Star fronts for ancient Chinese city

Updated: 2014-05-22 11:18

By Elizabeth Wu in New York (China Daily USA)

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 Star fronts for ancient Chinese city

A representative from New York City Council member Peter Koo's office presents Chinese actress Peng Dan with a certificate of appreciation for promoting tourism in Dunhuang, China at the Grand Restaurant in Flushing, Queens on Wednesday. Elizabeth Wu / For China Daily

Chinese actress Peng Dan announced plans on Wednesday afternoon in New York to encourage cultural exchange and draw foreigners to take an interest in Dunhuang, a desert city in northwestern Gansu province, China that was once a stop on the ancient silk road.

In partnership with the Chinese American Arts Council and Chinese American Arts and Culture Advancement Association, Peng has taken on the role of Dunhuang ambassador, urging tourists in America to visit the internationally lesser known tourist destination.

Peng, who has starred in the historical film Nan Ni Wan, the Canadian film Chinese Chocolate and most recently is filming 5-29 Qing Yuan (Love Destiny), is a member of the Standing Committee of the China Youth Federation and a member of Gansu Province Committee of CPPCC.

Having spent time in the US studying at Juilliard on a cultural exchange program when she was 15, Peng is well suited to the role of cultural ambassador for Dunhuang.

Despite the fact that Dunhuang is well known in Chinese history and the history of its people is well documented, Dunhuang has yet to become the international tourist destination many feel it deserves to be.

Situated in Gansu province and surrounded by the Han Dynasty Great Wall, Dunhuang boasts the Mo Gao Caves, the Yue Ya Springs and many other sights of cultural interest. "I spent so much time at Dunhuang last week," said Peng. "I want to get people in America interested in learning more about it."

Da Zeren, dean of the American Modern Arts Institute, said, "China's economy is now rich but our culture needs to be rich too, people need to understand our rich cultural heritage."

Dunhuang is romantic and rich in culture, Peng said. "As a Chinese person and cultural ambassador, I feel the responsibility to promote this cultural heritage and landmark that is a part of China's 800-year-old history," she noted.

China has given so much to the world, she added. "We want China to soar high and far in its cultural endeavors," she said.

To attract people, Peng mentioned that she plans to set up a movie studio in Dunhuang, and look for opportunities to build hotels and souvenir shops to promote Dunhuang as a historical landmark of interest to Americans and the world.

Also present at the press announcement were Chinese American Arts Council chairman Zhou Longzhang, Chinese American Arts and Culture Advancement Association chairman Wang Bei, Sino-American Culture and Arts Foundation chairman Wang Bin, Chinese American Arts and Culture Advancement Association CEO Ye Qing, producer Lorance Hockert and a representative from the office of New York City councilmember Peter Koo.

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For China Daily

(China Daily USA 05/22/2014 page2)