By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer
A six member delegation from Loudi, Hunan, China, recently visited Minnesota and met with guests at a dinner hosted by China Insight at David Fong's Restaurant in Bloomington, Minn.
By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer
A six member delegation from Loudi, Hunan, China, recently visited Minnesota and met with guests at a dinner hosted by China Insight at David Fong’s Restaurant in Bloomington, Minn.
Prior to arriving in Minnesota, the delegation made stops in Toronto, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Boston and New York City. While they were able to squeeze in a little bit of sightseeing, their main purpose was to meet with overseas Chinese from Loudi and share with them the news of the formation and election of officers for the Loudi Chinese American Association and the U.S.-Loudi Chamber of Commerce.
The delegation eventually arrived in Minnesota early on a Saturday morning but since they were only going to be here one day, they quickly checked into their hotel and were given a tour of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Mall of America.
The delegation, lead by Mr. Yao Bing, Vice Mayor of Loudi included: Mrs. Xiang GuoRong, President, Federation of Returned Overseas, City of Loudi; Mrs. Li ChunRui, Deputy Director, Department of Finance, City of Loudi; Mrs. Li WenLian, Commissioner, Committee of Government Assets, City of Loudi; Mr. Peng YuLing, Director, Administration of Grains, City of Loudi; Mr. Yang JianXiang, President, Association of Overseas Connections; and Lengshuijiang, City of Loudi. After their tour, the delegation arrived at the restaurant where they were greeted by over 70 guests.
The program for the evening began with a greeting by Richard He, President and founder of China Insight and native of Loudi, China. He welcomed the delegation and announced that although some local government officials were unable to attend, greetings were sent from the offices of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, Senator Amy Klobuchar, the Consul General of the Chinese Consulate in Chicago, St. Cloud State University (SCSU) along with representatives of other educational organizations that have had contact with Loudi through the years.
It should be noted that 14 of the 40 students from Loudi that are now attending SCSU were part of the group that was in attendance. Also, travelling from Illinois and Texas to meet with the delegation were other Loudi natives, Lubo Zhou, Yibing Zhong and Tim Wang.
The group was encouraged to help themselves to the great variety of appetizers which was followed by a multi-course family-style dinner during the presentation.
Continuing with his welcoming remarks, He commented that Loudi has developed a great relationship with Minnesota in the last few years and noted some of the accomplishments achieved including: Sister City relationship between Loudi and Ramsey City; Sister School relationship between Loudi #1 MS and Eden Prairie High School; Partnership between Hunan University of Humanities, Science and Technology (HUHST) with Bethel University and SCSU.
According to He, “Now it is time that the city government and corporations in Loudi want to establish a wide network in North America to continue to help its growth. The purpose of this visit is to establish an organization for developing business, education and culture connections between Loudi and Minnesota as well as serving as a social group for natives of Loudi now residing in Minnesota.”
The delegation wished to stress that the Loudi Chinese American Association and US-Loudi Chamber of commerce will serve as a bridge to encourage and facilitate trade and investment between Loudi and Minnesota, promote the development of bilateral trade. In terms of education, this organization will establish an educational platform to improve international academic exchange and cooperation. It encourages more and more Chinese students to study in America. At the same time, American students also have more opportunities to learn Chinese culture. The Loudi Chinese-American Association and the U.S.-Loudi Chamber of Commerce will cooperate with local organizations and local students to create cultural exchange to strengthen the bond between the two countries.
Janet Pladson and Richard He
Next to speak was Ron Case, Vice Mayor of Eden Prairie. Case welcomed the delegation and presented them with some token gifts. Following the Vice Mayor to the podium was Janet Pladson representing the Eden Prairie School District who has visited Loudi several times. Also welcoming the delegation was Patty Billings representing Shattuck-St. Mary’s a boarding school which is being attended by a student from Loudi.
Finally. Mr. Yao Bing, the Vice Mayor of Loudi, addressed the group and thanked everyone for the hospitality that has been extended to all visitors from Loudi and in turn invited and encouraged everyone to visit Loudi. They would be welcome. The Vice Mayor then announced that there was a gift for everyone in attendance and then went to each table to propose a toast to celebrate the Loudi-Minnesota relationship.
Although the dinner and presentation concluded, the delegation agreed to stay and meet with anyone that wished to have a meeting with them to discuss any kind of business or cultural exchange.
Later, the delegation reluctantly returned to their hotel since they had an early morning flight to Las Vegas for a day of sightseeing before visiting Los Angeles prior to their return home.