We welcomed China’s Minister Qiu Yuan Ping to Chinese Reconciliation Park yesterday. Minister Qiu’s visit builds on Tacoma’s Sister City relationship with Fuzhou, and is part of China’s official visit to the United States. President Xi visits Seattle and Tacoma this week.
The special ceremony included speakers from Tacoma Public Schools, Chief Leschi School, The Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Tacoma City Council, and Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation. Two students from Tacoma’s Sherman Elementary were honored to present flowers and meet the minister.
Minister Qiu — the Minister of Overseas Chinese Commission in the China State Department — recognized the importance of Chinese workers in helping build the transcontinental railroad in the United States. The railroad strengthened America’s economy, and its terminus was Tacoma.
Minister Qiu emphasized education and collaboration in the U.S.-China relationship. Many Tacoma-based schools and colleges were represented at the ceremony, including Bates Technical College, Pacific Lutheran University and University of Puget Sound. They offer exchange programs and opportunities to learn about and study in China.
On Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Tacoma’s Lincoln High School. Nathan Gibbs-Bowling, a teacher at Lincoln, was just named the Washington teacher of the year. President Xi will visit Mr. Bowling’s government class. This video shows how the students are preparing for this historic visit.
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More photos from the event at Chinese Reconciliation Park are available on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/engagenorthwest/albums/72157656606146903