Dear Friends,

Last week, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Wanxiang America President Pin Ni signed an agreement to extend the city’s Chinese Summer Language, Culture and Technology Initiative (CSLCTI) program for another three years through 2019. The program is part of the US-China Strong Foundation’s strategic partnership with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to expand study abroad opportunities for urban youth. The program sends 25 students to China each summer and, since CSLCTI’s inception in 2011, 105 students have participated in the program.

The agreement was announced at the China General Chamber of Commerce’s annual gala, where Mayor Emanuel, Mr. Ni, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and others discussed the need for greater investments – financial, cultural, political, social and more – between the US and China.

The CSLCTI program “is an opportunity to build people-to-people relationships that are essential for not just the business opportunity, but for greater understanding, which is essential for us to continue to develop,” said Mayor Emanuel.

Hong Zhu (Minister for Commercial Affairs at the Chinese Embassy), 

Carola McGiffert (US-China Strong CEO), Hong Lei (China Consul General for Chicago),

Pin Ni (Wanxiang America President), Rahm Emanuel (Mayor of Chicago), and 3 CPS Students 

Chicago is one of the cities leading the way in fostering bilateral investments and US-China relations. Since Mayor Emanuel signed the Gateway Cities Agreement, a first-of-its-kind economic partnership agreement, with China’s Ministry of Commerce in 2013, Chicago has seen record-breaking annual Chinese investment. What’s more, Chicago leads the nation in foreign direct investment (FDI) projects and jobs.

Chicago is also a leader in ensuring that its young people understand China – there are more than 12,000 Mandarin language learners in CPS. We are honored to be working with the Mayor and leaders like Mr. Ni to position Chicago as a model for Mandarin learning that can be adopted by other cities around the country.

We look forward to the opportunities, cross-cultural understanding and exchange that CSLCTI’s extension will bring, and are so grateful to Wanxiang, Mayor Emanuel and CPS for their leadership and partnership.

Thanks, as always, for your support.


Carola McGiffert