- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) - Representatives from a Chinese company have opened a tourism destination in Muscatine as a signal of good faith between the U.S. and their home country.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday morning at the new Sino-U.S. Friendship House. Daniel Wang and Glad Cheng of China Window LLC purchased the house, where Chinese President Xi Jinping stayed as a guest in 1985, to serve as a bond between the countries and to celebrate the sister-city status between Muscatine and Zhengding, China.

The Sino-U.S. Friendship House will serve as an outlet for visitors who want to know more about the relationship between the U.S. and China, according to China’s Consul General Zhao Weiping.

“I hope the message of China’s and the U.S.’s friendship will reach more people,” Weiping said.

Since 1986, Muscatine has formed relationships with cities in Argentina, Germany, Japan, Palestine, Poland, Russia and Ukraine, as well as China. Muscatine and Zhengding were declared sister-cities in 2013, the Muscatine Journal (https://bit.ly/1Lm3KVk ) reported.

The event on Thursday featured several presenters, including Weiping, Muscatine Mayor DeWayne Hopkins, author Robert Lawrence Kuhn, President Jinping’s friend Joni Axel and Gary Dvorchak, son of the family who hosted Jinping during his first trip to Muscatine, when he learned about the modern agriculture of that time.

Kuhn spoke about how the U.S. and China depend on one another, arguing that one cannot succeed without the other.

If China fails, we fail, and if we fail, China fails,” Kuhn said.

A private luncheon was held at the Riverside Center after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Several local officials informed their visitors of the future plans for Muscatine, including improvements to the downtown riverfront and city parks, building the city’s first dog park and enhancing the Muscatine Art Center.

Students from Muscatine High School also presented the Chinese delegation with a welcoming gift of a pineapple.


Information from: Muscatine Journal, https://www.muscatinejournal.com

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