John C. Wobensmith, Secretary of State   ~   Luis Borunda, Principal Deputy Secretary of State

Anhui Province, China
Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding at MDE
Representatives of the Anhui Provincial Government, including the Environmental Protection Bureau, and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, September 30, 2005, at MDE Headquarters

photo taken on January 27 in Shanghai, China when Roger Lawrence met with Li Yongsheng, the newly appointed Director General of the Anhui People’s Foreign Affairs Office.  From left to right:  Mr. Ning Shao, Director and Chief Representative, Maryland Center China; Ms. May Wang, Maryland Center China; Roger Lawrence, Vice President, McCormick & Company, and Chair, Maryland-Anhui Sister State Executive Committee; Mr. Li Yongsheng, Director General, Anhui People’s Foreign Affairs Office (APFAO); Ms. Huang Yuhua, Director, Asia & Pacific Affairs Division, APFAO; Mr. Sun Zhipeng, Director, Euro-African Affairs Division, APFAO.

Population: 60.70 million
Governor: Wang Sanyun
Capital: Hefei
Major Cities: Huangshan, Bengbu, Tongling, Ma'anshan
Executive Committee Chair: Roger Lawrence, McCormick and Co., Inc.
Map: Anhui Province, China
MOU: Agreement signed 1980

In conjunction with the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall/Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the China Ministry of Culture/Embassy of the People's Republic of China, and World Artists Experiences, and the Maryland China Business Council, the Maryland - Anhui Sister State Program is proud to present China Traditional Orchestra Anhui on Friday, February 25. For more information, click here: China Traditional Orchestra.

The Maryland – Anhui Sister State Committee in conjunction with the Maryland China Business Council and the Baltimore – Xiamen Sister Cities Committee are organizing a mission to China in late August and early September 2010. More details can be found at 2010 China Business and Trade Mission

The Anhui Sister States Committee, most notably the Education Subcommittee, is proud to acknowledge this wonderful contribution to the Rural Libraries Project by students and alumni of the University of Maryland Smith School of Business. Click on the link to read more about how they are supporting the on-going project which has established more than 20 libraries in rural Anhui Province.

Mr. R. Zhang, Standing Vice-Director-General of the Anhui Provincial Education Department, and members of the education delegation pose with Dr. and Mrs. Robert Caret at a reception hosted by the Carets. Dr. Caret is the President of Towson University which played a significant role in planning and executing the bilateral education forum.

Maryland, Chinese experts participate in higher education forum

ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 30, 2008) – As part of Maryland’s Sister State program sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of State, higher education experts from Maryland and its sister province Anhui, China met last Friday in Baltimore City to discuss their successes and how to work with each other to promote a stronger cross-country relationship.

The Second Maryland-Anhui Presidents’ Forum on Higher Education was kicked off by Secretary of Higher Education James E. Lyons, Sr., his Anhui counterpart, Mr. Zhang Rongguo, First Deputy Director General Anhui Provincial Education Department, and acting-Secretary of State Dennis Schnepfe. Both Secretary Lyons and Secretary Schnepfe brought greetings from Governor Martin O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, saying the administration was strongly supportive of the mission and vision of the forum.

Fifteen Chinese higher education officials joined with Secretary Lyons, USM Chancellor William E. “Brit” Kirwan, Maryland Independent Colleges and University Association President Tina Bjarekull and other two-year and four-year private college and university presidents at the forum.

All discussed the challenges both countries’ higher education systems will be facing over the next few decades. The American and Chinese contingents agreed that economic and workforce development, university and technology transfer, and meeting the needs of the community were all important goals that Maryland and the Anhui province have addressed and can improve upon by working together to share successes in higher education.

Mr Zhang began by saying that in spite of the difference between the systems of higher education in Anhui Province and Maryland, both groups of presidents and university leaders are facing the same challenges. Their mission is not to pass on knowledge, but to train students to be specialists in their respective professions. Educators also need to increase students' sense of the civic responsibility, particularly local colleges and universities. To help facilitate technology transfer, Mr. Zhang said he hopes that more business professionals will be able to join the groups' discussions in the future, aspiring for a true collaboration of business, government and universities.

Secretary Lyons acknowledged that Friday's Presidents' Forum was a positive learning experience. He, too, said he was pleasantly surprised with the similarities of opportunities facing Anhui Province's higher education professionals in the areas of economic development, community development and technology transfer. He said he believed that the two groups had identified their agenda for going forward and will consider the strengths of all as they work together.

In particular, Secretary Lyons said the Maryland Higher Education Commission needs an international focus. The Secretary concluded that he would like to involve more Maryland institutions with this initiative.