First Instagram account run by a Chinese language consulate receives heat welcome

NEW YORK, March 6 (Xinhuanet)– On February 6, the Brooklyn Nets held a Chinese Heritage Night in celebration of Chinese Lunar New Year. Huang Ping, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in New York, was presented with a special jersey by the team. Reading HUANG PING, the No. 19 jersey can be seen being held up by a smiling Mr. Huang in an Instagram post on the official Brooklyn Nets account.

The original photo, which received over six thousand likes from Nets fans, was reposted by the official Instagram account of the Chinese Consulate General in New York. The account, @chinacg_nyc, aims at fostering closer cooperation and friendship between the peoples of China and the United States.

The account, the first of its kind as an Instagram account representing a Chinese overseas mission, launched on February 5, the first day of Chinese Lunar New Year. Now, after its first month in operation, the account has featured numerous interesting glimpses into Chinese culture, heritage, etc. Posts include a video of President Trump’s grandchildren singing in Chinese, photos of the annual New York City Chinese New Year parade, examples of Chinese brushwork, and the country’s iconic animal ambassadors: pandas.

These posts have been fostering American interest in learning more about China. Elisa, a student at Rutgers University, said “I watched a video clip of ‘One Small Step’ on this Instagram, and I just found out this cartoon has been nominated for Best Animated Short Film (at the Academy Awards). I should absolutely go see it.”

Like the Instagram account, “One Small Step” is also a cross-cultural product created by an animation studio jointly working from Los Angeles and Wuhan, China.

“I like the stories about Chinese history and culture on this Instagram.” Aaron Baker, a New York young man in his early 20s said.

“Through this account, you can see a beautiful, charming country and the extensive and close cooperation between the peoples of China and the United States,” Huang Ping said in a video announcing the account.

In a video with CGTN discussing China-U.S. relations, the Consul General said, “During my multiple visits to the ten States of my consular district, I can feel local Americans’ strong desire for a closer relationship and cooperation.”

The Chinese Consulate General in New York has operated an official WeChat account since 2015. The WeChat account provides information about consular services while promoting and creating opportunities for cultural exchange. With nearly 100,000 followers, it has become a successful example of “diplomacy for the people” through new media platforms.