U.S. foundation encouraged to help boost ties

2022-02-08 China Daily Editor:Mo Hong'e

From left: Helen Foster Snow's nephew John Foster, great-nephew Adam Foster and niece Debra Foster visit "Aunt Tilly's house", where Snow lived for a few years while going to school in Salt Lake City. ZHANG YUAN / CHINA DAILY

President calls on organization to continue to serve as bridge connecting countries

In the 1930s, Edgar Snow and Helen Foster Snow, who were journalists and authors from the United States, made the Communist Party of China known to the world through their books and articles on the Party and the Chinese revolution. They are seen as a bridge connecting China and the U.S.

After Adam Foster, president of the Helen Foster Snow Foundation, wrote recently to President Xi Jinping, Xi replied and encouraged him and the foundation to continue to serve as a bridge promoting friendship between the two nations.

In the letter sent on Jan 27 to Foster, who is Helen Foster Snow's grandnephew, Xi said the Chinese people bear in mind the contributions made by international friends, including the Snows, to China's revolution and construction, as well as their sincere friendship with the CPC and the Chinese people.

Saying that he highly appreciates the positive contributions made over the years by the family of Helen Foster Snow to the development of China-U.S. relations, Xi expressed his hope that Foster and the foundation will continue to follow the example of the Snows and make new contributions to enhancing friendship and cooperation between the Chinese and U.S. people.

The interaction between Xi and Foster took place after China-U.S. relations have soured due to U.S. attempts to contain China's development in recent years.

Ian Goodrum, a member of China Daily's Edgar Snow Newsroom, said that at a time when great rancor and division characterizes Western perceptions of China, especially in the U.S., it's a relief to see correspondence like this, which emphasizes the common interests and shared future of people in both countries.

In his letter to Xi, Foster recalled the contributions made by Helen Foster Snow to enhancing people-to-people friendship between the U.S. and China. He also vowed to carry forward her spirit of promoting friendship and cooperation between the people of the two countries.

Revered in China for recording the political climate of the 1930s in war-torn China, Helen Foster Snow, a Utah native, was memorialized at the Great Hall of the People upon her death in 1997. With her husband Edgar Snow, she interviewed the early leaders of modern China-including Chairman Mao Zedong-in the caves of Yan'an, Shaanxi province, and introduced them to the world.

"Helen's lifelong pursuit was to build bridges of international understanding between the people of China and the United States. We seek to honor and continue that legacy through educational and cultural exchanges between our two countries," the foundation said of its mission on its official website.

She is most known as the initiator of the Gung Ho movement of industrial cooperatives, which provided financial aid in industrial support to the Chinese United Front during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45).

"I'm particularly struck by President Xi's praise of the Gung Ho organization, which has sought since its inception to promote the cooperative management of industry," said Goodrum, who is from Houston, Texas. "Industrial cooperatives were a means of raising workers' consciousness and giving the people the means to run their own affairs."

"I sincerely hope more people everywhere follow the example of Helen Snow's family, learn more about China's actual reality and share it with the world," he added.

In an effort to promote understanding between China and the rest of the world, China Daily established "The Edgar Snow Newsroom" in June to present a true, multidimensional and panoramic view of China by better telling the story of the country to the world.

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