Serving the New Big Structure of Great Power Diplomacy - The Northern "Reception Hall" of Beijing

Source:Beijing Foreign Affairs Office

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When an appointment was made in Beijing, the leaders of many countries answered the call. During the second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation, 39 foreign leaders, representatives from 150 countries and 92 international organizations and over 6,000 foreign guests attended the forum in Beijing. The ARD Fernsehen of Germany reported that "usually only the United Nations can gather together so many leaders."

As China moves closer to the center of the world stage, its capital, Beijing, is more than ever under the spotlight of the world. In 2010, Xi Jinping, then a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice President of China, visited Beijing and called for efforts to build it into "a capital of international activities, a capital of high-end corporate headquarters and a capital of high-end talents". In 2014, Secretary General Xi Jinping visited Beijing and made it clear that the role of international communication center is one of the strategic positioning of the capital city.

In this big historical times, how can Beijing further develop its international communication function to better serve our country and this era? The municipal party committee and the municipal government plan ahead, and have designed two "reception halls" that show the confidence and unique charm of a great country, and are shining at both ends of the urban axis along which the ancient world blends into the new world .

Unprecedented

High-quality "Reception Hall" - "Standard Configuration" of the Capital of a Big Country

In just 21 days, the second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation, 2019 Beijing Horticultural Expo, and the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations have been held in Beijing one after another. The Executive General Manager of the China National Convention Center, Yi Lei, commented that "the pace is too fast. Since the opening of the National Convention Center, it is the first time for us to host so many major events at such a high intensity and frequency."

▲The Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation Opened, Beijing opened its bosom to welcome distinguished guests from all over the world

Behind the fast pace, the great power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics moves forward steadily. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, China's major diplomatic activities have not only increased in size and scale, but also increased in frequency from once a few years to once a year or even more.

Behind the rising numbers, Beijing is opening its bosom to welcome guests and friends from all over the world. During the second Belt and Road Forum, more than 6,000 foreign guests came to Beijing to attend the forum. The Beijing Horticultural Expo was held seamlessly with 110 countries and international organizations participating in the expo. Ten days later, more than 2,000 foreign representatives gathered in Beijing for the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations.

▲The Carnival of Asian Culture Showcases the Splendid Asian Civilizations Opened in the "Bird's Nest"

According to statistics, by August 16 of this year, the Foreign Affairs Office of the municipal government had assisted 20 central government agencies in receiving 146 delegations and groups to visit Beijing, and arranged 234 visits by foreign guests invited by the party or the state. This is an increase of nearly 40%, compared with the same period last year.

In the new era, Beijing is more closely linked to the mission of the party and the country. As the "standard configuration" for the capital of a big country, the quality of its "reception hall" decides in what kind of a new look Beijing and even China will face the world.

▲The Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Horticultural Expo Brings a feast of light and shade from mountains, rivers, forest, field and lakes

The Municipal Party Secretary Cai Qi has conducted research and made many arrangements for the construction of international exchange center. He stressed that, as the capital of a big country moving towards the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Beijing shall adapt to the normalization of major state events, make prospective plans for the construction of facilities for diplomatic activities, and strengthen diplomatic capacity building. Beijing shall strive to build an international communication center with active international exchanges, perfect internationalized services and prominent international influence.

On September 3, the first plenary meeting of the steering group for promoting the construction of Beijing into an international communication center elaborated for the first time the spatial layout of "one kernel, two axes and four regions". "One kernel" refers to the functional core of the capital, the "two axes" refers to the central axis and Chang'an Avenue and its extension, and the "four regions" are respectively the eastern, northern, western and southern regions.

As one of the two axes, the central axis and its extension will play a leading role and become the central functional area for international communication.

The new version of the master plan of Beijing clearly states that the north central axis and its extension shall "improve the international communication, national sports and cultural functions of the Olympic center, and increase the ecological space". The south central axis and its extension shall be combined with the Beijing Daxing international airport to "build a new gateway for international communication in the south of the city."

The northern "reception hall" with the Olympic center as the core and the southern "parlor" with the Nanyuan -- Dahongmen area and the Beijing Daxing international airport as the focus area are lying on the two ends of the central axis and its extension, erecting the framework for the construction of the international communication center.

The Northern "Reception Hall"

The international communication platform with brand new quality

At the night of the opening ceremony of the second Belt and Road Forum for international cooperation, a magnificent "light show", made foreign guests feel the charm of "Night Beijing".

With the sound of music, from the Huangsi avenue of the north axis, along the "Bird's Nest" , the "Water Cube", to the Yangshan hill of the Olympic forest park, the light and shadow ribbon dance gracefully, and a special light and shadow symbol was lighted intermittently on the Olympic tower, drawing the beautiful outline of the northern "reception hall".

▲The light show on the Olympic Tower illuminated the night skyline, Showing the charm of "Night Beijing"

Also full of patriotic enthusiasm, brimming with the confidence of a big country, the audience felt as though they were going back to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Zhang Dawei, who then worked at the National Convention Center, witnessed the magnificent transformation of the Olympic center.

After the Olympic Games, the National Convention Center was transformed into a national convention and exhibition center, and hosted the China (Beijing) international service trade fair, the 2014 APEC meeting, and the Belt and Road Forum for international cooperation, and a series of major diplomatic activities.

▲The National Convention Center hosted a series of major diplomatic activities

At the same time, the "Bird's Nest" and "Water Cube" on the south side also hosted the "Air&Style" Beijing series of snowboarding competition, the World Athletics Championships, the opening ceremony of the Basketball World Cup and other well-known events and performance, and has become a top comprehensive sports and performance platform and a most venerated tourist resort.

▲The spectacular 2014 APEC Meeting

Hosting international conferences, exhibitions, sports and culture events have become an increasingly prominent business card of the Olympic center. From 2008 to June of this year, the Olympic center has hosted 10,002 major events, including 1,263 major international events, and received over 500 million Chinese and foreign tourists.

Although it has attracted more and more attention, this area is still injecting new elements.

The Olympic tower lights up the night skyline of Beijing with a spectacular light show, filling the gap of lacking a large spacial light show in the city.

▲The headquarters of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the first multilateral financial institution initiated by China, has completed the construction of its permanent headquarters in Olympic Center. The project has been completed, and has gone through the final acceptance procedure.

The second phase of the National Convention Center under construction, connected with the current National Convention Center, will form an exhibition complex with a total scale of nearly 1.3 million square meters, and shall become a large-scale exhibition complex that can not only meet the needs of great power diplomacy and government/political activities, but also meet the needs of international high-level business exhibition activities.

▲A perspective drawing of the second phase of the National Convention Center

The quality of the Olympic Center will be gradually upgraded, and the Yanqi Lake International Conference Center at the foot of Yanshan Mountain will be positioned as "the core functional area that serves the top-level international communication of the country and has the capacity to host diplomatic activities from beginning to end". The two areas shall undertake complementary functions, support each other, and shall jointly increase the capacity of hosting diplomatic activities.

The great power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics is influencing the world with a broader vision and wider perspective. In order to host increasingly large scale, more frequent and higher-level diplomatic activities, Beijing needs to expand the function layout of international communications to a larger space.

The municipal party committee and the municipal government lay their eyes on the south of Beijing.