By Greg Hugh

ChinaCenterBanquet 1The China Center recently celebrated building bridges between the U.S. and China with an evening of festive food, entertainment and socializing at the McNamara Alumni Center Memorial Hall.

The celebration began with a social hour with a guzheng performance by Jarrelle Barton.  The UMN Chinese Culture Club also made an appearance in traditional Chinese clothing and posed for photos with guests. For those so inclined, there was an opportunity to bid on China-related items donated by generous friends of the China Center.  Auction items included a curated tour of MIA with Dr. Yang Liu and a literati night with dinner, poems and traditional music at the Xiangjiang Pavilion located in Lake Phalen Regional Park in Saint Paul.

Opening remarks were then provided by present and past members of the China Center staff as dinner was served.

ChinaCenter30th keynote 1John Holden, a University of Minnesota alumnus, delivered the keynote speech on U.S.-China relations and exchanges, "Minnesota to China: A 40-Year Reflection."  One of the first UMN students to travel to China in the 1970s before China opened to the West, Holden is Senior Director for China at McLarty Associates and former senior fellow in the Carnegie Asia Program and former president of the National Committee on United States-China Relations.  He earned his bachelor's degree in Chinese Language and Literature from the University of Minnesota.  Since his first trip to Asia in 1972, Holden has studied or worked for a total of 25 years in Taipei, Hong Kong, Beijing and Kyoto. 

The China Center is proud to celebrate 40 years of working to build the bridge of understanding, friendship, exchange, and cooperation between the U.S. and Greater China (mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan). 

To learn more about the China Center, visit


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