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USCPFA conference encourages China-U.S. friendship, exchanges

(Xinhua)

16:37, September 19, 2011

KANSAS CITY, the United States, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Delegates from across the United States met in Kansas City this weekend for a three-day conference of the U.S.-China Peoples' Friendship Association (USCPFA).

The conference, held from Friday to Sunday, drew some 1,000 China enthusiasts from this association to discuss new ways of promoting mutual cultural understanding and improving bilateral relations.

At the meeting, USCPFA members touched on issues of the development of scholarship programs for the Chinese students studying in the United States, and vice-versa. They also shared experiences of a recent trip to China.

A special event to remember the famous American journalist Edgar Snow was also held at the meeting as Kansas City is the birthplace of Snow who was the first Western journalist to interview China's late Chairman Mao Zedong and published his book "Red Star Over China," a symbolization of the lasting friendship between China and the United States.

In addition to speeches and presentations, a classical Chinese music performance was also staged during the meeting to introduce characteristic Chinese folk music elements to the American audiences.

Established in 1974, five years before China and the United States forged diplomatic relations, the USCPFA is devoted to people-to-people exchanges and the furtherance of bilateral understandings.

The USCPFA does play a role to advance the relationship between the two peoples and the two countries, said Kirk Huang, vice president of the Northeast New York division of the USCPFA.

"We witnessed a growing number of the Chinese immigrants coming to the U.S. as well as more frequent interactions between the two governments," Huang told Xinhua in an interview, adding that he believed the organization acted as a link between civil communities in China and the United States.

The USCPFA, with a supportive and friendly atmosphere, is working on providing assistance to local Chinese students and visiting scholars to understand and adapt into the American culture quickly, Huang added.

Different from other similar associations, the USCPFA comprises both Chinese and American staff. It provided a chance for the Chinese here to meet with each other as well as native Americans, while in turn the Americans are also able to learn more about China, said Joyce Cox, organizer of the conference and head of the Midwest region of the USCPFA.

With the surge of American interest in all things from Chinese language to the Chinese economy, USCPFA members are hopeful that the organization will continue to grow and further understanding and friendship between China and the United States in the future.

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