Chinese leaders watch Peking Opera for New Year

Xi Jinping (front), general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, greets to audience and performers at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 30, 2012. Top Chinese leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli watched Peking Opera on Sunday to celebrate the New Year. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)

Top Chinese leaders including Xi Jinping, general secretary of Communist Party of China Central Committee, on Sunday watched Peking Opera at the National Center for the Performing Arts in a gala to celebrate the New Year.

Vice Premier Li Keqiang and other leaders including Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli also watched the performance, together with nearly 1,000 audience.

The programs include excerpts from classical Peking Opera “The Fourth Son Visits His Mother” and a series of other traditional works.

The 200-year-old Peking Opera, which combines instrumental music, vocal performances, mime, dance and acrobatics, was regarded as a cultural treasure of China.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has listed Peking Opera as an intangible cultural heritage.

Top Chinese leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli watch a Peking Opera show to celebrate the New Year at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 30, 2012. (Xinhua/Ding Lin)