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Houston seeks to strengthen ties with China: Mayor


14:57, July 30, 2013

HOUSTON, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Houston, the fourth largest city of the United States, is to boost cooperation and exchanges with China, the city mayor Annise Parker said Monday.

Parker held a press conference for Asian journalists in Houston's Chinatown Monday afternoon, during which she said China is the most important trading partner for the fast-growing city.

"Today, we receive on average 10 inbound trade delegations per month. Three of them are from China," Parker said.

Monday's conference is part of her re-election campaign. In an effort to win over potential voters with Chinese origin, Parker acknowledged the importance of Chinese language popularization in Houston. "I certainly think making Chinese language available to more of our students would be beneficial and smart for our school districts," she said.

At lease one elementary school in Houston sets Chinese as its teaching language and 19 Confucius institutes were established in the southern U.S. states including Texas to promote Chinese culture.

Houston becomes famous to common Chinese households when the basketball star Yao Ming joined Rockets in 2003. Today Houston is home to a large Chinese community estimated at hundreds of thousands. And a nonstop flight between Houston and Beijing has been recently opened by Air China.

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