Ambassador Baucus Visits Yunnan Province

U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China Max Baucus traveled to the cities of Kunming, Jinghong, and the village of Xizhou, in the southwest province of Yunnan, from January 28 to February 1 to commemorate U.S.-China cooperation during World War II, visit a wildlife protection area, and learn about efforts to preserve the region’s cultural diversity.

During his stop in Yunnan’s capital city Kunming, Ambassador Baucus met with Party Secretary Li Jihong and other provincial officials.  Their discussion focused on how Americans and the people of Yunnan can continue to deepen historical ties, as exemplified by The Flying Tigers, American volunteers who worked with Chinese partners to defend the skies of China and Burma during World War Two.  He also met with members of the Yunnan Flying Tigers Research Association, and toured an exhibit at the Kunming Municipal Museum about the Flying Tigers.

During a speech to an audience of more than 200 academics, students, and members of the public at the Kunming Municipal Museum, Ambassador Baucus said “Let’s look ahead together to address the challenges facing our two countries and the world.  The sacrifices here in Kunming showed that when the United States and China work together we can accomplish great things.”

Ambassador Baucus traveled to Jinghong, in Xishuangbanna Prefecture, on January 29.  There he met with elephant conservation experts and visited the Wild Elephant Valley, a wild Asian elephant preserve. He also met with Xishuangbanna Prefecture Executive Vice Governor Chen Qizhong and toured Jinghong’s bustling night market.

On January 30, Ambassador Baucus visited Xizhou, near the city of Dali, where he presented the U.S. State Department’s Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) finalist plaque to resident Americans Brian and Jeanee Linden, founders and owners of the Linden Centre.  The plaque recognized the Lindens’ efforts to preserve the region’s unique cultural heritage through the promotion of sustainable tourism.  This annual award is presented to American owned-companies with outstanding records of corporate citizenship in overseas communities. During a subsequent meeting with Dali Prefecture Executive Vice Governor Wang Yizhi, the Ambassador heard about local government initiatives to preserve the area’s historic sites and cultural traditions.

Ambassador Baucus praised the Linden Centre’s contributions to the local community and said, “As a result of the work the Linden Centre is doing, visitors from across China and from across the globe can better experience Yunnan’s unique cultural heritage and increase mutual understanding.”

To access digital images from the trip, please visit http://photos.state.gov/libraries/china/240500/Ambassador-Yunnan/. For more information about any of the information in this press release, please contact the U.S. Embassy’s Beijing Press Office.