Morrow Business and Tourism Association Executive Director Mike Twomey hosted three members of the delegation, plus their interpreter, at his home for a reception and dinner last Monday.
He said the entire delegation arrived from China Monday with the delegation, which included four bureau chiefs and directors, one non-governmental organization executive and a documentary film maker who would record the visit.
Twomey’s guests included two executive directors and the film maker.
“Members of this Chinese delegation are participating in the U.S. State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Program this week,” he said.
“They are focusing on how the United States balances sustainable development and environmental protection,” Twomey added.
Morrow Mayor JB Burke said it was with great pride that Morrow welcomed their Chinese guests and the unique opportunity the city had to host the delegation.
Burke said that in preparation, there was an interpreter available, “so communications flowed with mutual comfort,” he added.
The mayor told the contingent visiting Morrow that a personal friend returned on Sept. 11 from China and brought back to Burke a rock from the Great Wall of China in addition to other items “that further instilled in me the genuine interest I have for China,” he told the visitors.
“It has always been on my bucket list to walk atop the Great Wall of China and see the centuries old sites that China has to offer and feel the sincere sense of pride that the Chinese people have for their ancestry,” Burke said.
The mayor incorporated, through the interpreter, what he termed, “a little southern history and showcase Morrow to our visitors as a city which has that same pride for its past and present as China had for its past and present.
"I sinerely want our country and China to move forward toward the future in a positive and respectful approach," Burke said.
The mayor added he had been looking forward to their visit and the opportunity to meet each Chinese visitor so he could posture Morrow as a symbol of hospitality, not only for the city itself but the United States as well.
“Together, we can grow, as we are just 12 hours apart, and we all reside on the same planet,” Burke said.
“I welcomed the Chinese delegates with open arms,” he added.
Twomey said the delegation had planned to be in the Atlanta area for a week.
He hoped the visitors would be able to experience southern culture in Morrow “as they had never experienced it before.”