Officials from China's largest city Shanghai unveiled a cultural event in the U.S. city of Houston Thursday to promote Shanghai's international image and further ties between the two key hubs.
The five-day cultural exchange program, named "Amazing Shanghai",features a cultural pavilion, a photo exhibition and a book donation.
At the opening ceremony held Thursday afternoon in Rice University's Baker Institute, Vice Mayor of Houston Ed Gonzalez said the program's name is "indisputably" accurate in describing the economic hub of China and that "one visit is not enough," recalling his own trip to Shanghai years ago.
Gonzalez said the event could connect the two regions, strengthen bonds between the two partner cities and nurture future relations.
Zhu Yonglei, head of the Shanghai delegation, who also heads the city's information office, told Xinhua that the dozens of photos to be exhibited at the event not only include Shanghai's landmarks, like Huangpu River, but also show the human side of the city.
"Shanghai and Houston already had frequent exchanges, mostly in trade and economy," Zhu noted. "We believe cultural exchanges like this event are also in great need in order to bring people on both sides closer and give those who haven't been to Shanghai a comprehensive picture of the city."
The highlight of the event, Zhu said, is a 360-degree panoramic presentation of Shanghai in Houston's largest upscale shopping mall Galleria. Instead of looking at flat images, viewers will be able to literally immerse themselves in the panorama.
The event made its American debut in New York's iconic Rockefeller Center last year and is expected to tour other American cities in the upcoming years.