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PHOENIX -- The city of Phoenix is hosting a week-long celebration in honor of the Chinese New Year.

Mayor Greg Stanton spoke from City Hall Monday to open Phoenix Chinese Week. He said it's important for Phoenix to think and act internationally.

"It is equally as important that we build city to city, people to people, teacher to teacher, student to student," he said. "The kind of localized relationships to bring our two countries more closer together."

Phoenix has a great relationship with its Chinese Sister City, Chengdu. It's a Chinese city of about 15 million, Stanton said.

"And we do a lot of cultural exchanges, educational exchanges, fun stuff like that. But we have to make it more of an economic exchange as well. So an event like this just kind of celebrates that relationship, and also reminds people that we truly are an international city."

To close out Phoenix Chinese Week, the city will host a three-day cultural festival that features live dragon and lion dances, martial arts exhibits, folk and traditional dances, musical performances, a Chinese cultural and history booth, and of course, delicious Chinese food.

The festival runs Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, Saturday from 10 a.m. to p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The 24th annual festival is being held at Margret t. Hance Park, 1202 N. Third St., in Phoenix.

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