By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pavillion at Lake PhalenWhile the seeds for a Chinese garden were planted back in the year 2000 by the U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association -MN Chapter, resulting in the formation of The Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society (MCFGS), much cultivating has taken place over the years.  The actual groundbreaking ceremony took place during the annual Dragon Festival at Saint Paul’s Lake Phalen Park in July.  For a more complete chronology of the garden’s evolution, visit 

During the groundbreaking ceremony, the official name of the Garden,  The St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden of Whispering Willows and Flowing Waters, was announced.  Built on a 1.2-acre site at Phalen Park, this sister-city collaboration was initiated by MCFGS with the City of St. Paul and its Parks & Rec Department, St. Paul’s District 5 Planning Council, the City of Changsha, Hunan Province, the Changsha People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, and the Changsha Yanghu Wetland Park (Phalen Park’s sister park) in China.  Changsha has been the sister-city to the City of St. Paul since 1988.

Add a comment

garden chansha groupJoin in the celebration of the construction of the St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden at Phalen Park.  Three structures fabricated in Changsha, the Xiang  Jiang Pavilion, the Hmong Heritage Wall, and the West Entrance Arch, will arrive around June 30.  On July 10, twelve artisans will arrive from Changsha to supervise the installation of the Xiang Jiang Pavilion, the sister-city gift from Changsha.  Come and celebrate the official Ceremonial Groundbreaking and Sister-city 30-year Anniversary on July 14, immediately following the opening ceremony of the Dragon Festival at 10:30.  Join the lion dancers parade at the Dragon Boat area along Phalen Lake to the construction site to see the progress and take photos of Mayor Melvin Carter and other dignitaries breaking ground.  This will be followed by a celebration at the Amphitheater next to Changsha Master Lei Yixin’s "Meditation" sculpture of cultural performances and making new friends.  Follow:


Add a comment


by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society announced that the respective gifts between the sister cities of Saint Paul and Changsha, China, have been shipped and will soon be installed in their permanent homes in Saint Paul’s Phalen Regional Park and Changsha’s Yanghu Wetland Parks.

Phalen Regional Park in Saint Paul will be receiving a replica of the famous Aiwan Pavilion in Changsha’s Yanghu Wetlands Park in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the St. Paul-Changsha sister city relationship.  Chinese artisans will travel to Saint Paul later this summer to install the pavilion designed in the 18th century during the Qing Dynasty.

In exchange, Saint Paul is sending five Peanuts characters to Changsha’s park with artwork by Hmong artist Kao Lee Thao, Chinese artist Yudong Shen and TivoliToo, the company that has made hundreds of the statues around Saint Paul. Statues sent to China include Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus and Snoopy’s Dog House with Minnesota state symbols such as a loon, lady slipper, pine and butterfly.  Shen painted the dog house.

Add a comment

By Greg Hugh  

Lucy Statue by Charles SchultzMembers of the Minnesota Hmong and Chinese communities along with many city and state government representatives recently attended a special unveiling ceremony for Nkauj Hmong Lucy as guests of the Hmong Cultural Plaza Advisory Group held at the Community School of Excellence in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Nkauj Hmong Lucy is one of five Peanuts characters that will be sent to the City of Changsha, Hunan Province, China this spring as part of the Saint Paul-Changsha Sister City gift-exchange project established by the Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society to coincide with the 30-year sister-city celebration in 2018.

The program included cultural performances and presentations from leaders from the Hmong community, local and state officials and the Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society. It also included comments from Kao Lee Thao, the artist who painted Hmong Lucy.

Add a comment

Terms Of Use

Terms of Use All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without prior written permission of the publisher. For permission requests, contact [email protected] with subject line “Permission request.”


CHINAINSIGHT (CI) is published monthly ((except July/August and November/December are combined) by China Insight, Inc., an independent, privately owned company started in 2001 and headquartered in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

CHINAINSIGHT is the only English-language American newspaper to focus exclusively on connections between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Our goal is to develop a mutual understanding of each other’s cultures and business environments and to foster U.S.-China cultural and business harmony.