China to glow in Alabama's spotlight

Updated: 2014-11-27 09:10


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The Birmingham International Center in the United States has revealed China will be its 2015 Spotlight country at an event attended by Yang Song, consul for cultural affairs from the Chinese Consulate General in Houston.

The center annually highlights a country with programs and activities designed to build greater cultural understanding. Next year's Spotlight will bolster cultural, educational and business ties between Alabama and China.

According to the Alabama Department of Commerce, China is the state's second largest export market, valued at $2.5 billion.

"We selected China because of the growing Chinese community and hundreds of Chinese students studying at Alabama colleges and universities," said Iris Gross, executive director of the Birmingham International Center.

"We want to provide students and teachers with cultural education opportunities that better enable them to be successful in the workplace of the future. In our discussions with the Chinese Ambassador to the US, he said how impressed he has been by the level of commercial, cultural and educational collaboration in Alabama for the Spotlight on China".

Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai will visit Birmingham for key Spotlight on China events in January. Programming covers three categories: education, culture and commerce, while official events include an ambassador's dinner, business roundtable and a table tennis championship.

Founded in 1951, the Birmingham International Center is the oldest cultural education organization in the US. It is a resource for international business education, intercultural training, heritage and arts programming.