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Background of the Memoir


Launch Event

On Thursday, May 3rd, we held a celebration to launch the memoir “Old Friends”: The Xi Jinping-Iowa Story, compiled and told by Sarah D. Lande. The event was held at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates. Former Ambassador Terry E. Branstad wrote the Forward for the memoir, followed the progress, and supported our effort to write our story. Mr. Bai Runzhang and Mr. Xia Wenyi, who traveled to Iowa with Xi Jinping in 1985, attended, as well as Consul General Hong Lei from Chicago and Ambassador Cui Tiankai, Ambassador from the People’s Republic of China to the United States.



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.


The memoir is written in Chinese and English.


We established the Sarah D. Lande US-China Friendship Education Co. to receive funds to produce the memoir. Any profits from the sale of memoirs 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.


The writers and editors were all volunteers. President Xi Jinping has contributed his personal pictures for the memoir. "Old friends" in China and Iowa shared their memories. We found early photos of Governor Branstad in the Iowa State Archives. We have a sense of pride in Iowa and wish to share our special bond of friendship with President Xi Jinping and how our friendship has grown with former Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad.


Legal statements from Articles of Incorporation

We established the Sarah D. Lande US-China Friendship Education Co (SDLUCEC), a nonprofit corporation. A specific purpose is the ownership and publication of a memoir by Sarah D. Lande developed from her collection of materials, notes, photos, speeches, audio, digital, books, and documents related to friendship among Hebei Province, China, President Xi Jinping, and the State of Iowa beginning in 1979. Also, a specific purpose is to provide education and inspiration for people of all ages, particularly students, to know, understand, and expand our cultural and educational citizen diplomacy and friendship relations, primarily with China.

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