Tennessee legislators take a summer trip to China
NASHVILLE, Tennessee: A group of 15 of Tennessee's state legislators spent ten days touring China in July. Representative Jim Coley, the organizer of the trip, says that he has returned with a "verbal commitment" from the Chinese government to match up to $5 million in funds to establish educational ties between China and Tennessee.
The legislators had to pay for travel expenses on their own, while a branch of the Chinese government, Hanban or more formally known as the Chineses National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Langauage, payed for their food and lodging costs once they arrived.
The legislators commented on many things that they witnessed while there, from the enormous growth and construction that the nation is undergoing to the terrible pollution that obscured the sky.
The purpose of the trip was to observe and learn things about the Chinese market and to possibly plan on increasing ties with China to take advantage of that market.
The following 15 legislators made the trip: Jim Coley, Ryan Haynes, Harry Tindell, Glen Casada, Pat Marsh Joshua Evans, Debra Maggart, Larry Miller, Bill Sanderson, David Shepard, John Tidwell, Johnnie Turner, Mark White, John Windle, and Tim Wirgau.