Opening of a New U.S. Cultural Center in China
Earlier this year, both American and Chinese academics and state officials, including First secretary Gregory D’Elia from the U.S. embassy in Beijing, celebrated the inauguration of the U.S.–China Center for Sport Culture Exchange. This partnership involves the Tianjin University and the University of Minnesota, which was the first one to resume academic exchanges with China in 1979. Dr. Li Li Ji’s efforts and faith in this project convinced the U.S. Department of State to allow a 100,000$ grant to the cultural center. He strongly helped to set up this initiative, affirming that “sport is a tie between cultures, without dispute”.
The goal of the U.S.–China Center for Sport Culture Exchange is to show how the larger American society and viewpoints are influenced by sport values and how it affects individual or country-to-country interactions. Events, athletic exchanges and collaborations will be organised. The environment for such a partnership seems favourable, with more than 1,400 Chinese young people studying at the University of Minnesota. The latter also opened an office in Beijing in 2008.