Chinese President Xi to visit Tacoma’s Lincoln High School

City of Tacoma officials announced Wednesday Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Tacoma next week.

President Xi plans to visit Lincoln High School with his wife, Peng Liyuan, on Weds., Sept. 23. Lincoln High School and the Affiliated High School of Fuzhou Institute of Education signed a memorandum of understanding in 2008 to promote faculty, student, cultural, and sports exchanges. Several Lincoln High School teachers and Tacoma school district administrators have visited Fuzhou for professional exchanges and to teach during breaks. Lincoln High School also has an active Sister City Club.

“Tacoma is an international port city with strong ties to China,” said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “Since 1994, our cities have both benefited from a variety of educational, cultural and sports exchanges, and Tacoma has hosted at least 30 delegations from Fuzhou. We look forward to President Xi Jinping’s visit to strengthen our educational, cultural, and business relationships with China.”

President Xi will be in the Seattle area between Sept. 22 and Sept. 24, and plans to visit Boeing’s Paine Field and Microsoft’s main campus. He will also meet with business and government leaders from across the U.S. and offer his only policy speech of his trip at a dinner banquet where dignitaries such as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger will be in attendance, according to the Office of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee. He will then travel to Washington D.C. and attend the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Similarly, a high-level official and member of President Xi’s delegation from China will visit Tacoma next week to inspect repairs to the Fuzhou Ting pavilion at the Chinese Reconciliation Park.

The four-acre park, located at 1741 N. Schuster Parkway, overlooks Commencement Bay and commemorates the expulsion of more than 200 Chinese people from their Tacoma homes and businesses on Nov. 3, 1885. Opened in 2011, the park currently includes a garden, winding foot paths, bridge, sea wall, public art, interpretive displays, recreation areas, and the Ting—a 30-foot-by-40-foot ornate pavilion donated by the City of Fuzhou, China, one of Tacoma’s sister cities.

A delegation that specializes in building and repairing Tings arrived in Tacoma on Aug. 14 from Fuzhou, China, to repair the roof, restore wooden components that were vandalized, and repaint the structure (see “Fuzhou delegation to repair Ting pavilion at Tacoma’s Chinese Reconciliation Park,” Tacoma Daily Index, Aug. 7, 2015). They planned to be in Tacoma through most of September to complete the repairs (see “Ting pavilion repairs under way at Tacoma’s Chinese Reconciliation Park,” Tacoma Daily Index, Aug. 25, 2015).

According to Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation President Theresa Pan Hosley, Overseas Chinese Affairs Office Director Qiu Yuanping will be at the Chinese Reconciliation Park at 9:30 a.m. on Mon, Sept. 21, to inspect repairs to the Fuzhou Ting pavilion.

“For us, it’s a really big deal to have [Qiu Yuanping] visit the park,” added Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation Boardmember Larry Hosley.

Earlier this year, the City awarded a contract to complete the park’s third phase, which will add approximately 30 parking spaces to the existing parking lot, remove approximately 1,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil currently stockpiled on site under the Schuster Parkway Bridge, and add amenities such as signage, a bamboo wall with a Chinese motif, plants, and lighting, according to City staff (see “Contract approved for Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park improvements,” Tacoma Daily Index, March 26, 2015).

To read the Tacoma Daily Indexs complete and comprehensive coverage of Tacoma’s Chinese Reconciliation Park, click on the following links: