The Opening Ceremony of the Tang Xianzu Theatre Festival was held in Fuzhou, Jiangxi province on Saturday, with a Grand Parade as well as various performances.

The festival is co-hosted by the Jiangxi Provincial People’s Government, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), and the China Theatre Association, and it is co-organised by the Fuzhou Municipal People’s Government, the Jiangxi Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, the Jiangxi Provincial Office of Foreign Affairs, and the Jiangxi Provincial Theatre Association.

Li Bin, Vice Chairperson of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), attended the ceremony and delivered a keynote speech. She said that famous Chinese dramatist Tang Xianzu and his masterpiece “Four Dreams of Linchuan” have impressed the Chinese people and shown the unique charm of Chinese drama to the world for more than 400 years.

Li added that the Tang Xianzu Theatre Festival has attracted many drama artists both in China and foreign countries with an open and inclusive attitude. She said she hopes that by gathering together, guests from home and abroad can form a cross-temporal dialogue, spread the beauty of Eastern and Western civilisations, and promote mutual learning between Chinese and foreign cultures.

Li also said that, over the past 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese nation has exerted strong cultural creativity, harvested fruitful cultural achievements, and composed a rich and colourful chapter in world civilisation. She said that China will continue to uphold the principle of equality and respect, and carry forward in-depth cultural exchange between China and the world.

She expressed her hope that the theatre festival will continue to promote cultural exchange and mutual learning between China and foreign countries, and enhance the friendly connections between the Chinese people and the people of other countries.

Yao Zengke, Chairman of the CPPCC Jiangxi Provincial Committee, gave a warm welcome to domestic and foreign guests on behalf of the Jiangxi Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the provincial government.

He said he hopes that the theatre festival can promote in-depth cultural exchange and development among people of different nationalities and regions. He added that, by taking the initiative to build the Belt & Road, Jiangxi will push forward deeper cooperation in a wider range of fields, such as economy, trade, education, culture, and tourism.

Lin Yi, Vice President of the CPAFFC, Wang Xiaoying, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Theatre Association, Xiao Yi, Vice Chairman of the CPPCC Jiangxi Provincial Committee and secretary of the CPC Fuzhou Municipal Committee, Teshome Toga, Ethiopia’s Ambassador to China, and other guests also delivered a speech.

Since 2016, Fuzhou has held a series of activities annually to commemorate Tang Xianzu, which has promoted not only traditional Chinese culture, but also cultural exchange and mutual learning between China and foreign countries.

This year’s festival will last through November, featuring an array of activities such as the Tang Xianzu International Symposium, performances of classical Chinese and foreign drama, and the Sino-British Cultural Tourism Week.