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China, US mark 30th annivesary of diplomatic ties
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The Seminar In Commemoration of The 30th Anniversary of The Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between China And The United States is open in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 12, 2009. 

China and the United States on Monday kicked off a series of events to mark three decades of one of the world's most crucial bilateral relationships.

"Like a scroll of vivid historic scenes, these pictures showcase significant progress in the 30 years of China-U.S relations and inspire us," Chinese President Hu Jintao said in a congratulatory message to a photo exhibition marking the relations.

Thanks to the "ping-pong diplomacy" that melted the ice between the two nations, then U.S. President Richard Nixon paid a groundbreaking visit to China in 1972.

The two countries formally established diplomatic relations on Jan. 1, 1979.


Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (2nd R, front) and his wife Rosalynn Carte visit the photo exhibition marking the 30th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties between China and the United States in Beijing Jan. 12, 2009. The exhibition kicked off in Beijing on Monday. 

With 360 pictures recalling milestones in bilateral relations, the photo exhibition on Monday drew almost 200 people from the two countries, including key figures in forging relations like former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

From top leaders' handshakes to U.S. swimmers' laughter at the Beijing Olympics, from McDonald's first restaurant in Beijing to China's auto show in Detroit, the pictures capture landmark moments.

"It is very nostalgic," said former U.S. ambassador to Beijing Winston Lord, a member of the U.S. delegation during Richard Nixon's ground-breaking visit to China in 1972.

"The photos brought back many warm and happy memories on working to develop harmonious relationships between the Chinese and the American people."

In a congratulatory message to the exhibition, U.S President George W. Bush said the past 30 years had "strengthened the bonds between the two countries".

Bush said he personally witnessed China's transformation over the past three decades. "In 1975 I saw a nation just beginning its journey of modernization. In 2008, I was proud to watch Beijing host a successful and thrilling Olympic Games."

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