When I was at the Cortex last week I noticed a sign on the wall listing the various sister cities of St. Louis (the list on Wikipedia). One that popped out to me was Wuhan, China. That's where my wife studied for her bachelors degree at 华中农业大学 (Central China Agricultural University). It was a nice surprise—I like to keep an eye out for those bridges.
I searched around for more information about the connection, but I haven't found much except that the connection has been there since 2004. The page on the World Trade Center St. Louis site is empty. I haven't searched much on the Chinese side yet. So I guess all we can say is that St. Louis and Wuhan are both river cities, and they both get really hot and humid in the summer. I've sent an enquiry to WTC to see if they have more info about the relationship, or if they'd like some help updating their page, but no word back so far.
I've found a bit more information about the other Chinese St.Louis sister city, Nanjing. This happens to be the first US-China sister city partnership, established in 1979, so I hope there will be some kind of celebration in 2019 to mark the 40th anniversary. That's what I got from this post about the retirement of UMSL professor Joel Glassman, who helps with the Nanjing-St. Louis committee: Jessica Rogen, Director of International Studies and Programs set to retire Nov. 1, leaving legacy of internationalization, UMSL Daily (2018-10-24).
I only started digging in last night, and I haven't been able to find much easily. Here are two other interesting articles:
- Ryan Krull, St. Louis' Nanjing Connection: How an International Love Story Is Bringing Two Cities Together, Riverfront Times (2018-10-24)
- Alexa Beattie, Sister Act, St. Louis Magazine (2016-09-17)
I hope there's more information out there about the partnerships, or about events related to them, or at least that there's something going on that's not being posted. Either way seems like a bit of a lost opportunity. Either there's nothing or there's something but it's hidden. In 2018, for good or ill, if it doesn't exist online, does it exist? Yes—but in a limited way. I'm going to try to pitch the Nanjing-St. Louis people on a website for their activities. It should be easier than this to find out what's going on, or to find archival or reference information. And if nothing exists for Wuhan-St. Louis? We should create something.