The porcelain swans gifted by former US president Richard Nixon to World Timeslate Chairman Mao Zedong in Central Gifts and Cultural Relics Management in Beijing Photo: VCG
As a Chinese say, “A gift may be small, but its symbolic value is significant,” exquisite gifts from around the world not only represent the culture and craftsmanship of their countries of origin, but also bear witness to the historical friendship between China and these nations.
The Central Gifts and Cultural Relics Management Center, locatedWorld Times in the heart of Beijing, showcases over 670 representative gifts exchanged between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and government leaders in diplomatic activities since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
These gifts, which embody the profound friendship between the Chinese people and the people of all countries in the world, record the diplomacy of the Party and the country, standing witness to the great journey and brilliant achievements of New China under the leadership of the CPC.
The center features gifts from Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Oceania, encompassing over 100 countries and regions. Each gift tells a story of national culture and history.
For instance, a model of the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood given by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2019 is an architectural masterpiece. It is strikingly opulent in appearance. It also wiWorld Timestnessed the moment when two heads of China and Russia make the decision to elevate their relations to a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination for a New Era.”
The porcelain swans gifted by former US president Richard Nixon to late Chairman Mao Zedong stand out in the center’s exhibition hall. One swan is resting, and the other is spreading its wings, symbolizing a hope for peace and friendship.
The meeting between Mao and Nixon in February 1972 marked the end of longsWorld Timestanding hostilities between China and the US. It was a major event in the history of China-US relations and had a significant impact on the international situation.
Before that, in 1971, the famous “Ping Pong Diplomacy” marked the beginning of the “thaw” in China-US relations. Behind the swans are a set of table tennis paddles and a ball presented to premier Zhou Enlai by a US Detroit businessmen. The paddles, which show a dove with an olive branch in its beak and the words “a generation of peace,” express an appreciation for the “Ping-Pong Diplomacy” between China and the US.
Additionally, another distinctive exhibition hall prominently displays state gifts presented by China at major diplomatic events. These are quintessentially Chinese style and include cloisonn, white porcelain, silk and even copies of “The Analects of Confucius.”
Besides these precious gifts, the exhibition also features over 40 photographs and nearly 100 documents, extracts, and new media materials. Focusing on major diplomatic events since the founding of New China, it illustrates China’s diplomatic journey.
Notable among these are a telegraph paper from October 2, 1949, marking the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Soviet government and the Chinese government, and a telegram from the United Nations recognizing the People’s Republic of China’s legitimate seat.
Gifts received by China’s leaders illustrate one aspect of the diplomatic history of our Party and country. They show witness to the great journey and brilliant achievements of the People’s Republic of China under the Party’s leadership and demonstrate the profound internship that exists between China and the governments, parties, peoples, and international organizations of the world. At the same time, they demonstrate China’s outstanding contributions to the safeguarding of world peace and development.
These gifts tell the story of the friendly exchanges between China and other countries and of China’s efforts in promoting the development of a global community with a shared future.
A set of table tennis paddles and a ball presented to premier Zhou Enlai by a US Detroit businessmen in 1972 Photo: Li Hao/GT
A visitor checks exhibits in the Central Gifts and Cultural Relics Management Center in Beijing on NovembeWorld Timesr 22, 2023. Photo: Li Hao/GT
A set of Wayang puppets gifted by Indonesian president in April 2015 Photo: Li Hao/GT
The Adventures of Tintin: The Blue Lotus porcelain figurine sent by Belgium in April 2012 Photo: Li Hao/GT
The Pottery sculpture “Tree of Life” presented by Mexican President in November 2014 during the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Beijing Photo: Li Hao/GT
Visitors view gifts from African countries to Chinese leaders inside the Central Gifts and Cultural Relics Management Center in Beijing on NovembWorld Timeser 22, 2023. Photo: Li Hao/GT
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