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Dragon Boat races at the Twin Cities Dragon Festival

Dragon Festival! 龍舟節!

The China Center and the Confucius Institute participated in the 2011 Dragon Festival at Lake Phalen in St. Paul July 9 and 10!

We asked visitors to our booth trivia questions about the China Center and the University of Minnesota. "Easy" questions were multiple choice or True/False. When answered correctly, the winner received a temporary tattoo with a Chinese character.

"Difficult" questions were free answer and required knowledge of China Center activities. When answered correctly, the winner received a University of Minnesota t-shirt or sweatshirt. Participants only had one chance to answer a difficult question and once it was answered, it could not be answered again.

All questions and answers are below!

Easy Questions

When was the China Center established?

A. 1960
B. 1979
C. 1987

The University of Minnesota was one of the first U.S. academic institutions to reach out to China once relations normalized.

The China Center houses the Mingda Institute for Leadership Training, which provides training for mid-career Chinese professionals. What does “Mingda” mean?

A. U of M
B. China Center
C. Professional

U of M
“Mingda” is the abbreviation in Chinese for the full name of the University of Minnesota.

What percentage of donations to the China Center Scholarship Fund goes to students wishing to study in greater China?

A. 60%
B. 75%
C. 100%

The China Center covers all administrative costs for the Red Pocket Scholarship so that every penny donated by a supporter goes to students who are awarded scholarships.

True or False: The University has an official office in China.

The office in Beijing was the University’s first official office abroad. 

Minnesota obtained statehood in 1858. When was the University of Minnesota founded?

A. 1851
B. 1858
C. 1885

The University of Minnesota was founded as a land-grant institution before Minnesota became a state!

True or False: The University of Minnesota has one of the largest populations of students and scholars from China.


Difficult Questions

Who was the first director of the China Center?

Mei-Ling Hsu
Dr. Mei-Ling Hsu was a member of the University’s first delegation to China in 1979 and subsequently became the director of the China Center, serving from 1980 through 1984. Dr Hsu laid a firm foundation for the China Center in both the academic and business sectors and her work in building U.S.-China bridges was pioneering. In addition to her work in the China Center, Dr. Hsu was a professor in the University’s Department of Geography for more than 30 years

How many scholars from China have received an honorary doctorate from the University of Minnesota?


1996        Dr. Tsiang  Yien-Si
1996        Dr. Tang Peisong
1999        Dr. Tu Guangchi
1998        Dr. Yu Wei
2001        Dr. Lou Cheng-Hou
2004        Dr. Jiang Zhenghua
2006        Dr. Fai-nan Perng
2007        Dr. Lu Yongxiang
2011         Dr. Bai Chunli

What year did the first Chinese students enroll at the University of Minnesota?

The first student on record from China attended in 1914. The Pan brothers of China became well-known on campus as members of early U of M soccer teams.

Name one of the presenters of the annual Bob and Kim Griffin Building U.S.-China Bridges Lectures.

2010-11 Dr. Weiping Wu, professor of urban and environmental policy and planning at Tufts University, Migration and China's Urban Transformation

2009-10 Former Ambassador to Burma and Consul General in Hong Kong Burton Levin, The U.S. and China: A relationship marred by misperceptions

2008-09 Former China Correspondent and current London Bureau Chief for NPR, Rob Gifford, China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power

2007 Ambassador Jeffrey Bader, John L. Thornton China Center, Brookings Institution, China and the Middle East: From revolution to stability…to challenge?

2006 Pieter Bottelier, economist and professor, India’s Growth from the Perspective of China’s Experience

2005 Dr. Arthur Rolnick, a senior vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank, Minneapolis: Dollars vs. RMB: What Does Devaluation of the Chinese Currency Mean for the U.S. Economy?

2004 Panel discussion with Mr. Michael Jemal, president of Haier America; Mr. Charles Lee, author of the book, Cowboys and Dragons: Shattering the Cultural Myths to advance Chinese/American Business; and Counselor Tian Jun of the Economic Affairs Office at the Chinese Embassy, chief negotiator of the China’s Accession to WTO

2003 Professor Jiang Zhenghua, vice chairman, Standing Commmitte of the National People’s Congress of China: China’s New Leadership: China’s Perspectives on U.S.-China Relations

2002 Dr. David Aikman, a senior fellow at Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center and a former senior correspondent of Time Magazine: U.S.-Chinese Relations in the Global Context

2001 Mr. John Holden, president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations; Professor Qi Xiyu, People’s University, Beijing, China; and Regents Professor Leonid Hurwicz, Department of Economics, University of Minnesota: China’s Western Development

In what year did the China Center establish the Mingda Institute for Leadership Training?


The first trainees were from the Administrative Department of Zhejiang Province. Since then, thousands of mid-career professionals from China have come to Minnesota to complete executive courses not only in various academic fields, but also in U.S. culture, values, etiquette, protocol, corporate and government culture, and management.

The China Center and the Confucius Institute are departments in what unit at the University of Minnesota?

Global Programs and Strategy Alliance

The Global Programs and Strategy Alliance (GPS Alliance) is the central international office for the University of Minnesota system. The GPS Alliance is the driving force for the University of Minnesota in globalizing teaching, learning, research, and engagement. It supports the University's mission by working closely with campuses, colleges, units, faculty and staff, students, and the community to comprehensively internationalize the University of Minnesota.

How many University of Minnesota Alumni Chapters are there in Greater China?

There are 7 UMAA Chapters in Greater China, more than any other region:
Hong Kong

How do you say “China Center” in Chinese?

zhōng guó zhōng xīn

中 (zhōng) means middle
國 (guó) means country
心 (xīn) means heart

中國 (zhōng guó, middle country) is China
中心 (zhōng xīn, middle of the heart) is center

Name one of the scholarships/exchange programs the China Center administers.

Hsiao Scholarship
Funded by an endowment from Jennie and Fred Hsiao, this scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students of the University of Minnesota who are citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. who wish to study in Mainland China.

Red Pocket Scholarship
Funded by donations from China Center supporters, this scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students of the University of Minnesota who are citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. who wish to study in Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Chinese Government Scholarship
A scholarship that covers a year of study at a Chinese university paid for by the Chinese Government. This is available to undergraduate and graduate students of the University who are U.S. citizens.

International Reciprocal Student Exchange Program (IRSEP)
A year-long exchange program that provides a full scholarship to Nankai University for an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota.

Chinese University Exchange Program (CUEP)
A year-long exchange program with Peking University. A University of Minnesota undergraduate or graduate student enrolls in Peking University’s Chinese language program for foreign students. Program cost is based on U of M resident tuition, dormitory housing, and student services fees.

Name the two people in this photo

Ventura and Yang

Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura and Former China Center Director Hong Yang

In addition to the director accompanying the governor’s delegation to China, the China Center briefed the governor and his office on travel to China and provided cultural training to him and his staff.