On Jan 8th, French president Emmanuel Macron started his visit to China. And he choose Xian as the first Chinese city in his schedule.
During his 1 day in Xian, the president and his wife visited three cultural relics in Xian: Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Terracotta Warriors and Horses, and Grand Mosque.
Why did the president chose Xi’an as his first stop in China? Maybe just like his predecessors, they all have special affection to this ancient city.
The first well known French president visited Xian is Mitterrand. In 1983 he visited Xian and made a stop at Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. In his book he announced that he got lost in Chinese history.
The crazy fans of Xian is the former president of France: Chirac. In 1978 when he were mayor of Paris he went to Xian and paid a visit to Terracotta Warriors and Horses. After his visiting to Terracotta Warriors, he said “There are seven miracles in the world, the excavation of Terracotta Warriors and Horses can be the 8th world miracle!” Since then the Terracotta Warriors and Horses got its worldwide fame “The 8th world miracle”. No Egypt tour is complete without pyramid; No China tour is pleasing with Terracotta Warriors. In 1991 and 2006 Chirac visited China again and each time he must made a stop in Xian.
After France, his successor Sarkozy is the same passionate to Xian. In 2007, Sarkozy visited China and Xian was his first stop in China. During his stay in Xian, he visited Terracotta Warriors and Horses and Hanyangling Museum. He got souvenirs from the two museums: copy of bronze chariots and copy of Han Dynasty terracotta figures. The copy of bronze chariots were set in office of Sarkozy. In 2010, Sarkozy visited China for the 2nd time and Xian was still his first stop in China. He visited the ancient city again with his wife.
Besides the presidents of France, many leaders of other countries visited Xian:
In 1976 Singapore primer Lee Kuan Yew paid a visit to Xian and Terracotta Warriors. He was the first foreign leader that witness Terracotta Warriors. Besides the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Lee Kuan Yew also visited Huaqing Pool, Beilin Museum, and Banpo Museum.
In 1983, Jordan’s King Hussein visited Xian with his Queen. Being different from other visitors, Hussein drove his private flight to Xian.
In 1984, American president Reagan visited Xian and his main purpose was to visit Terracotta Warriors and Horses.
In 1985, Nixon, the former president of America paid a visit to Xian.
In 1986, Queen Elizabeth II’s paid a visit to Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum.
In 1992, the Japanese Emperor Aikihito visited Xian. In Xi’an the emperor and the empress visited City Wall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and Beilin Museum.
In June 1998, Clinton and Hilary pay an official visit to Xian and they were greeted with the City Wall Entering Ceremony at the South Gate of City Wall.
In 2003, Slovakia president Rudolf visited Xian. He visited China for only one time during his president term, and he chose Xian as his first stop in China.
In 2004, Russian president Putin carried out his visit to Terracotta Warriors in Xian.
In 2007, Turkey president Abdullah Gul made his visit to Xian. During his speech in Northwest University, he said “Xian is the starting point of Silk Road, Istanbul is the ending city of Silk Road. ” The president visited Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Huaqing Pool, watched the night show Everlasting Sorrow Performance. And took photo with the show performers.
In 2008, British Primer Blair and his wife visited Xian after his stay in Beijing during the Olympic Games.
In 2012 Myanmar president Wu Dengsheng visited Xian. During his stay in Xian, he visited Famen Temple and Terracotta Warriors and Horses.
In 2013 Henry Alfred Kissinger visited Terracotta Warriors and City Wall in Xian.
In 2015, India primer Narendra Modi made a visit to Xian. In Xian he visited Da Xingshan Temple, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Terracotta Warriors and Horses, and City Wall.
(Pictures are from online)