Updated: 2012-05-04 08:47
'There are many challenges to living in Beijing. Certainly on the personal family level, everywhere I go, I don't know where I am in Beijing. It's too big!" US Ambassador to China Gary Locke recently told laughing editors of People's Daily.
Locke, who noted that he has been the US envoy for about eight months, said he is focused on strengthening the relationships both between the two governments and the citizens.
Asked why people in both countries sometimes seem to embrace the film image of each other more than the actual people, Locke said: "I think we always need to differentiate between what we see in the movies, whether Hollywood movies or Chinese movies or kungfu movies or the movies about ancient China that you see on the airplanes when I travel throughout China. We always have to know that the film people will have a certain image and it doesn't always square up with reality."
Locke said the US has a love affair with China that goes back more than 100 years. "It was the Chinese from Guangdong province, really, that came to the United States, that helped the United States finish the railroads that went from the east to the west," he said. "And it was the blood, sweat and tears of Asian-Americans and Chinese, and other immigrants, that contributed to the prosperity of cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago. That's why we have large Chinese populations in America."
The US consulate general in Guangzhou's weekly forum this week featured a lecture and discussion, The American Student's Experience in China. Upcoming Wednesday programs include panel discussions on International Press Freedom Day and All about Chinese-Americans.
Acting Consul General of China Song Ru'an and the staff from the Chinese consulate in San Francisco paid a visit to northern California farms, ranches and wineries last month, getting a taste of the region's agriculture on a tour hosted by the local Rotary Club. The Chinese diplomats and their families toured operations at Chamberlain Farms/Ranch, Yolo Land & Cattle Co/Ranch and Pioneer Seed Company in Woodland, and Sugar Mill Wineries in Clarksburg.
Rotarians in District 5160 provided $40,000 in aid for the victims of Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 and hosted two agricultural tours for the staff of the Chinese consulate in 2009 and 2010.
(China Daily 05/04/2012 page23)