DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) This year marks 30 years since the state of Iowa established a sister state relationship with Hebei Province in China and several events are planned to commemorate the anniversary.
The first is Monday at the Iowa House of Representatives with a small group performance featuring Hebei and Iowa children. Six officials from Hebei Province will attend. Monday evening an orchestra from Hebei will perform a joint concert with Valley High School's Orchestra at the school in West Des Moines. Iowa Sister States, the nonprofit volunteer organization founded in 1985 to manage relationships with eight different countries, is organizing the activities.
The Hebei/Iowa connection is credited with forming a lasting relationship between Gov. Terry Branstad and Xi Jinping (shee jeen ping), who's now China's president.