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Sino-US Friendship House opened to mark Xi's amity with US town

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held to mark the opening of the "Sino-US Friendship House" on September 17. Photo: China Press/

A residential house in Muscatine, Iowa state, which accommodated Chinese President Xi Jinping in 1985 has been officially named the "Sino-US Friendship House" to commemorate the friendship between the US and China, on the eve of the Chinese president's visit to the US this week.

Some 100 people, including DeWayne Hopkins, mayor of Muscatine, and Zhao Weiping, consul general of China's Chicago consulate-general, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony held to mark the opening of the house on September 17.

Hopkins said that the increased trade between the US and China has endeared Muscatine to China in recent years, before which people living in the small American town knew little about China. The mayor hailed Xi's whirlwind tour of Muscatine in 2012 as Chinese vice president as a trigger of US-China exchanges at grass roots, which he said brought many business opportunities to the town.

"The 'Sino-US Friendship House' is the first such museum to showcase President Xi Jinping's friendship with the people of Muscatine and is the symbol of the eternity of the friendly relationship between President Xi and the town's people," said Zhao at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Cheng Lijun, general manager of a Chinese enterprise which purchased the house for $180,000 due to its historic significance two years ago, handed the house's key to Hopkins as a gift after the ribbon-cutting ceremony, expecting the "Sino-US Friendship House" to be a bridge connecting the two countries' people and to serve as a window of Chinese culture to the American people.

Before its naming as the "Sino-US Friendship House", the ownership of the residential house has changed for several times, with a overhaul of the facilities. At present, it houses many precious photos of Xi taken during his visits to Muscatine in 1985 and 2012 respectively.

Gary Dvochak, the son of the house's original owner who received Xi 30 years ago, recalled his surprising encounter with Xi, saying that the house is symbolic of the two countries' friendly relations.

(This article is translated and edited by Ding Yi.)

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