Recent History


  • 3 Official Delegations to Suzhou to further business, educational, and cultural objectives. Delegations in September 2007, February 2008 and April 2008.
  • Suzhou Media Delegation to Portland - Suzhou Daily Newspaper visits Portland May 2008. Highlights: visits with the Oregonian Newspaper and the Portland Chinese Times.


  • First Newcombe Wang Memorial Scholarship to Portland State University awarded to Mr. Chen Mingjian for 2008-2009 academic year. The scholarship honors the dreams of longtime PSSCA President Newcombe Wang, who passed away in 2006. The scholarship is offered to a Chinese student studying at PSU.
  • New PSU Program with Suzhou University of Science and Technology being considered.
  • MOU - Suzhou Experimental Elem. School and Wuzhong Group
  • PSU Confucius Institute Completes Successful First Year
  • Lincoln High School Signs MOU with Suzhou High School SIP
  • Jackson Middle School Exchanges with Suzhou No. 10 Middle School - PPS long-standing success story in school exchanges.
  • First Hosford MS Exchange with Suzhou No. 12 Middle School
  • Mandarin Immersion Program, PPS Woodstock-Hosford-Cleveland
  • Portland and Suzhou Librarians Explore Future Opportunities
  • Support of Portland Public Schools' Shu Ren Fundraising Gala
  • Great interest in forming an educator's core group representing a broad spectrum of Portland's public and private institutions of learning. Growth reflected in increased board membership.
  • Mayor leads 1st Portland Trade Mission Seminar to Suzhou April 2008
  • LRS Architects selected for China's first attempt at LEEDS Platinum Design - Signing Ceremony at Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in Pudong.
  • Official visit to Williams Controls Plant in Suzhou to tour factory.
  • LRS Architects opens Shanghai Office - designer of new Kunshan Project in Suzhou.
  • Official visit to PCC Structurals SPS Technologies Plant in Suzhou's Kunshan District.
  • Official visit to Qingpu, Meeting with Mayor, and tour of urban planning model bringing the charm of ancient water town living together with business, commercial and industrial sites in a future-looking sustainable model employing exciting green building techniques.
  • Targeted business focus on sustainable development and green building draws strong core membership to board.
    Cultural Activities:
  • 20th Anniversary Rose Festival. Assisted Suzhou in preparing to visit and prepared for up to 4 delegations to experience Rose Festival, as well as discuss Tourism, Education and Trade.
  • Preparations for a Grand Floral Parade float entry. Entry temporarily postponed due to Sichuan Province Earthquake National Disaster. PSSCA raised and donated funds toward parade entry.
  • Suzhou sends 20th Anniversary gift of a 30-meter commemorative golden dragon. PSSCA preparing a grand event to introduce the dragon. PSSCA board committee studies history and cultural activities so the dragon will be exhibited in the most suitable and culturally-appropriate ways.
  • Portland sends Suzhou 20th Anniversary gift of a commemorative sustainable wood "Pagoda" structure, with the assistance of Collins and Company, 9Wood and PSSCA fundraising. A plaque will be installed when the structure goes on exhibit. The City of Portland Office of Sustainable Development used the Pagoda during conferences prior to its being on exhibition in City Hall during its final months in Portland. The Pagoda is made of Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood.
  • Research and presentation of memorabilia and educational materials to Suzhou Municipal Library on the history of Walt Ferris' experience in Suzhou, while serving as a Flying Tiger pilot.
  • Delivered famous American poetry books to 6 school libraries in Suzhou in 2008.
  • Worked with PSU Confucius Institute on the Sichuan Province Earthquake Relief Effort to Raise Funds to help build safer schools for children when they return home. Participated in two fundraising events.
  • Raised funds for donation to Portland Art Museum Asian Arts Council acquisition of Suzhou Monk Shangrui Qing Dynasty Four Seasons fans.
  • Developing new relationships with other stakeholders in the local community, working together to create more cultural opportunities.
  • Community outreach brings involved cultural and events leadership to board, strengthening and building the potential of greater opportunities to expand cultural impact of board's efforts.

From the Beginning

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March 1985
Oregon Congressman David Wu initiates contact with representatives in Suzhou, introducing the idea of a sister city relationship.

chinese.gifSeptember 1985
A delegation led by Portland Commissioner Mike Lindberg visits Suzhou, following Portland Mayor Bud Clark’s request to find the “perfect” sister city for Portland.

June 1988
The agreement establishing a sister city relationship is signed in Portland by Suzhou Mayor Yu Xinde and Portland Mayor Bud Clark.

In anticipation of the event, the Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association has already been formed and approved by the Portland City Council.

Oregon Congressman David Wu is named founding President of PSSCA.

August 1989
Tang Ronglong of the Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office comes to Portland as a visiting scholar at the invitation of Portland State University. He works closely with the Mayor’s Office to develop the sister city relationship. Before Tang Ronglong returns to China in 1990, Mayor Bud Clark names him an honorary citizen of Portland.

October 1990
Roger Luedke, President of the Classical Chinese Garden Society, leads a delegation to Suzhou to discuss the creation of a Suzhou-style garden in the heart of downtown Portland.

May 1992
PSSCA President Conni Diack leads a delegation to Suzhou and presents three tons of textbooks, donated by David Bean. During this visit discussions begin on a Portland-style rose garden in the heart of Suzhou.

September 1993
During a visit to Suzhou led by Portland Commissioner Mike Lindberg, a fire engine donated by the City of Portland is delivered and the Rose Garden Ground Breaking Ceremony takes place.

October 1994
The Rose Garden in Suzhou opens. Portland Mayor Vera Katz leads a delegation from Portland attending the opening ceremony.

May 1995
Friendship agreements are signed between Jackson Middle School and Suzhou #10 Middle School and between Wilson High School and Suzhou High School to exchange students and faculty.

September 1998
A 16-ton Taihu Rock, a gift from Suzhou Mayor Zhang Xinsheng to Portland Mayor Vera Katz, is installed in Terry Schrunk Plaza in downtown Portland. The Taihu rock is a symbol of appreciation for the Suzhou Rose Garden and an expression of dedication to the sister city relationship.

September 2000
The Portland Chinese Classical Garden – Lan Su Yuan – opens.

April 2001
An agreement between the Foreign Affairs Office in Suzhou and Portland State University establishes a program for Suzhou students to begin their undergraduate studies at PSU.

May 2003
"An Evening Under the Stars," PSSCA’s first annual fundraising gala, is held at the Chinese Classical Garden. Tang Ronglong is honored for his work in strengthening the cultural, educational, and economic ties between Portland and Suzhou.

May 2004
At the second annual “Evening under the Stars” fundraising gala, held at the Chinese Classical Garden, the seven students who came from Suzhou in the fall of 2001 to begin their undergraduate studies at Portland State University are honored.

May 2005
Former Portland Mayor Bud Clark, instrumental in the formation of the Portland-Suzhou sister city relationship, is honored at the third annual “Evening under the Stars” fundraising event, held at the Chinese Classical Garden.

May 2006
Former Portland Mayor Vera Katz, a strong supporter of the Portland-Suzhou relationship, is honored at the fourth annual “Evening under the Stars” fundraiser held at the Chinese Classical Garden. 

April 2007
Wayne Lei, Director of Environmental Polilcy at Portland General Electric, and Conni Diack, Past President of PSSCA, are honored at the fifth annual "Evening under the Stars" fundraising gala, held at the Portland Classical Garden. They are presented with Awards of Special Merit for building strong relationships between Portland and Suzhou and between Oregon and China. The Royal Rosarians receive a Cultural Achievement Award, and the new Confucius Institute housed at Portland State University is recognized with an Educational Achievement Award.