The Baltimore-Xiamen Sister City Committee (BXSCC) has four key focus areas that are reflected in its sub-committee structure: Business, Education, Culture/Sports/Tourism and Health/Environment. These sub-committees support a number of continuing programs and activities.
Port Discovery Chinese New Year Celebration
Organized by the Port Discovery Children's Museum, this annual event usually takes place in January or February. Its purpose is to introduce area children to the New Year traditions of China and other Asian countries. The BXSCC and other local Asian organizations are asked to provide free activities for the children. For the BXSCC this usually includes Chinese writing lessons, bookmarks with children's names translated into Chinese by a calligrapher, chopstick instruction and Chinese zodiac fortune telling.
China International Fair for Investment & Trade (CIFIT)
The CIFIT is an annual event located in Xiamen. It is the largest investment and trade promotion activity in China and annually attracts over 40,000 participants from China and many other countries. The BXSCC, in cooperation with the Baltimore Development Corporation, leads a business delegation from Baltimore to the CIFIT every other year (generally on even-numbered years) and can assist with applications and invitations during the other years. The CIFIT always takes place from September 8th through 11th.
Calvin Chin Memorial Dim Sum Brunch
From 2008 through 2014, the BXSCC held a brunch to honor the late Calvin Chin, a founding member of the committee and a patriarch of Baltimore's Chinese community. Mr. Chin was a WWII Navy veteran and a University of Maryland graduate. For 21 years he was Chairman of the Baltimore City Property Tax Appeals Board. He and his wife, Kitty (a BXSCC member), also operated a Chinese restaurant for many years in Baltimore's Park Avenue “Chinatown”. This event was usually held at the same location where they had their restaurant and was the committee's main annual fundraising event.
China Town Hall
The BXSCC is the Baltimore and Maryland host for this annual event organized by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (NCUSCR). NCUSCR recruits a high-level speaker on U.S.-China topics and the local host provides the venue and webcasting support as well as a distinguished local speaker/moderator to conduct follow-up discussions with the local audience. The November 16th, 2011, October 28th, 2013, and October 16th, 2014 events featured Zbignew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, Madeleine K. Albright, U.S. Secretary of State to President Bill Clinton, and President Jimmy Carter, respectively, as the national keynote speakers. The local October 29th, 2012 event featuring Gary Locke, U.S. Ambassador to China, was canceled due to the severe weather associated with Hurricane Sandy.
Sister School Program
The BXSCC supports a “Sister School Program” between Baltimore City Public Schools and public schools in Xiamen. A “Sister School Agreement” between Baltimore's Carver Vocational-Technical High School and the Fujian Xiamen Electronic Vocational School was signed in 2010 and their first student exchange program took place in July 2011. Relationships between other Baltimore and Xiamen public schools are being explored.
Medical Cooperation Program
The BXSCC has helped develop a close working relationship between the Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) and the Xiamen Maternity & Child Care Hospital (also known as Lin Qiaozhi Hospital). In 2009, four doctors from JHH and a BXSCC representative attended the 50th anniversary of the Xiamen hospital. In 2010, the Xiamen hospital's president led a delegation to Baltimore and JHH to deepen the relationship. It is expected that this will eventually result in medical exchanges and other cooperation between the two hospitals. This program has been strongly supported and facilitated by the Maryland-based Chinese American Doctors Association (CADA), with whom the BXSCC maintains a close working relationship.
Hosting Xiamen and Other Chinese Delegations to Baltimore
Baltimore generally receives between two and five visiting delegations from Xiamen and other Chinese locations each year. These delegations are from diverse areas such as the government, business, education, and medicine, etc. The BXSCC works with the Mayor's Office and other City of Baltimore and State of Maryland organizations to arrange appropriate agendas, provide interpreters, and transportation, etc.
Summer Barbecue & Holiday Party
The BXSCC hosts informal barbecues and holiday parties for its members and invited guests to celebrate the committee's successes of the year. This is a program that was started in 2011.