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Consul General TONG Xiaoling Invites Canadian Friends to Visit China

(From Chinese Consulate General in Vancouver)

2018-01-12 08:19

Cultural and People-to-People exchange is an important component of China-Canada and China-BC relations. On Jan. 10, "Vancouver Sun" and "The Province" published an article written by Ms. Tong Xiaoling, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Vancouver, inviting Canadian tourists to visit China in 2018 China-Canada Year of Tourism, participate in 2022 Olympic Winter Games, and know more about China through exchanges. Here is the full text:

Dear friends,

Have you ever been to China? Would you like to have a first hand experience about China? The year 2018, the China-Canada Year of Tourism is a good time to visit China.

From August 30 to September 6, 2016, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made his first official visit to China at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. During the visit, the two leaders jointly declared 2018 as the China-Canada Year of Tourism and agreed to expand cooperation on promoting two-way tourist exchanges. On December 4, 2017, Prime Minister Trudeau,Minister Bardish Chagger and China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) Chairman Li Jinzao together unveiled the above Logo of the 2018 China-Canada Year of Tourism in Beijing, with representatives of the tourism industry in both countries present. In March, 2018, the Opening Ceremony will be held in Toronto, and the Closing Ceremony will be held later this year in China.

In 2018, both countries will facilitate tourism promotion activities in Canada and China. Canada will open seven additional visa application centers in China to help serve a growing number of Chinese tourists who are crossing the Pacific to explore Canada. More and more Canadian businesses are accepting such popular payment methods of Chinese consumers as WeChat Pay, Alipay and UnionPay, and are committed to providing custom-tailor transportation, accommodation and language services to Chinese tourists. Travelers from the two countries are currently able to fly directly between Vancouver and 12 cities in mainland China, namely Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang, Kunming, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Qingdao, Xiamen and Zhengzhou. The WestJet is seeking approval to open potential direct flights from Vancouver to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Hong Kong. Air China and Air Canada jointly launched a code-sharing promotion program recently, allowing the travelers flying between April 1 and June 15 to collect up to 30% extra frequent flyer miles. Starting from December 28, 2017, China's Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province will offer a 144-hour visa-free entry for international transit passengers from 53 countries and regions, including Canada, providing they have visas and tickets to leave for a third country or region within 144 hours, to boost tourism and business.

China is not a completely unfamiliar country to Canada. In China's northeastern provinces such as Jilin, Liaoning and Heilongjiang, winter sports are as popular as in most Canadian provinces. The Yabuli Ski Resort, located in China's northernmost province, Heilongjiang, enjoys a skiing season from mid-November to the end of March. The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival officially opens on January 5 and lasts for one month, featuring snow sculptures and ice lanterns. As we know, from February 4 to 20, 2022, China will host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. 25 competition venues are located in three zones in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou. Beijing, the capital city of the People's Republic of China, serves as the nation's centre of politics, culture, international exchange and scientific innovation. In 2008, Beijing successfully hosted the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. With a history of over 3,000 years and a capital history of more than 850 years, Beijing is famous for rich historical and cultural relics, including the human fossils of the "Peking Man" who lived in the southern outskirt of Zhoukoudian nearly 700,000 years ago, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, etc. Today, Beijing is an international metropolis boasting of many modern architectures including the skyscrapers in the Financial Street and the Central Business District, the National Theatre for Performing Arts, Terminal 3 of the Beijing Capital International Airport, the CCTV Headquarters Building, the "Bird's Nest", the "Water Cube", and the newly-inaugurated Olympic Tower. According to official statistics, more than 147 million people visit Beijing every year.

Yanqing District, located in northwestern Beijing, is 74 kilometres from the city centre and occupies a total area of 1,993.75 square kilometres. It has a permanent population of 317,000. Steeped in history, Yanqing County has a solid cultural foundation and is a meeting place of agricultural and nomadic cultures. The forebears of Yanqing had cultivated diligently and procreated from as long as the Stone Age up until the modern era, and left behind hundreds of cultural relics and ruins along with unique folk customs. The Great Wall spans the region dotted with towering temples and ancient towns and intersected by post roads, where the long and profound Gui River culture continues to this day. As a national ecological civilisation pilot base and national ecological county, lush mountains, crystal-clear water and blue sky have become its model image. The district is a top tourist destination in suburban Beijing and has over three-dozen unique sights, including Great Wall Badaling section, Longqing Gorge and Mount Yudu. Many spectacular leisure activities take place in Yanqing District, for example, the ice lantern and snow festival, attracting 20 million visitors each year. The International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 will take place in Yanqing Zone.

Zhangjiakou, located in northwestern Hebei Province, occupies a total area of 37,000 square kilometres and has a total population of 4.68 million. It is home to six railways, seven expressways, nine national highways and 20 provincial highways, constituting a key portal between Beijing and northwestern China, as well as a critical component of the Capital Economic Rim. The construction of Beijing-Zhangjiakou Railway is under way. Once open, the Zhangjiakou Zone may be reached within 50 minutes from downtown Beijing, and its development will join that of Beijing. Zhangjiakou is steeped in history. The Nihe Bay is believed to be the birthplace of East Asians, while the Emperor Town in Zuolu County is said to be where the three ancestral tribes of Yan Emperor, Yellow Emperor and Chi You formed alliances. The city therefore upholds historical and cultural prominence as the place where East Asians and Chinese civilisation emerged. Zhangjiakou has been a key inland trading port in northern China since the Ming and Qing dynasties, and along with Guangzhou, is known as the "dual ports". The Zhangjiakou-Kulun (present-day Ulan Bator) Trade Route, which rivals the Silk Road, begins here.

China, like Canada, is an open and diversified country with rich culture. China travel routes plan may fall within 3 categories:

1. Ecological and scenic tourist sites: one may want to visit magnificent Three Gorges, Hukou Fall of Yellow River, Tai Mountain of Shandong Province, Qilian Mountain of Gansu Province, picturesque Yellow Mountain of Anhui Province, Zhangjiajie of Hunan Province, Gulangyu of Fujian Province, Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong of Sichuan Province, beautiful landscape of Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. Pandas can be seen in Sichuan Wolong or Shaanxi Fuping Natural Reserves.

2. Economic development visit: there is still a disparity between coastal provinces and interior provinces, rural and urban areas, which need be addressed through development. You may want to visit the leading coastal areas such as Shanghai, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong, take part in the Inaugural China International Import Expo held in Shanghai from November 5 to 10, and visit interior provinces such as Shanxi, Shaanxi and Henan, etc. as well.

3. Historical and Cultural Tour: you may like to know the "Silk Road", the "Ancient Tea Route", the porcelain history in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, the Mogao Grotto in Dunhuang, Gansu Province, the Kaiping Diaolou in Guangdong Province, an outstanding architecture style to reside, avert floods and ward off bandit attacks and so on. China is a United Multi-ethnic Nation. You may visit Yunnan, Guizhou, Xinjiang, Xizang, Guangxi, Ningxia to learn about the ethnic culture and their daily life. The religious culture is intertwined with Chinese history with 8 mountains famous for its connection with Taoism and Buddhism respectively. And of course, food culture has always been a plus to china visit.

There is no need to worry about transportation. It is safe and convenient to travel in China. In 2017, 549 million people travel by air, 3.039 billion people travel by train, among which 1.713 billion travel by high-speed train. 70% percent high-speed train tickets are sold online. Hexie Hao and Fuxing Hao High-speed train operated by China Railway High-Speed(CRH) are transporting passengers at a speed between 250 to 350km per hour, and big cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Kunming, Guangzhou has a 1 to 9 hour business circle, making travels between different provinces and cities faster and easier. Most travel agents design high-speed train tourist routes. You may also refer to destination expert Gill Charlton, who wrote an article for The Telegraph on July 27, 2017, entitled "How China became a paradise for rail travelers". Upon arrival at a city, the public transit system, including buses, subway, taxi, and so on, will take you to the destination easily. You may also download DiDi App, which is the #1 travel choice for over 300 million users across 400 cities in China, offering multiple car services anytime, anywhere.

Seeing is believing. Tourism is about adventure, cultural exploration, and most importantly, building understanding and friendship. It is reported that tourism exchange and cooperation has become a new bright spot of the bilateral relations between China and Canada. In 2016, more than 1.4 million visits were made between the two countries and both Chinese and Canadian governments extended the validity of visa for tourism, business and family visit to 10 years. Tourists are Ambassadors of friendship between China and Canada and we look forward to welcoming more Canadian tourists in 2018.

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