Honorable Ladies, Gentlemen and dear friends:
I come from Huangshan City, Anhui Province, China. It’s a great honor to be here andshare with you the beauty of wonderful Huangshan.
Anhui Province is located in the central eastern area of China. It is a significant part of the Yangtze River Delta region, connecting the south and the north, merging the east and the west. Three important river systems, namely, the Yangtze River, the Huaihe River and the Xin’an River, run through it.
This land, where the past and the present meet, has bred the magnificent natural landscapes, and inherited the brilliant and time-honored history and culture. Now it is playing a splendid chapter of vigorous development.
Huangshan City is located in the southernmost end of Anhui Province, adjacent to Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing and other famous cities. It covers an area of 9,807 square kilometers and has a population of 1.48 million. It was called Hui State in ancient times, and the word “Hui” in Anhui comes from it.
Huangshan city, regarded as the most beautiful scroll painting, can be the perfect place to appreciate China’s wonderful landscape.
Huangshan City，named after the renowned Huangshan Mountain， enjoys continuous mountains，crisscrossed rivers and streams.
Huangshan Mountain, credited to be “the mountain of all mountains” in China, is famous for its five wonders，peculiar pines, strange-looking rocks, sea of clouds, hot springs and winter snow.
It is the first scenic spot in the world that was listed as one of the UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritages, World Geological Park and World Biosphere Reserve. Huangshan, along with the Yangtze river, the Great Wall and the Yellow River, is one of the four national symbols of China.
In 2005, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, Mr. Wang Wusheng, an Anhui photographer, held an Huangshan Mountain Photography exhibition with the theme of “Oriental Charm – Beauty of Landscape” in the Exhibition Hall of the United Nations Headquarters.
This attracted the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his wife came to Huangshan in 2006 who said after their visit, “I think Huangshan is really worth visiting, and I will definitely come again.”
At the foot of the mountain, Xin’an River, the mother river of the Huangshan people, flows eastward.
Every spring, the Hui-style grey-tiled and white-walled houses will be decorated by blossom of peach,plum and rapeseed flower,the flying bees and dancing butterflies, which forms a typical scene captured in traditional Chinese landscape painting, therefore, Huangshan is praised as the most beautiful landscape painting gallery.
Here in Huangshan you can also visit the Qiyunshan Mountain, “a Taoist Holy Land”, the Taiping Lake, nicknamed as “the Lover Lake”, the Guniujiang Scenic Area, known as the “Pearl of Green ” and many other scenic spots. These beautiful sceneries make Huangshan a great park worth visiting all the year round.
The wonderful mountains and water here breed a spirit of nature, tea.
Among China’s top10 teas, Huangshan Maofeng, Qimen Black Tea and Taiping Monkey Tea are produced in Huangshan. They have been presented to international friends as national gifts for many times, which can be called the “Messengers of Friendship” in foreign exchanges.
Strolling around the Huangshan City, you can see beautiful mountains and rivers everywhere, inlaid with countless villages, which looks natural and quiet, simple and harmonious, poetic and picturesque.
Huangshan is an important window to appreciate traditional Chinese culture.
For thousands of years, the people of this land have been worshiping knowledge and education, which can be vividly reflected in the saying: “Even in a village of merely ten households, education will not be abandoned.”
If Huangshan is a broad and profound book, Hui State culture is its soul.
With Confucianism as its core, Hui State culture established a complete system covering various categories of disciplines such as classics, history, philosophy, medicine, science, art and so on. It has cultivated thousands of Hui State historical celebrities, left over 5000 historical and cultural relics and more than 1000 intangible cultural heritages. It ranks alongside the Tibetan culture and the Dunhuang culture as the three regional cultures of China.
Under the influence of Hui State culture, Hui State merchants managed their businesses with Confucian doctrines had dominated the business circles of China during the Ming and Qing Dynasties for 300 years. They created the legend of “a place can be called a town only if there are Hui State merchants”, and became one of the most influential business groups in China.
The folk dwellings here, built alongside the mountains and rivers, are important symbols of traditional Chinese architectural culture. After hundreds of years, a large number of ancient villages, dwellings, ancestral halls, archways and other cultural relics are still well-preserved.
In Town Salem of Boston in America, there is an ancient Hui State grand house, Yinyutang, from Huangcun village, Xiuning County, Huangshan City.
With the efforts of Nancy Berliner, formerly curator of Chinese art at the Peabody Essex Museum, Yin Yu Tang was shipped to Salem, a place that is more than 7000 miles from the site where it was first built, in the late 1990s.
It witnessed the friendship between Chinese and American people and opened a window for American people to learn about Chinese culture and Hui State culture.
World Cultural Heritage site: Xidi and Hongcun, ancient villages in southern Anhui Province, are known as “villages in Chinese paintings”;
Tunxi Old Street, “ a realistic reflection of the painting Riverside scene at Qingming Festival”, is the most well-preserved commercial block in China with the architectural styles of Song, Ming and Qing dynasties;
Tangyue Archway Group, one of the most famous archways in China, has seven archways in succession. It bears the ancient Chinese ethics of “loyalty, filial piety, moderation and righteousness” , and witnesses the rise and fall of Hui State merchant family.
When you walk into any village in Huangshan, a page of history is turned; if you step on any stone here, a part of memory is recalled.
Huangshan is also a model city for understanding China’s reform and opening up.
In July 1979, Deng Xiaoping, the chief designer of China’s reform and opening-up, climbed to the top of Huangshan Mountain on foot, and delivered the famous “Huangshan Talk”, issued the era call of “making the brand of Huangshan famous”, and opened the curtain of the reform and development of China’s tourism industry.
Over the past 40 years, Huangshan tourism has achieved a historic leap from scratch, becoming a benchmark city for China’s tourism, a world-class tourist destination, and a wonderful and vivid epitome of China’s reform and opening up.
Today, Huangshan City receives nearly 3 million overseas tourists every year.
It has partnered with Jungfrau in Switzerland, Yosemite in America, Lesvos in Greece, Banff in Canada, Kaikoura in New Zealand, Angkor Wat in Cambodia successively.
And Huangshan Scenic Area won the UNESCO International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes, became the first UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) Sustainable Tourism Observatories in China, the first batch of the “global destination for sustainable tourism standard experimental zone” established by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and the first tourism scenic spot in the world that has successfully implemented the systems of measures for excellence in destination (SMED).
On the top of Huangshan Mountain, there is a peculiar pine called “The Pine Greeting Guests”, which grows on a cliff reaching out its branches just like welcoming guests from afar.
Here, I sincerely invite you to come to Huangshan to visit the dreamlike Huangshan Mountain and experience the hospitable ancient Hui State culture. I hope we can go hand in hand and, together, create a better future!
Thank you all for listening.