The 2021 Beijing-Hangzhou Dialogue, an annual event focusing on the Grand Canal Cultural Belt, was held in Hangzhou from Oct.21st to 23rd.
Themed "The Age-old Canal Taking Us to Common Prosperity", the Dialogue is aligned with the national guideline to protect and utilize the resources along the Grand Canal and to turn it into a platform for communication with the world.
The Grand Canal runs 1,794 km from its north end in Beijing to its south end in Hangzhou. This world's longest artificial waterway can be dated back more than 2,400 years ago, and still plays a dynamic role in transportation, irrigation, and flood control. It was inscribed on UNESCO's world heritage list in 2014.
The canal has proliferated the rise of the cities along its banks, created their commercial prosperity, and promote cultural exchanges between different ethnic groups. In 2019, a framework agreement was signed on creating a Beijing-Hangzhou Dialogue cooperative mechanism along the Grand Canal Cultural Belt.
According to the agreement, Beijing and Hangzhou will take turns to host the Dialogue to build up a cooperation and exchange platform between the two cities and among those along the Grand Canal and construct a community to preserve, pass down, and rejuvenate the canal culture. In three years, the Dialogue has already become a significant window to promote the canal culture.
This year's Dialogue consisted of an opening ceremony, the main summit, and various sideline events. Beijing's Tongzhou district and Hangzhou's Gongshu district, the northernmost and southernmost ends of the Grand Canal, signed a sister district agreement.
The sideline events including a temple fair featuring Grand Canal elements, a Peking Opera show, and a gathering for literati from the two cities to exchange ideas on opera, poems, calligraphy, painting, and dances.
The Beijing Culture and Tourism Promotion Week was kicked off on Oct. 22nd in Hangzhou with various activities, joined by the mascots of the Winter Olympics Beijing 2022 and the Asian Games Hangzhou 2022.