"Beijing Huanying Ni" (Beijing welcomes you). No, we are not talking about the names of Beijing Olympic mascots, but the line for Hollywood Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi in China's most-watched New Year's gala.
The annual show presented by China Central Television, scheduled for the lunar New Year's Eve on February 6, had its third rehearsal on Tuesday, when its star-heavy roster became clearer to the media.
Several news reports suggested that Beijing native Zhang Ziyi will appear at the end of the show to beat the drum for the New Year, while "inviting global audiences, in both Chinese and English, to visit Beijing in the Olympic year."
Another report on Sina.com.cn quoted one of the show's general directors, Chen Linchun, as confirming Zhang's show-up, who however refused to elaborate what the actress would actually do.
Zhang Ziyi is seen in a portrait. The actress is likely to show up at the Chinese New Year's gala on China Central Television on February 6, according to several news reports. (file photo: gg88.net)
Being one of the top Chinese film stars, Zhang's possible show-up has attracted several media to devote headlines. Some reports say the actress originally planned to sing an Olympic song, but had to change to a brief appearance due to her tight schedule for preparation.
Zhang Ziyi sang a song at the 2000 New Year's gala.
The CCTV New Year's gala has been a cultural phenomenon since the 1980s. An estimated 700 million people watch the show every year.
This year's event will also feature such stars as Jay Chou and Fei Yu-Ching.
(CRI January 30, 2008)