Consulate General of China visits Iowa State


Harry Nguyen/Iowa State Daily

Hong Lei, consulate general of China, interacts with the crowd during his speech in the Memorial Union on September 12, 2017.

Harry Nguyen

Iowa State University welcomed delegation members and Consulate General Hong Lei of the People’s Republic of China in Chicago, who shared important remarks about new developments in China and Chinese-U.S. relations.

The Consulate General’s visit included meetings with leaders of Iowa State University such as Interim President Benjamin Allen and Vernon Hurte, as well as visits to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a few others.

Hong spoke in the Memorial Union Monday evening about China’s rapid growth of economic development, agricultural trade, and even the increasing number of Chinese travelers to the U.S.

“This relationship is the most important relationship in the world,” Hong said. “We cannot make it fail, we have to make all the efforts to make it succeed.” 

1577 Chinese students account for the for the fall semester enrollment at Iowa State, and when they heard that a representative from their country was coming to speak, many were thrilled. 

Michael Ren, president of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, claimed that his arrival is important to Chinese international students at Iowa State.  

“He is very popular in China, he acts as a public relation press secretary and is always being shown on television so everybody is familiar with him,” Ren said.

Ren added that it is no secret as Consul General Hong hosts more press conferences than any other spokesperson from China.

He also explained that the Consul General’s major mission is to promote good relations between the U.S. and China, whether it be business, or economics between the largest two economies in the world. The later is similar to one of his goals of helping the Chinese students get involved in the American community.

Hong mentions that Iowa State University plays an important role for the many exchanges between China and the United States, one being that education plays an important role in Chinese families.

With China’s new developments, those families are now able to afford to send their children abroad and study in the United States.

“This creates very important opportunities for Chinese students to broaden their view about the world, to get close to the international development,” Hong said. 

Hong believes that with such opportunities alongside the new trend of Chinese students studying abroad in the United States, these students will be ready to become global citizens. 

Hong hopes that international students at Iowa State is will study well to realize they can reach for economic success while staying here. However, he also wants them to be safe while away from home.