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WRITER: VITALIS TORWEL
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
International Programs
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2026
e-mail: lois-gray@uiowa.edu

Release: April 24, 2002

Chinese Journalist to visit UI, Iowa City April 28 - May 1 through CIVIC

Lei Xia, an editor and reporter for the Beijing Youth Daily, will come to Iowa City April 28-May 1 to learn more about foreign policy making through the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities (CIVIC).

Xia's visit will focus primarily on U.S. foreign policy decision making, with a heavy emphasis on imparting a basic understanding of a wide variety of aspects of the U.S.: its political system, its economy, foreign policy, and societal and cultural values.

Xia will also meet with local journalists with whom he hopes to engage in wide-ranging conversations on U.S.-China relations among other topics. He will also meet with Eileen Fisher, associate director of the Iowa Center for Agricultural Safety & Health (I-CASH) as well as with local farmers, members of the Farm Bureau and local politicians.

He is also interested in studying the U.S. agricultural industry, which will allow him a chance to delve into the American rural mentality as a counterpoint to the more traditional Chinese rural outlook.

Xia will also study the role of the federal government in the U.S. economy as well as the role of financial institutions in news constructions. Other areas of his interest are the role of a free press in a democratic society, the U.S. position on major international issues such as human rights, religious freedom and international trade, and how the diversity of viewpoints held by Americans contributes to a dynamic, vibrant and healthy society. He will be accompanied by an interpreter.

CIVIC is a community organization of volunteers "serving and hosting international visitors as a means to promote international understanding on a person-to-person basis," according to Tom Baldridge, CIVIC executive director. It's one of two such organizations in Iowa that accommodates the U.S. Information Agency's International Visitor Program. The other is in Des Moines.

CIVIC also is looking for volunteers to help arrange itineraries for visitors. For more information or complete itinerary, call the CIVIC office at 335-0351 or Jeanne Cadoret, CIVIC board president, at 644-2746. The CIVIC office is in Room 38 of the UI's International Center, located at the south end of Ferson Avenue off of Park Road.

CIVIC is part of UI International Programs, which consist of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.