China’s ambassador to the United States visits Muscatine
China’s ambassador to the United States visits Muscatine

China’s ambassador to the United States visits Muscatine

It was presented during Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang’s visit to Muscatine on Wednesday.

MUSCATINE, Iowa – A new scholarship and program will give Muscatine students the chance to study abroad in China.

Muscatine China Initiatives Committee, Sarah D. Lande Friendship Education Fund and Wanxiang signed an agreement to form the program “Sarah and Roger Lande Scholars”. Students in the Muscatine School District and Muscatine Community College will be able to apply for the program.

Pin Ni, a Chicago businessman with Wanxiang, donated $ 500,000 to the program so students can participate in a four-week immersion program in the summers of 2023 and 2024. Students will study on campus at Hangzhou Wanxiang Polytechnic in Hangzhou, Zheijiang Province, and learn about the Chinese language, environmental protection and clean energy science.

Daniel Stein, chairman of the Muscatine-China Initiatives Committee, said it will be a program that pays all expenses.

The grant was announced on Wednesday, April 20, during Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang’s visit to Muscatine.

“Muscatine is a sacred place of friendship between China and the United States,” Gang said.

RELATED: Decades-long relationship with President Xi Jinping puts Muscatine on the map of the best Chinese dignitaries

Bands visited with old friends of President Xi Jinping. Jinping first visited Muscatine in 1985 as part of an agricultural delegation to learn about pig breeding. He returned when he was Vice President in 2012 to meet some of the people he met during that journey.

“As an ambassador, one of my most important tasks is to take care of this special friendship,” Gang said. “And let it, the torch of friendship, go from generation to generation. So now the torch is in our hands and we have a responsibility to pass it on.”

He added that these friendships are especially important right now. As tensions continue to rise between the two countries, “friendship is the most effective vaccine against the political virus,” Gang said.

Sarah Lande is an honorary friendship ambassador to China. Jinping’s visit to Muscatine in 2012 took place in her home, now called the “Friendship Home”. She is excited about the opportunity to continue this friendship between Muscatine and China with the younger generations.

“We will work to get more opportunities for young people to go back and forth,” she said. “And more opportunities for people from China and the United States to get together and get along with each other, because when people meet, the barriers seem to fall.”

“It all starts with the younger people,” Stein said. “The more exchange programs we can have, the more people who visit the other country and gain an understanding of the culture, the better it will be for the relationship between the United States and China in the long run.”

Muscatine students have previously traveled to China for four-week programs, Stein added, but the trips were put on hold due to the pandemic. He said about 40 to 60 students visited each summer in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

“We hope we can write more, new chapters for the friendship book,” Gang said.

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