Li Xiaolin--China´s Unconventional Diplomat 06-24-2005 16:28

鈥淵ou cannot choose your family, but you can choose your road in life.鈥 These are the words of Li Xiaolin. She was born the youngest daughter of former Chinese President Li Xiannian, but in her adolescence she cast off her privileged status and chose to learn more about the lives of regular Chinese people. Now, with a deep love and pride of her country and her people, Li Xiaolin is promoting understanding of China as Vice President for Chinese People鈥檚 Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

Since its establishment in Beijing in 1954, the Chinese People鈥檚 Association for Friendship has forged friendly links with nearly 600 non-governmental organizations in over 100 countries. Each year, the association hosts thousands of visitors from nearly 100 countries.

As Vice President of the Friendship Association, Li Xiaolin has represented China for a long time through this form of unofficial diplomacy. She was the first person to represent China in the USA after the Sept 11 tragedy, and also the first in the US to represent the Chinese people after the SARS epidemic in 2003.

In the Up-Close studio, Li Xiaolin tells us how the association engaged in people-to-people diplomacy, which includes bringing American Senators to China鈥檚 countryside and sending Chinese peasants to the United States to meet American Congressmen. She also tells us how she fed pigs after joining the army in her adolescence, as well as how she went to the United States for further study.

Join us on Up-Close to learn more about Li Xiaolin鈥檚 incredible life experiences.

---Written by Chai Haoran


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