Chicago, China Seek Stronger Ties In Hu Visit
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
Here's NPR's Cheryl Corley.
CHERYL CORLEY: President Hu began his day with a visit to Chicago's Walter Payton High School, home to the Confucius Institute. In a partnership with public schools, the institute teaches about 12,000 students Mandarin Chinese. Alex Guiravich(ph), a sophomore, who started taking Mandarin last year, was one of the lucky ones on-hand for the president's visit.
ALEX GUIRAVICH: It's weird thinking that the president of China picked our school out of all the schools in the United States to go to. But it's cool.
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CORLEY: Students from several schools waved Chinese and American flags and welcomed Hu in his native tongue. They treated him to performances, including a traditional Chinese handkerchief dance.
HU JINTAU: (Foreign language spoken)
CORLEY: Last night, at a formal dinner for Hu, Mayor Daley said it was a relationship that will endure.
RICHARD DALEY: Our long-range goal is to make Chicago the most China-friendly city in the United States and to establish it as China's gateway to Americas.
CORLEY: Speaking through an interpreter during the dinner, President Hu said there's been a substantial increase in the number of exports from Midwestern states since 2000.
JINTAU: (Through translator) Boeing, Motorola, Caterpillar, McDonald's and many other well-known companies have become household names in China.
CORLEY: This was the first time President Hu visited Chicago. And last night, a crowd of supporters rallied across the street from his downtown hotel. Student Ping Ting-li(ph) had traveled from downstate Illinois in hopes of getting a glimpse of Hu.
PING TING: Unidentified Group: Hu Jintao is a murderer.
CORLEY: Punsok Doji(ph), who had traveled from Minnesota, said talk about trade deals shouldn't dominate the conversation with China's leader in town.
PUNSOK DOJI: They consider that human rights is not a big deal, but the trade deal is the biggest deal. That's actually not a fair deal. The fair deal is the human rights is the fair deal and the biggest deal.
CORLEY: Cheryl Corley, NPR News, Chicago.
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