Former US President Jimmy Carter relived a historic moment in his past when he watched a three-decade-old video clip in Beijing on Monday.
It showed him shaking hands with late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping on the lawn of the White House during the first high-level visit by a Chinese leader to mark the forging of diplomatic ties between China and the United States.
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 here on Monday. [Yao Dawei/Xinhua]
Carter, along with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former National Security Advisors Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski and all living U.S. ambassadors to China on Monday, visited a photo exhibition, which is one of the activities to celebrate the relationship between the world's most populous and the most developed countries.
Carter, an eyewitness of the 30-year-course of Sino-U.S. relations, said the exhibition demonstrated "quite vividly" the history of China since the normalization of the relationship.
A total of 360 photos, selected from more than 10,000 on the subject, were displayed in four sections: the history; friendship between the peoples; economic exchanges; and mutually beneficial cooperation.
These photos reflect the important events in the political, trade and cultural areas of Sino-U.S. history, from the sailing of an American trade ship to China to the U.S. synchronized swimming team that carried a banner "Thank you, China" in the Beijing Olympic Games.
Historic handshakes of four generations of Sino-U.S. leaders are also displayed.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (C) attends the opening ceremony of 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 here on Monday. [Yao Dawei/Xinhua]
"Like a scroll of vivid historic scenes, these photos showcase significant progress in the 30 years of Sino-U.S. relations and inspire us," Chinese President Hu Jintao said in a congratulatory message.
In his message, U.S. President George W. Bush said the past 30 years had "strengthened the bonds between the United States and China".
The photo exhibition drew almost 200 figures from the two countries, including key figures in forging relations and many witnesses to the growth of Sino-U.S. diplomatic ties.
Jim Sasser, former U.S. Ambassador to China, said the photos brought back many warm and happy memories of working to develop harmonious relations between the Chinese and the American people.
"I expect the future relations between China and the United States will be very good...and will continue to improve," he said. The two countries would enjoy "many years of mutual benefits, peace and prosperity".
Wang Hongbao, former counselor of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was delighted to see photos of her former colleagues and U.S. counterparts.
"A very sound foundation has been laid for Sino-U.S. relations. I believe mutual understanding and cooperation will benefit not only the people of the two countries, but also the world," she said.
The year long exhibition will tour Chinese cities and is scheduled to conclude in the Atlanta-based Cater Center in the United States in December.
"The next 30 years can draw our peoples together even more closely," George W. Bush said in his congratulatory message.
(Xinhua News Agency January 13, 2009)