The two weeks leading up to National Day have been very rewarding. I've been invited to an exhibition event for foreigners and even got to see a performance in the Great Hall of the People. 

Yesterday, the foreign experts at Beijing Review and other China International Publishing Group publications were invited to the Great Hall of the People (my second time) for a special dinner event.

The Great Hall of the People is the main government building for the Chinese Communist Party. It serves as both a government structure as well as one for ceremonial events.

Our group of BJR editors sat at a table near the from of the ceremonial hall. The speaker for the event was Vice Premier Li Keqiang. 

The whole proceeding was short and to the point. The playing of the Chinese national anthem opened the event, proceeded by a speech by the vice premier. Dinner was served, the People's Liberation Army band played in the background, toasts were made and then a speaker announced the dinner was over. Almost everyone immediately stood up and left. I was still a little hungry, but I gathered my things and headed out as well.

I was honored to attend the event, especially since I've only been a foreign expert for about a month now. I just hope the opportunity presents itself to attend other functions in the Great Hall (I didn't take enough photos when I was there).

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