The Chinese Embassy in the United States opened to the public on Saturday, drawing thousands of visitors for a day of calligraphy, tea tasting, and traditional performances.

“The overall stability of China-U.S. relations over the past four decades has been a blessing to not only our two countries, but the whole world,” Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said at the welcome ceremony.

“And the essence of the 40-year story is amity between the people, which lays the foundation for and shapes the future of our relations,” he added.

Interactive displays inside the embassy included calligraphy, a tea ceremony, martial arts, and folk music and dance, among others. At the entrance area, scrumptious Chinese food was prepared, drawing long lines of those seeking a “bite of China.”

Jennifer Bibby-Gerth brought her 6-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son to the event. “Our daughter is from China, so I want her to gain a sense of Chinese culture,” she said. “I think they are both interested.”

The embassy also hosted an award ceremony for a story sharing competition, which invited Americans to present their contributions to the China-U.S. relationship by submitting their personal stories.

The open house event, themed “A Developing China,” also featured a photo exhibition of the 40-year diplomatic relations between China and the United States, and exhibitions detailing China-U.S. cooperation in technology and the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

The Chinese Embassy joined 52 international embassies in Washington D.C. that opened their doors to the public on Saturday, as part of the annual Around the World Embassy Tour, a signature event organised by Cultural Tourism DC.