Merkel's birthday: one to remember

10:00, July 19, 2010      

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Front) visits the Museum of Qin Shihuang Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, July 17, 2010. (Xinhua/Jiao Weiping)

From the terracotta warriors to the steamed buns, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's 56th birthday was a taste of traditional Chinese culture.

On her fourth visit to China, which concluded on Sunday, Merkel asked to visit the western region of the world's largest developing country and to see the 7,000 soldier and horse funerary statues of the first Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang (259 -210 BC).

As Merkel's birthday fell on Saturday during her stay in the capital city of Northwest China's Shaanxi province, her host sought to give her a taste of traditional Chinese culture.

At the breakfast held in her honor, Premier Wen Jiabao presented her with a bright pink steamed bun shaped like a peach with lotus paste filling.

Merkel received another gift at lunch, when acting provincial governor Zhao Yongzheng gave her a sculpture of a horse as a birthday gift since she was born in the Year of the Horse, according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

During her 90-minute tour of the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Merkel's curiosity prompted her to ask questions and take photos of the statues with her mobile phone.

She also applauded when she heard that German specialists were involved in a study on preserving the colorful drawings that adorn the terracotta army.

Commenting on her trip, Merkel said she was pleased to have had the opportunity to visit the ancient city of Xi'an.

She also said German businesses were keen to become involved in China's Western Development Program and that she hoped bilateral cooperation between the two countries will expand further in the future.

Source: China Daily


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