Chengdu, a mega city in western China, has been stepping out on to the world stage more frequently recently in an attempt to strengthen its global brand marketing.

The city presented a float at the 90th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York on Nov. 24 together with Macy’s and the Sino-American Friendship Association.

This was the third consecutive year that a Chinese-themed float has joined the classic parade, after Beijing and Yunnan in two previous parades, according to Susan Tercero, group vice-president of special productions at Macy’s.

The Chengdu float was one of the highlights of the parade, she said.

“Chengdu is a city really rich in Chinese culture.”

Surrounding the float were dancing panda characters — 42 students from two New York middle and high schools.

The float also featured other aspects of Chengdu, such as the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, a water conservation project of the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.), and 3,000-year-old Jinsha culture, as well as face-changing Sichuan opera performances.

Also in November, Chengdu held a food and culture festival with the San Francisco city government, the first of its kind between the two cities.

During the evening gala at San Francisco City Hall on Nov. 10, 10 top Chengdu chefs served up signature dishes in classic Sichuan cuisine. Renowned Sichuan artists also offered a visual feast of Chengdu’s Kung Fu Tea ceremony and dance performances.

The Chengdu chefs also visited high-tech companies in Silicon Valley, including Intel, Oracle, Facebook and Cisco, as well as popular Chinese restaurants in the area.

The Chengdu delegation sent hightech companies in the Silicon Valley invitations to co-organize a charter flight tour to Chengdu this year.

Edwin Lee, mayor of San Francisco, said the two cities have much in common in fields such as science and technology, education and tourism.

“We are delighted to hold the festival, and look forward to more food festivals that will further strengthen ties between the two cities,” he said.

During the festival, Chengdu set up a Sichuan cuisine overseas promotion center and a Chengdu tourism experience center in the Bay Area. It also set up a second Sichuan cuisine overseas promotion center in Los Angeles.

To introduce traditional Sichuan culinary techniques and culture to people around the world, Chengdu is scheduled to set up 10 Sichuan cuisine overseas promotion centers in three years, according to the Chengdu Commission of Commerce.

Officials at the Chengdu Tourism Bureau said the city will make use of its advanced flight networks and international railway networks to promote its tourism.

The city has opened nearly 100 international routes, connecting it to more than 70 international cities such as San Francisco, Paris, Frankfurt, Melbourne and Doha.

The city is also operating the Chengdu- Europe Express Rail, the fastest and most frequently used express rail service linking China and Europe.

In November the express rail was expanded to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Previously, the line was linked to European cities including Lodz and Kutno in Poland, Nuremberg in Germany and Tilburg in the Netherlands.

Under the latest plans, Chengdu will open two more cargo rail routes to Europe, one to Istanbul in Turkey and another to Russia. The routes have been tested and are scheduled to go into operation this year.



Editor: Zeng Yunheng