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USCPFA-Minnesota celebrates China’s 60 years of Change and 30 years of Friendship

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By Mary Warpeha, Co-President of US–China Peoples Friendship Association of Minnesota

On the pleasant fall evening of Nov. 17, an enthusiastic crowd enjoyed an excellent speech and Chinese food at the Pagoda Restaurant in Dinkytown.  Among the 120 persons in attendance were members of US-China Peoples Friendship Association of Minnesota, students and families from Breck School, members of the Minneapolis Sister Cities Committee and three groups visiting with the University of Minnesota China Center - 18 delegates from Chongqing Agriculture University, 17 trainees from the Mingda Leadership Institute, 3 from Beijing Fazheng Group.  Dorsey & Whitney and the China Center were major partners in this successful event.

By Mary Warpeha, Co-President of US–China Peoples Friendship Association of Minnesota

On the pleasant fall evening of Nov. 17, an enthusiastic crowd enjoyed an excellent speech and Chinese food at the Pagoda Restaurant in Dinkytown.  Among the 120 persons in attendance were members of US-China Peoples Friendship Association of Minnesota, students and families from Breck School, members of the Minneapolis Sister Cities Committee and three groups visiting with the University of Minnesota China Center - 18 delegates from Chongqing Agriculture University, 17 trainees from the Mingda Leadership Institute, 3 from Beijing Fazheng Group.  Dorsey & Whitney and the China Center were major partners in this successful event. 

With hunger satisfied, the guests settled in for an enthusiastic talk by guest speaker, Chicago Consul Huang Ping.  Accompanying Mr. Huang during his 3-day visit to Minnesota were Ms. Aiping Zhang (spouse of Mr. Huang), Ms. Jing Zhu, Vice Consul, Ms. Li Changhua, Consul for Education and Mr. Yu Xueyong Consul for Public Affairs. 

Walter Graff, Margaret Wong, Aiping Zhang, Mary Warpeha, Consul General Huang Ping, Linda Mealey-Lohmann, Li King Feng, Wang Guangfa

Consul General Huang spoke on one of his favorite topics - growth and change in his motherland and his hopes for an even more memorable future.  He reminded us that many more Chinese are living above poverty levels, incomes have improved, and the GNP is impressive with China rapidly catching up with second place GNP holder, Germany.  Through the interchange during President Obama’s visit, he feels there is a strengthening commitment to a partnership on climate change, the environment, space exploration and more.

The Consul General stressed that the United States and China no longer can be at odds with each other.  The time for partnership is here.  The Obama visit is a strong start.

He explained that a major incentive for economic and cultural cooperation is the recent approval for Chinese citizens to visit the United States as tourists.  Mr. Huang believes that there is high potential for Minnesota to reap benefits from this approval, and he is encouraging travel to Minnesota during his networking with Chinese officials.

NBA action is known to the very last detail among youth and adults in most of China – offering a potentially large market for new teams and exhibition games.  With an impatient market for sports entertainment by professional teams, 20+ cities will soon have NBA quality stadiums.  To check the potentials, the Consulate staff accepted an invitation by the Timberwolves to attend the Nov. 18 game against the Houston Rockets (unfortunately the Timberwolves lost to the Rockets).  Keep an eye out for sports engagements involving Minnesota and China.

Following Consul General Huang’s speech, Breck School teacher, Margaret Wong, lead Breck’s five Chinese exchange students and the audience in Yiyongjun Jinxingqu, The March of The Volunteers – China’s National Anthem.

As a small non-profit volunteer organization, USCPFA-Minnesota is reliant on the assistance and cooperation of many within our community.  Special thanks to the organizations –and especially CHINAINSIGHT –which publicized this event for us.

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