On Saturday, Mayor DeWayne Hopkins and his wife, Jill, will travel to China for 10 days to attend the opening of a Muscatine Center. Their trip will serve to strengthen the relationship between Muscatine and China. Glad Cheng and Daniel Wang of China Window Group LLC are opening a Muscatine Center in Jinan, China to encourage Chinese tourism to Muscatine.
When then Vice President (now President) Xi Jin Ping visited Muscatine for his second time in 2012, people in China had Muscatine fresh on their minds. Awareness increased as stories of Xi Jin Ping’s visit sparked interest among the Chinese. Since then, awareness has decreased and Glad and Daniel want to change that.
Glad and Daniel hope to build two or three more Muscatine Centers within China to further their endeavor.
Mayor Hopkins said the Muscatine Center will feature displays highlighting Muscatine’s industry of the past and present.
“[The Muscatine Center] will be very similar to the History and Industry Center in Muscatine,” Hopkins said.
Glad and Daniel have a vested interest in encouraging Muscatine tourism as they are investors in the Merrill Hotel and Conference Center project. They also recently purchased the Marie Lindsay building.
Mayor and Jill Hopkins will have a full schedule of meetings and tours while they are in China, but Hopkins said he is most looking forward to seeing Mayor Yang of Zhengding. Mayor Hopkins first had the pleasure of meeting Mayor Yang during the fall of 2012 when Muscatine Sister Cities took a trip to Zhengding, China to sign the initial friendship agreement between the two cities.
Mayor Hopkins is optimistic about the future of the Muscatine/China relationship.
“I think anything and everything we do will help our relationship move forward,” Hopkins said. “This [trip] will just be one step in the right direction.”