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China’s massive new embassy in Washington cuts an imposing figure. While the old building on Connecticut Avenue invited tourists and protesters alike to play with its whimsical stone lion statues, the new space was designed to properly convey China’s position as a rising world power. Appropriately, the 250,000-square-foot complex dwarfs its nearest neighbors, the Pakistani and Malaysian embassies, with limestone embankments capable of repelling an attack by the best-trained Falun Gong. Sensitive, perhaps, to critics who find the fortresslike architecture less than welcoming, embassy staff are playing up China’s aesthetic side by hosting pianist Di Wu. The 25-year-old prodigy debuted professionally with the Beijing Philharmonic at age 14, studied at Juilliard, and has since toured Asia, Europe, and North America to wide acclaim. The great acoustics in the embassy’s concert hall should allow visitors to appreciate China’s inevitable musical domination, too.
DI WU PERFORMS AT 7:30 P.M. AT THE CHINESE EMBASSY, 3505 INTERNATIONAL Place NW. $70. (202) 625-2361.