The evening of Jan. 23, 2011, marked the grand opening of Aji Contemporary Japanese restaurant, located on Main Street in Hopkins, a western suburb of Minneapolis. CIAC Travel also chose this occasion to host their 2011 Appreciation Dinner.

The evening of Jan. 23, 2011, marked the grand opening of Aji Contemporary Japanese restaurant, located on Main Street in Hopkins, a western suburb of Minneapolis. CIAC Travel also chose this occasion to host their 2011 Appreciation Dinner.

The celebrations began with a ribbon cutting ceremony that included Mr. Gene Maxwell, mayor of Hopkins together with the Raspberry Festival Royalty, Mr. Alex Chen, the owner of Aji, Mr. Ron Mahlen and Ms. Melody Zhou, the partners of CIAC Travel.

The banquet was hosted by CIAC Travel as an appreciation to those organizations for their contributions to build bridges between the U.S and China's culture, tourism and economy.  It also served as a platform for community leaders to network and explore opportunities of working together and make the Chinese Community a better place in 2011.

Distinguished guests at the banquet were from the major organizations of the Chinese community in Minnesota, which included but not limited to: Ms Ming Tchou, the founder of Chinese Heritage Foundation(CHF), Mr. Walter Graff and Ms Margaret Wong, the presidents of US China People's Friendship Association of Minnesota (USCPFA); Ms Lili Dong, associate director of University of Minnesota China Center; Mr. Li King Feng from the Minnesota Trade Office; Mr. Vincent Mar, former president of the Chinese American Association of Minnesota (CAAM); Ms Yi Li from Chinese Social Service Center; Mr. Jim Smith, Deputy Director of US-China Business Connection (UCBC); Mr. Charles Lee and Mr. Richard Ji, former president and president of Chinese American Business Association of Minnesota (CABAM), Mr. Hongsheng Guo from Association of Minnesota Chinese Physicians (AMCP); Mr. Changzhen Gong from American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM), Tony Leung,

All of the invited guests enjoyed a pleasant night that included a great dinner specially prepared by Aji, a comedy show and lucky drawings with plenty of nice gifts.  Ms. Melody Zhou, the president of CIAC Travel concluded the night by sending the best New Year's wish to the Chinese community "We wish everyone's dream come true, every business is prosperous, and all the friendship last forever. Together let's work hard to make a stronger community and better 2011!"

For additional information about Aji Contemporary Japanese, visit their Web site at www.ajicj.com or CIAC Travel at www.bestchinaholidays.com.

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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.