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Greeted by household Chinese song, Xi starts Kazakhstan trip to build on unique partnership

Greeted by household Chinese song, Xi starts Kazakhstan trip to build on unique partnership

 

« On the vast and beautiful land stands our beloved homeland. We love peace, we love our hometown. The unity and mutual love make us steel-like strong, » a group of Kazakh teenagers greeted here on Tuesday visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping with a household song in China.

 

Xi landed in Astana earlier for a state visit to Kazakhstan. He will also attend here the 24th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The group of teenagers, in white costumes, sang the song « Ode to the Motherland » in Chinese lyrics in a show of respect and warm welcome of the Kazakh people for Xi.

The song was written in 1950, almost a year following the founding of the People’s Republic of China. It has been quite popular among the Chinese people, resonating deeply with their pride in and love for their homeland.

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Astana, Kazakhstan, July 2, 2024, for the 24th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and a state visit to Kazakhstan at the invitation of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Tokayev held a grand welcoming ceremony at the airport to welcome Xi. A group of Kazakh children sang the song « Ode to the Motherland » in Chinese. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

 

Watching with smile on their faces, Xi and his Kazakh counterpart, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, applauded the teenagers’ performance.

After the performance, some of the young singers talked with Xi.

« Hello, esteemed Grandpa Xi. Welcome to Astana, Kazakhstan … It is our honor to meet you and we like you, » said one of the teenagers. She also told Xi that she started learning Chinese since childhood, because she wanted to go to Tsinghua University in China when growing up.

Xi, who graduated from Tsinghua University, wished they can go to good universities in the future, saying they are welcome to study in China.

It is Xi’s fifth visit to Kazakhstan since becoming Chinese president in 2013. When his plane entered the Kazakh airspace, it was escorted by three Kazakh Air Force fighter jets.

 

This photo taken on July 2, 2024 shows a Kazakh Air Force fighter jet escorting Chinese President Xi Jinping’s plane after it enters Kazakh airspace. Xi arrived here Tuesday for the 24th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and a state visit to Kazakhstan. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

 

Tokayev greeted Xi at the airport together with a team of senior government officials including First Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar and Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu.

As the Chinese leader walked down the gangway, nearly 100 Kazakh children were waving Chinese and Kazakh national flags, cheerfully chanting « Nihao, » or hello, in Chinese.

Accompanied by the music performed by the military band, Xi and Tokayev strolled along a blue carpet. Blue is the background color of the Kazakh national flag and a hue cherished by the Kazakhs. In the Central Asian country, blue means pure sky, peace and prosperity.

At the airport, Xi also chatted occasionally with the Kazakh president, who can speak fluent Chinese. In a recent interview with Xinhua, Tokayev said he now reads books in Chinese regularly and stays informed about Chinese political and socio-economic development.

 

 

A grand welcoming ceremony is held by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping at the airport in Astana, Kazakhstan, July 2, 2024. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

 

Tokayev began learning Chinese when he was in college. He also studied in Beijing Language and Culture University from 1983 to 1984, where he achieved top grades.

In a written statement upon his arrival, Xi conveyed sincere greetings and best wishes to Tokayev and the friendly Kazakh people on behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people.

He hailed the uniqueness of China-Kazakhstan partnership.

« Over the past 32 years since China and Kazakhstan established diplomatic ties, the relationship has withstood the test of time and the vicissitudes of the international landscape, evolving into a unique permanent comprehensive strategic partnership, » Xi said.■

 

b Xinhua

 

 

 

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