A delegation of officials of the Red Cross Society of China, Shandong Branch, visited Youngstown and the American Red Cross Mahoning Valley Chapter on Thursday to strengthen the relationship established 12 years ago.
They could have visited virtually any city and American Red Cross chapter in the United States but they chose Youngstown, said Florence Wang, past chairwoman of the Mahoning County Red Cross.
Wang was instrumental in making the connection that resulted in Youngstown, and now Warren, by virtue of the merger of the Mahoning and Trumbull county Red Cross chapters, becoming sister cities with the Red Cross Society of China’s Qingdao Branch in Shandong Province.
“We want to keep a close relationship. We have 12 years of history,” Xinghua Xuan, vice president of the RCSC, Shandong Province, said through Wang, who served as interpreter. “It benefits both countries and organizations,” he said.
He said programs of the Chinese Red Cross include training local residents how to react to a disaster and help themselves, and urging citizens to become organ and body donors.
The glaring differences between the two are size and organization.
Trumbull and Mahoning counties had an estimated combined population in 2012 of 442,551. Shandong Province has about 96 million residents.
Also, while the American Red Cross is a private nonprofit organization, the CRCS is government-funded and its officials are government employees.
Read more about their visit in Friday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.