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Lao She Teahouse
2005-04-27 23:41:21 Xinhua English

BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhuanet) -- The visiting delegation of the Kuomintang (KMT) Party of China, headed by KMT Chairman Lien Chan, are expected to enjoy fragrant tea and lively folk art performances later Thursday at Lao She Teahouse near Tian'anmen Square in the downtown upon arrival in Beijing.

Lien and his delegation will spend about an hour at the teahouse, treating themselves to century-old, colorful Peking opera, vivid imperial dancing and traditional music played on stringed instruments, said Yin Zhijun, general manager of the teahouse.

The teahouse has prepared elegant tea sets as special gifts forthe special guests, Yin said.

Lao She Teahouse, which serves unique quality tea and stages folk art performance items, is a leading venue for tourists from Taiwan to the Chinese mainland and has received nearly 20,000 Taiwan guests since it was established in 1988.

Tea constitutes a crucial part of the long-standing Chinese culture and teahouses were once scattered far and wide around China in the old days as cozy, pleasant sites for relaxation and informal meetings.

But many teahouses sank into oblivion during war flames and upheavals in the early 20th century. For a time after the foundingof new China in 1949, teahouses were taken as relics of the feudalpast and disappeared altogether.

Lao She Teahouse is named after Lao She (1898-1966), a noted Chinese realistic novelist and playwright. His widely read drama "Teahouse" depicts the true daily life of commoners in Beijing.

Lao She Teahouse recreates traditional Beijing culture -- customers can enjoy Chinese opera while sipping fragrant tea at ease in an elegant environment. It has antique Chinese furniture and its walls are bedecked with exquisite Chinese paintings and elegant calligraphy. At the entrance is a bronze statue of the late writer.

The teahouse has hosted leaders and dignities from other nations including former United States President George Bush and former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov.

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