Monday, May 22, 2023

Ambassador Burns Visits the Hopkins-Nanjing Center

On May 9, 2023, Ambassador Nicholas Burns and colleagues from the US Mission to China visited the Nanjing University (NJU) and the Hopkins-Nanjing Center (HNC). The tour began on NJU’s historic Gulou campus, including stops at the historic North Building and the Pearl S. Buck House. The latter was the residence of American author Pearl S. Buck for 15 years in the 1920s and 1930s and since 2012, it has been a small museum dedicated to Buck’s life. One of the highlights was when the Pearl S. Buck House Director showed the Ambassador the third-floor cupola where Buck wrote most of her Noble Prize-winning novel, The Good Earth. The Ambassador then met with NJU school leadership before coming to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. 

Visit to the Pearl S. Buck House in Nanjing. Photos courtesy of @USAmbChina on Twitter

The Ambassador toured the Hopkins-Nanjing Center campus facilities, including the HNC’s world-class library. During the library tour, the Ambassador was able to view the HNC’s complete physical collections of the State Department’s Foreign Relations of the United States. He also signed two books in the HNC’s collection that he had edited and co-authored. 

Viewing the HNC's collection of 'Foreign Relations of the United States',
Ambassador Burns prepares to sign two of his books held in the HNC collection.

After the campus tour, he engaged in a lively question-and-answer session with members of the HNC community in the student lounge that lasted over an hour.

Ambassador Burns speaks to the HNC community in the Student Lounge.

As a Johns Hopkins SAIS graduate (DC, ‘80), this visit held special meaning for the Ambassador. He was joined by fellow Mission China diplomats from the Embassy and the Shanghai Consulate, which has jurisdiction over Jiangsu province. The delegation’s many connections to Johns Hopkins SAIS go beyond the Ambassador—Shanghai Consul General James Heller completed the HNC’s graduate certificate program in 1992, and the Political Affairs Officer from the Shanghai Consulate, Anton Wishik, graduated from the HNC MAIS program in 2011. 

A tour of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. From L-R; James Heller, John Urban,
Sun Wen, Ambassador Burns, Cong Cong, Anton Wishik.