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HANGZHOU, China, Sept. 10, 2019 (Antara/Xinhua-AsiaNet)--

As a historical and cultural city, the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou has changed its development thinking by expanding to the east and embracing the Qiantang River, marking a development focus shifting from the West Lake.

Hangzhou's Jianggan District, the bridgehead of the city's eastward expansion, held the third Qiantang River International Cultural Festival lasting from July to November in a bid to embed cultural genes into the city's development strategy of embracing the Yangtze River. This year's Hangzhou Qiantang River International Cultural Festival went out of Hangzhou for the first time by holding the Qiantang River culture week in Beijing on July 28, marking an innovative attempt to promote the Qiantang River culture to the whole country and the rest of the world.

The West Lake is like a star on the earth, attracting the city to revolve around for thousands of years. Hangzhou has adjusted the "circular development approach" with the West Lake as its center by making the Qiantang River the permanent main line of its long-term development, and establishing the development philosophy of urban eastward expansion, boosting tourism in the west, and development along and with the Qiantang River.

Hangzhou is home to a challenging and dynamic tradition, that is, the tide-riding. With a red flag in hand and superb skills, tide-riders surf on the river waves.

Since the reform and opening up, the tide-riding characteristics have been fully demonstrated by Hangzhou people. Armies of "tide-riders" from Hangzhou have sparkled on the global stage, such as Wanxiang Group's former head Lu Guanqiu, Wahaha founder Zong Qinghou, and Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

"Local culture is the root cause for Hangzhou people's down-to-earth, pioneering and courageous personalities," said Ying Xuelin, deputy director of Hangzhou's publicity department.

To be specific, the core of Qiantang River culture is braving challenges and striving for excellence, staying open-minded and seeking exchanges and mutual prosperity.

Hangzhou's transition from the "West Lake Age" to the "Qiantang River Age" is not only the change of the urban development space, but also the change of the its philosophy and personality. "Hangzhou is seeking to get out from the comfort zone and strive for more," said Hu Jian, president of the Qiantang River cultural research association of Zhejiang Province.

Hangzhou Jianggan District is the bridgehead and pioneer area for the co-development with the Qiantang River. The district has sought influence beyond China by developing close ties with 17 foreign government agencies and international organizations. By leveraging the combined efforts of the six city-level regions and over 50 county-level places in the entire Qiantang River basin, the district has enabled the Qiantang River's cultural influence to cover more than 120 countries and regions. The Qiantang River International Cultural Festival held for three consecutive years has carried out 41 main activities and more than 50 related activities, attracting over 3.1 million participants, including thousands of international guests. The cultural festival has become one of the most influential comprehensive cultural events in the Qiantang River basin.

The event kicked off again in July, and went out of Hangzhou to hold activities in Beijing.

The Qiantang River is a "cultured river". Zhejiang is making efforts to build the Qiantang River poetry cultural belt, which has collected more than 2,300 poems written about the river.

The Qiantang River also nurtures people who integrates culture into life. Hangzhou has been a highland of cultural life since ancient times, where literature, art and sports are part of the lives of ordinary people. This year's cultural festival will host various activities such as drama, music, painting, sports, film and TV programs and traditional craft exhibitions. The premieres of the large-scale symphony "Qiantang River Symphony" and the large-scale realism drama "Spring Tide" as well as the Qiantang River International Surfing Competition will be held during this festival.

Source: The Information Office of Jianggan District, Hangzhou City

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