Quad Cities Chapter of USCPFA Meets for Panel Discussion

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

A research engineer, a restaurant owner and a political science professor discussed their life in China before immigrating to this country and their life here since then, describing

the people of the Quad Cities  as “warm and friendly”.

The three were featured speakers at a recent discussion of the Quad Cities Chapter of the U.S. China Peoples Friendship Association (USCPFA) in the Bettendorf Library

on June 2.

All three agreed they are happy to be in the United States, even though they are concerned about members of their families and friends who are still in China.

Deere & Co., research engineer, Dr. Michael Zhang, said that even though salaries were very low in China, the cost of living was also low in 1990. He said he enjoyed the freedom of expanding his knowledge and use of his talents without government restrictions.

Pin Wah, owner of Ming Wah restaurant in Moline, explained she had come here from China at a young age, but still has difficulty in learning the language. However, that was not a barrier in learning the business from her relatives and finally becoming owner of her restaurant. She said she knows many customers by name and enjoys having conversations with them. Members praised her for her many donations and volunteering at community affairs.

Dr. Xiaowen Zhang of Augustana College, a professor of political science, said she immigrated because she wanted to expand her horizons, even though it disappointed her parents. She has traveled extensively, and finds her students and faculty friendly.

However, Dr. Zhang is concerned that the process of integrating into the community is not easily achieved for newcomers.  She said local residents need to know that despite cultural differences, the ordinary citizens of China and this country have very much in common.

Picking up on this comment, Dr. Michael Zhang said that people in China and the U.S. should be concerned that “politicians” in both countries seem to keep the ordinary people of both countries apart for their own benefit.

He pointed out that many Chinese still understand and appreciate the role the U.S. played in befriending China during World War II. He urged those present to make every effort to inform their legislators that the two countries should continue to remain friends and not to be dissuaded by those who “beat the drums of war.”

Yan Li, president of the local Quad Cities Chapter USCPFA, said all the members of the group should consider themselves “ambassadors” of China. That is, even though they are now settled in this country, they should help in bringing a better understanding between the two countries.

Persons interested in attending future panel discussions are urged to be in contact with the association and e-mail Helen Chen: