LIFE / CULTURE
Music concert commemorates 50th anniversary of historic Shanghai Communique
A celebration of friendship
Published: Mar 01, 2022 07:13 PM

Musicians perform at the concert in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Shanghai Communique in Shanghai on February 28.  
Photos: Chen Xia/GT

Two dancers perform Ballet on Shoulders at the event. Photo: Chen Xia/GT

Musicians perform at the concert in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Shanghai Communique in Shanghai on February 28.  
Photos: Chen Xia/GT

Musicians perform at the concert in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Shanghai Communique in Shanghai on February 28. Photo: Chen Xia/GT


A concert in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Shanghai Communique was held on Monday night in Shanghai. The concert performed 12 classic Chinese and US songs, reminding people of the spirit of the communique that started half a century of friendship between China and the US.

The concert included pieces like "America, the Beautiful," "Butterfly Lovers," and "Jasmine Flower," which was played by both Chinese and US performers. "America, the Beautiful" was played at the welcome dinner for then US president Richard Nixon during his historic visit to China in 1972. 

The Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra opened the concert, hosted by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and Shanghai municipal government, with "Prelude to Celebration of the China-US Relations and Cooperation." Renowned performers including Liao Changyong, Shi Yihong and Huang Ying performed on the stage. 

Chief Representative of the China Office of the University of Virginia Justin O'Jack, who performed "Jasmine Flower" with both Chinese and US performers, said the shared future of the bilateral relations between China and the US will continue to grow together through this type of people-to-people exchanges.  

O'Jack told the Global Times that it was a great honor for him to participate in the event. He mentioned that it is important to reflect on "the spirit of the Shanghai Communique," in which China and the US agreed to improve their relations under the principles of equality, peaceful coexistence and mutual benefit, and to deepen understanding between the two peoples through mutually beneficial cultural exchanges.

The lyrics of "Jasmine Flower," a Chinese folk song extolling the sweet-smelling white jasmine flower blossoms, are an allegory for spring. O'Jack said that he was deeply impressed by the talented young dancers and singers who performed at the concert. 

These young dancers and singers, dressed in the white and green colors of the jasmine flower, together with their peers from the Shanghai American School, "represent our shared future" and "remind us how important it is to build a better world, where China and the US cooperate for the mutual benefit of our children and for the world," O'Jack said.

Despite the ups and downs in the relations between China and the US, cultural exchanges have never ceased. Wei He, artistic director and dean of The Tianjin Juilliard School, told the Global Times on Monday that he predicted that cultural and educational exchanges between China and the US will become more and more vibrant in the future. 

"In the past, mostly Chinese students went abroad but I believe many overseas students will come to China for education as well," He said. 

He cited musical education as an example, saying that many Chinese students have studied music abroad since the 1980s, but now overseas students are also coming to China to study classical music. 

According to He, the development of classical music in the West has become a little saturated, so the future of this music is in Asia. This has pushed many students to come to China to seek a career. 

"In China, you see so many new concert halls, opera halls and music groups. A very good ecosystem is gradually forming here in China, and chances are plenty," He said.