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The Chinese-American Experience in Minnesota
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Image of cover of China Center Annual Report, 2001-2002

China Center Annual Report, 2001-2002.

The University of Minnesota's China Center was established in 1979 to facilitate exchanges between the University and the People's Republic of China. Today it continues to act as a resource center for scholarly exchange and also sponsors seminars and programs on Chinese culture and politics.

“We firmly believe that the strong work ethic of Minnesotans is the catalyst that combines with their can-do spirit to produce, in our state, a truly outstanding place to live and fulfill dreams.”

Joe and Rose Ling

The most important institution in postwar Minnesota for Chinese Americans was the University of Minnesota. Chinese students had been enrolled at the 'U' since 1914. Many more came during and just after World War II, but during the Cold War, student exchanges with mainland China ceased altogether. Since normalization of U.S.-China relations in 1978, the University has hosted thousands of Chinese scholars and students. Today there are more than 1,200 visiting Chinese scholars and students at the University, the largest such population on any North American campus.

Photo of U of MN soccer team, 1914University of Minnesota soccer team, 1914

The first Chinese students to enroll at the University of Minnesota also played for the men's soccer team in 1914. In the center row are Wen Huen Pan and his brother Wen Ping Pan. In the bottom row is Kwong Yih Kum. Photo courtesy University of Minnesota Archives

Photo of U of MN International Club meeting, 1939International Club meeting, University of Minnesota, 1939

The University's School of Agriculture drew many Chinese students. In this photo Agriculture students meet at University Farm. An Indian student points to his country of origin, while Chinese student C. T. Tsiang does likewise. Hong-tsu Yang, another student from China, is in the rear. Photo courtesy University of Minnesota Archives


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