​Peking opera can help unite Chinese

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, December 8, 2021
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At a recent academic event in Beijing on Fu Lian Cheng — China's first Peking opera school — masters and experts of Peking opera spoke of the important role that the art form can play in culturally uniting Chinese both at home and abroad.

Peking opera masters and experts pose for a photo at an academic event in Beijing in late November 2021. [Photo courtesy of BFSU]

Ai Ping, former vice minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, spoke at the event, pointing out that the school's former students and their descendants are scattered all around the world, especially across the Taiwan Strait.

"Fu Lian Cheng is the living heritage of excellent traditional Chinese culture. Its students and their descendants have witnessed the traditional and same original culture shared by people across the Taiwan Strait," he said. "It must make full use of its advantages, actively serve as a cultural bond, vigorously promote the spirit of patriotism, establish a high degree of national self-esteem and national self-confidence, adhere to great unity and great union, and constantly consolidate and develop the broadest patriotic united front, and extensively gather all the wisdom and strength of the Chinese nation."

Zhao Yang, member of the CPPCC and former deputy director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the Chinese State Council, said that to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, the Chinese people and nation must stand in the same boat and rely on unity to overcome risks and challenges on the road ahead. 

"Fu Lian Cheng is the creator and the disseminator of the art: For more than 100 years, it has played a historical role in linking the past to the future, and has given profound enlightenment to future generations," Zhao said. "With the excellent traditional culture, it should promote the spread of Chinese culture to the outside world. Today, we still have to create opportunities to make the old theater art form come alive, so as to generate greater cohesion and attract more people in the new era. This is a major practical task. "

Sun Ping, a Peking opera grand master and honorary dean of the Art Research School of Beijing Foreign Studies University, added that opera education nowadays must undertake the responsibility of cultivating high-quality, international, professional and moral opera talents in the new era, according to the new requirements and new characteristics of the times.

Fu Lian Cheng, founded by Ye Chunshan, produced numerous masters as well as generations of opera performers. Since around 1949, graduates including Su Shengshi, Dong Shengcun and Zhu Shiyou have made huge contributions to promoting the art of Peking opera in China's Taiwan region. Nowadays, Fu Lian Cheng is somewhat of a symbol for the construction of cultural and artistic exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. It has formed the bond, legacy and affection between generations of people on both sides of the strait, and played a positive role in promoting unity among Chinese people at home and abroad.

Ye Fei, a descendant of the founder of Fu Lian Cheng, said that all descendants should not only stand on the shoulders of their predecessors and continue to pass on the spirit, but also understand the changing times, pay attention to the legacy of the opera overseas, and instill the traditional art with vitality and more international vision.

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