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“Old Friends”: The Xi Jinping-Iowa Story Media Talking Points
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  • “Old Friends”: The Xi Jinping-Iowa Story” is a memoir compiled and told by Sarah D. Lande.  

  • It is self-published and printed in the United States.

  • The Memoir is written in Chinese and English side by side.

  • The intent of this Memoir is to capture the power and impact of friendship between the peoples of China and Iowa by illustrating their personal journeys between 1979 and 2015.  

  • This Memoir was compiled to inspire U.S.-China relations and inspire citizen ambassadors of any age long into the future. 

  • We established the Sarah D. Lande US-China Friendship Education Company to receive funds to produce the Memoir.  

  • We have sponsors from both the United States and China.

  • Any net profits from the sale of the Memoir go into an account at the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine.  

  • This is not a commercial venture. Interest from these funds will provide scholarships for business and cultural exchanges between Iowa and China.  

  • Writers and editors were all volunteers. Our core team includes  Sarah Lande, the author; Joni Axel, the project manager; Amy Bakke, the designer; and Sarah Minor, the editor.  

  • This is a project between the “Old Friends” in China and Iowa.  The “Old Friends” in China provided many images, notes, and memories—written and through interviews.  

  • “Old Friends” is a special phrase coined by President Xi Jinping during Governor Terry E. Branstad’s visit to Beijing in 2011. It specifically refers to the five delegation members in 1985: President Xi Jinping, Mr. Bai Runzhang, Mr. Yu Xiqing, Mr. Liu Luqing, and Mr. Xia Wenyi, and all the Iowans who hosted the Delegation in 1985 with Sarah Lande and Luca Berrone as the key representatives. 

  • Former Governor Terry E. Branstad, former U.S. Ambassador to China, is a key character in this story, and he wrote the Forward.  

  • Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn is also a key character in this story, and he contributed to Chapter 2:  The Journey in Retrospect. 

  • We have a sense of pride in the State of Iowa and wish to share with the world our special bond of friendship with President Xi Jinping and how our friendship has grown.

  • From 1988 to 1998, Sarah Lande served as the first Executive Director for Iowa Sister States, a state-supported, nonprofit organization that builds Iowa’s cultural, economic, and educational partnerships with the world, including Hebei Province in China.  

  • Iowa Sister States (ISS) provided information and images for this book. The memoir dedicates significant coverage and emphasis on the role of ISS in developing Iowa-China friendships.  

  • Sarah Lande was awarded the title of Honorary Friendship Ambassador in 2013 by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.  

  • The memoir is currently in the hands of a publisher in China.

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