inclusive and open to the world.

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On December 6, 2017, the high-speed railway between Xi’an and Chengdu was put into operation. The train departing from the north station of Xi’an passes the super long span bridge on the Xi’an-Chengdu railway.

Streamlined administration, power delegation, close relations between government and business—Xi’an is building the best “business environment”

The first day of work after the Chinese New Year holiday, Yan Ming found on the desk in his office a letter marking “Best Wishes from Great Xi’an”, with the signatures of Wang Yongkang, Secretary of Communist Party of China Xi’an Municipal Committee and Shangguan Jiqing, Mayor of Xi’an.

“Since my business career in 1987, I have been used to the underprivileged status of businessmen in the relations between government and business, but this is the first time I have received greetings from top authorities of the city and I was in a mixed feeling seeing that,” said Yan Ming, a Shaanxi-based member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference national committee.

“Since 2017, I have strongly felt the great changes taking place in the business environment of Xi’an. The revolution of administrative efficiency carried out by Xi’an has provided strong support to the privately-run businesses as a whole. Previously, we met with various difficulties and obstacles when going through administrative formalities with government agencies, even simple matters like rebuilding projects of shanty town were very time-consuming,” said Shi Guilu, Chairman of Rongmin Holding Group of Shaanxi, “but now the working efficiency of government agencies is very high. The formalities of our projects in Weiyang District and Lianhu District were directly handled by the heads of the two districts at our company, with deadlines set to the departments concerned for delivering good services. The visiting services of government for enterprises deeply move me.” 

On August 19, 2017, well known Chinese business leaders Jack Ma, Liu Chuanzhi, Guo Guangchang, etc. gathered at the 1st World Xi’an Entrepreneurs Convention that was held in Xi’an, drawing the world attention to the “new starting point” of the Silk Road Economic Belt. The spirit of Xi’an entrepreneurs in new era featuring “integrity and industry, enlightenment and openness, innovation and excellence” has been carried forward.

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On August 20, 2017, on the site of “Roundtable Dialogue of Zhejiang Business and Xi’an” of the 1st World Xi’an Entrepreneurs Convention, Jack Ma of Alibaba Group, also Chairman of Zhejiang General Chamber of Commerce, called on all members of the chamber to make investments in Great Xi’an.

“Xi’an is endeavoring to create an excellent business environment with comprehensive reforms carried out. With confidence in the development of Xi’an, we will take active part in the building of the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ and intensify our investments in Xi’an and the high-technology, internationalization of Xi’an,” said Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba Group in the speech he made at the 1st World Xi’an Entrepreneurs Convention.

From “cigarette end revolution”, “toilet revolution”, to “administrative efficiency revolution”, Xi’an began its pragmatic works with the “small matters” that are closely associated with the sense of happiness of the people and launched a great revolution of the development mode of the city.

No cigarette ends on the ground, more “technological” public toilets, “maximum one errand” for government formality…with such measures taken, Xi’an, an ancient cultural city with thousand-year-long history of capitals, is now advancing toward the goal of “an international metropolis”, bringing along with the momentum of Qinling Mountains and breaking through the limit of “city wall mentality”.

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This is the “third restroom” in the Great Wild Goose Pagoda scenic spot. In the city center of Xi’an, near the Bell Tower with 600-year-long history, a former dilapidated public toilet received visitors with a new look on the completion of the rehabilitation work. In order to raise the city image and civilization level, Xi’an will build 1,135 detached public toilets in the city center, and raise and upgrade all the some 2,000 existing public toilets, to address the bad quality and inadequacy of public toilets.

On July 18, Xi’an signed strategic cooperation agreement with Geely Holding Group, which will make investments in Xi’an Economic and Technological Development Zone on whole industrial chain projects of Geely new energy automobile, including manufacture of vehicles, production of spare parts, supporting logistics, etc.

“It takes only two short months to finalize the settlement of the project of Geely new energy auto in Xi’an Economic and Technological Development Zone since preliminary communications, which breaks the fastest record of negotiation for vehicle project in China and even in the world.” The introduction of this project has won the city the praise of the world peers for the “Xi’an Efficiency”.

On January 30, “Tencent Innovation and Entrepreneurship Town”, which is led by China’s information technology giant Tencent, based on the incubation system for innovation and entrepreneurship and intended to attract and gather the best high growth projects, was officially settled in the Chanba Ecological Zone of Xi’an. Pony Ma, Chairman and CEO of Tencent Company said, “We will integrate our efforts with advantageous industries of Xi’an to seek win-win development and make our contributions to the development of Great Xi’an.

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The permanent venue of Euro-Asia Economic Forum seen from a flying unmanned aerial vehicle. A new urban water system is being formed covering Guangyun Pool in Chanba, Qujiang Pool in Tang Town, Doumen Reservoir of Fenghe River, Hancheng Lake in Weiyang. Focused on the strategic development of “expediting the building of ecological civilization” and “five in one”, and following the strategic planning based on the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Xi’an upholds a flexible approach of water system governance, gradually restoring the famous scene “Eight Waters Surrounding Chang’an” in ancient times.

“The changes taking place in the past two years are very impressive, which reflect the driving force and executive power for rapid growth. We will work with Shaanxi Province and Xi’an City to build ‘China’s Memphis’,” said Zhang Weiliang, Chairman and CEO of HNA Modern Logistics.

With six advantages in resources of culture and history, military industry, technology talents, colleges, geographical location, transport hub, and a variety of good opportunities such as the “Belt and Road Initiative”, the building of international metropolis and the national central city, Xi’an has become a hot spot for attracting investments from home and abroad.

“There is a great show in Xi’an and only with joint force can good shows be performed one after another.” The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Xi’an in 2017 reached 746.985 billion yuan, moving up 5 places in the national ranking.

“Faced with stiff competition from peers, we do not have spare energy to shout empty slogans, or spare time to make arguments, or even to consider how to pass the buck. With mission and responsibility laid on our shoulders, what we can do is to make up our minds and unite as one to work hard and fast!” said Wang Yongkang, Secretary of Communist Party of China Xi’an Municipal Committee.

[Source:www.huaxia.com]