On September 15, local time, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang visited St. Louis, Missouri, to attend the 43rd anniversary commemoration of the St. Louis-Nanjing sister city and kick off the home game of the local baseball team Cardinals.

  Nanjing and St. Louis are the first pair of sister cities formed after the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States in 1979.

On the same day, Qin Gang came outside the St. Louis Cardinals baseball stadium to attend the unveiling ceremony of the Friendship City Memorial Statue.

The statue is of a Chinese batsman wearing a baseball cap with the word "Nanjing" on his head as he prepares for a pitch from the Nanjing bowler statue thousands of miles away.

  In 2019, St. Louis presented a sculpture of a baseball player pitching a ball to Nanjing as a commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the union between the two cities.

Today, the statue of the batter outside the Cardinals baseball stadium is a group with the statue of the bowler that was given to Nanjing back then.

  Neil Perryman, chairman of the St. Louis-Nanjing Friendship Cities Committee, said that since 1979, every St. Louis mayor has visited Nanjing, hoping that this friendship will continue after the epidemic.

It is hoped that this group of statues will further promote dialogue and exchanges between the two cities and two countries, so that the Chinese people can better understand St. Louis and the United States, and the American people can better understand Nanjing and China.

  Qin Gang said in his speech that the statue in front of him is an example of the extensive and fruitful sister-city exchanges and cooperation between Nanjing, China and St. Louis in the United States over the past 43 years, and it is also a microcosm of the 43-year history of bilateral relations between China and the United States.

The two statues, separated by thousands of miles, tightly connect the two cities of China and the United States across the Pacific Ocean.

They convey the best wishes of the people of the two cities and reflect the sincere friendship between the two peoples.

  Qin Gang said, I hope that through our efforts, we will hit a powerful "home run" for the stability and development of China-US relations.

  After the unveiling ceremony of the statue, Qin Gang put on the No. 43 home jersey, which symbolizes the 43rd anniversary of the St. Louis-Nanjing sister city, and kicked off the game under the live broadcast on the big screen and watched by more than 40,000 fans.

  In an interview with St. Louis media, Qin Gang said that in the past few decades, the sister-city relationship between China and the United States has brought the people of the two countries closer together, and deepened mutual understanding and friendship through close exchanges. a model.

It is hoped that St. Louis will give full play to its unique advantages and become the gateway for the local people of the United States to China, and continuously enhance exchanges and cooperation with China in various fields such as economy, trade, education, culture, and humanities, especially to allow more exchanges between young people such as students from the two countries, and to allow China and the United States to communicate more. People-to-people friendship is revived with new vitality.

(Liao Pan made Yue Ziyan)

Responsible editor: [Song Fangcan]