The China sister city group of Long Beach received national recognition on Thursday for their community outreach both at home and abroad. The Long Beach-Qingdao Association was saluted at the China-U.S. Sister Cities Conference in Washington, D.C., just steps from the White House in the Ronald Reagan Building. President Mary E. Barton, Ph.D., received the award on behalf of Long Beach, and Ms. Mu Li, of the Qingdao office of the China People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, received the award for Qingdao.
The award recognized the active efforts of LBQA in working with multiple institutions in the Long Beach area, particularly higher education and arts groups, to initiate exchanges between the two cities.
“We were thrilled that both cities could be represented at the event,” said Barton, “since it is such a long way for the Qingdao representative to fly.” More than 200 pairs of China-U.S. cities were represented at the conference.
In addition to the awards and information sessions, the conference also highlighted trilateral partnerships—Chinese, U.S., and African cities—in development projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under the auspices of Sister Cities International.
The community outreach award marks almost 30 years of friendly cooperation between the two cities, both coastal port cities with strong educational institutions. LBQA seeks new members to join and participate in exchange and development work. Monthly meetings are held on the last Friday of each month at 8:00 a.m.