|Monks from the Shaolin Temple perform kung fu at the United Nations headquarters during the 2013 Shaolin Temple Cultural Festival.
Shi Yongxin, the 30th-generation abbot of the legendary Shaolin Temple, led a cultural delegation to perform kung fu at the United Nations headquarters on Oct 9.
Performing traditional Chinese martial arts moves, the 18-member group wowed the audience, many of whom said they had never seen such feats before.
Shi introduced the Shaolin culture, saying Shaolin kung fu provides a ready way of sharing the wisdom of Buddhism and Shaolin's contribution to the peace and health of mankind.
He said that the Shaolin Temple, which was founded during the Northern Wei Dynasty (AD 386-534) and is the birthplace of Shaolin martial arts and Zen Buddhism Shaolin kung fu, was legendary around the world.
Steve Orlins, president of the National Committee on US-China Relations attended the event.
Orlins said sports and cultural exchanges play an important role in US-China relations.
He recalled the legacy of "ping-pong diplomacy", and said he believed that exchanges like the Shaolin delegation's visit would strengthen the friendship between the two countries.
The appearance was co-hosted by the American-China Sports Association and Union National Culture & Sports Foundation.
Chen Ping, chairwoman of ACSA, said she views Shaolin kung fu as a holy and sacred tradition.
"The success of tonight's event inspires us to develop sports and cultural exchanges with confidence and determination," she said. "We will continue our efforts to make a difference."