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Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang to visit Muscatine

Gang is making his first-ever visit to Muscatine on April 20 to meet with friends of current Chinese President Xi Jinping.

MUSCATINE, Iowa — Qin Gang, the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, is making his first-ever visit to Muscatine on April 20 to meet with friends of China's current president, Xi Jinping.

According to the Muscatine-China Initiatives Committee, Gang will be traveling from Washington D.C. for the private meeting.

Gang was named the 11th Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the United States in July 2021. He serves as China's top diplomat and U.S. government representative.

The meeting is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. at the Merrill Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Muscatine. It will be closed to the public, but a press conference will be open to media outlets who pre-register for credentials.

That same hotel and convention center is part of the $41-million project sparked by Chinese investors in 2014. The project included grants from the State of Iowa and Muscatine's sister city, Zhengding. It served as an illustration of Muscatine's role in the global economy and a special bond with China that helps attract world tourism to Iowa.

The ties between the Mississippi River and Mark Twain's influence in Chinese literature have also strengthened the Iowa-China relationship, along with the country's current leader. 

Xi Jinping, the president of China, requested a special reunion in Iowa over 10 years ago with his old Muscatine colleagues. Jinping lived in Muscatine in 1985 when he came to the city to learn more about the farming industry.

His visit in 2012 came in the midst of his vice presidency on his path to becoming a future world leader. The reunion was filled with recollections, Iowa hospitality and a bolstering of international relations.

"It was absolutely electric," said former Muscatine Mayor DeWayne Hopkins in 2012. "This gentleman has an aura about him."

The upcoming visit from Gang will mark another chapter in the ongoing history and relationships between Muscatine and China.

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