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By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer

A ten member delegation from the city of Loudi (metropolitan area and its affiliated counties/cities/district) in Hunan Province, China recently paid a visit to Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The delegation was led by Yan Fuchu, Vice Mayor of Loudi Municipal Government in charge of Education, Health and Science for the city of Loudi, principals of several schools in Loudi along with education officials from Liangyuan, Lengshuijiang, Xinaghua and Shuangfeng County under Loudi.

 By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer

A ten member delegation from the city of Loudi (metropolitan area and its affiliated counties/cities/district) in Hunan Province, China recently paid a visit to Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The delegation was led by Yan Fuchu, Vice Mayor of Loudi Municipal Government in charge of Education, Health and Science for the city of Loudi, principals of several schools in Loudi along with education officials from Liangyuan, Lengshuijiang, Xinaghua and Shuangfeng County under Loudi.

CHINAINSIGHT assisted in making arrangements for this visit and the Eden Prairie School District and the City of Eden Prairie extended invitations for this delegation's visit which would focus on education and business opportunities between the two cities.

To ensure that the delegation's mission was fulfilled, their hosts arranged a day packed with a schedule of events.

LoudiOak_PointPart of the Loudi delegation that visited Oak Point Intermediate School in Eden Prairie

To begin their day, the delegation was split into 2 separate groups of 5 each so that they could visit 2 different Eden Prairie Schools. One group visited Oak Point Intermediate and the other group went to Eden Prairie High School. During these visits, the delegation was greeted during breakfast meetings, visited various classrooms and given a tour of the school. Each session ended with a robust question and answer session that generated much discussion about U.S. teaching methods which put some of the group behind schedule for their next event.

The group's next stop was a visit to the Eden Prairie School District Administrative Services Center where they would learn about how money is raised to support various programs through the efforts of the Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools and the Booster Club for EPHS. Although it was made clear that this is strictly a voluntarily program, the delegation expressed concerns that this might put undue pressure on families that may not be able to contribute financially, but it was noted that a donation of time was also acceptable.

LoudiSuperintendent

Eden Prairie School District Superintendent, Mellissa Krull (r), welcomes delegation with Richard He (l) translating.

Following these discussions, School District Superintendent Melissa Krull welcomed the group and expressed that Eden Prairie was very pleased with the Sister School relationship that was created in 2006 with Loudi No. 1 Middle School and looked forward to continuing a mutual beneficial student exchange program. This delegation, especially the principals from several other schools from Loudi, expressed great interest in expanding the exchange programs with schools besides Loudi #1 Middle school, plus ideas how to implement the expansion. The group then took a lunch break.

 

LoudiRosemont_office

Loudi's Vice Mayor, Yan Fuchu (r) provides an overview of Loudi with Richard He translating.

 After lunch the delegation gathered at the offices of Emerson-Rosemount (E-R) where they were greeted by Rick Getchow, City Manager of Eden Prairie, David Lindahl, Eden Prairie Economic Development Manager, John Ehresmann, V.P. of Global Operations and Supply Chain for Rosemount and Jason Craig, Logistic Manager-Government Services for CH Robinson Worldwide. The group then heard a presentation about E-R and CH Robinson, both of which are businesses headquartered in Eden Prairie. Vice Mayor, Yan Fuchu, also provided an overview of Loudi city during which he stressed that Loudi has designated an economic zone and because of it's central location, could be a transportation hub easily accessible to the rest of China. It was obvious during the question and answer period that followed, there are business opportunities that would be worth pursuing.

The final, official event of the day was a reception at the offices of the City of Eden Prairie. There, the group was welcomed by Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens along with other city staff members, school district board members and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and business community.

The visit was coordinated by China Insight and Global Learning Alliance to provide transportation and translation. Mrs. Ergan Xu, a newly hired Chinese language teacher at EPHS also helped translate for the group visiting EPHS during the morning.

Although the delegation was exhausted after their whirlwind visit, a trip to Minnesota would not be complete without a visit to Mall of America so they completed their day by closing Mall of America with their generous contributions to the Minnesota economy with as much shopping they could squeeze in prior to the Mall closing to purchase presents for their family and friends before they departed Minnesota for Los Angeles the next morning. 

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About

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.