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Cultivating ties

1914: The first three Chinese students enrolled at the University of Minnesota, contributing to a championship win that year as members of the U's soccer team.

1949: Prof. Richard Mather established the Chinese language and literature program at the university.

1973: Prof. Robert J. Poor visited China and gave two lectures as part of the second U.S. delegation to China after President Richard Nixon's trip in 1972.

1979: The university started the "China Desk," a precursor to today's China Center on the Twin Cities campus.

1979: The university sent its first delegation to China led by Regent Wenda Moore, resulting in four partnership agreements with universities there.

1980: University students participated in the first study abroad program to China, at Nankai University.

1981: University President C. Peter Magrath led the first presidential delegation to China. The delegation discussed collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and met with more than 100 alumni in Beijing and other cities.

1989: The U student organization Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars responded to the killing of student protesters at Tiananmen Square by forming the Subcommittee for Chinese Democracy.

1998: U President Mark Yudof joined Gov. Arne Carlson on a Minnesota trade mission to China.

2001: The Carlson School of Management launched its China Executive MBA (CHEMBA) program in Guangzhou, in collaboration with Sun Yat-sen University.

2005: The first bilateral research forum between the university and the Chinese Academy of Sciences took place in Beijing.

2008: A Confucius Institute opened at the university, with a mission to promote the study of Chinese language and culture in the state.

2009: The U's first international office opened in Beijing to help recruit students, connect to alumni and facilitate partnerships in China.

2013: U President Eric Kaler led a delegation across China. He visited China eight times during his presidency.

2017: The Carlson School established a doctorate of business administration program geared toward top Chinese executives in partnership with Tsinghua University in Beijing.

2017: Eric Jing, a 2005 graduate, became the first Chinese alumnus to offer a keynote address at the commencement of a U college.

2018: Richard Liu, a billionaire participant in the Carlson-Tsinghua program, was arrested in Minneapolis after a student volunteer reported he had sexually assaulted her. He was not charged.

2019: The university closed its Confucius Center. Officials announced the U would stop accepting gifts from Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant, which was facing a federal indictment on trade secret theft and other charges.

Source: University of Minnesota