He speaks fluent Mandarin and planned to continue his

 study of Chinese history and religious traditions in college. Horne began studying Ch

inese in fourth grade, and it’s “both a personal journey and an intellectual journey”, he said.

“That diversity — another way to see the world, another way to look at things — has brought so much into my life,” Horne said.

Charlotte Christensen, vice-president of the Oregon China Council, has worked for years with Chinese people and organizations.

Christensen, who took second prize, also witnessed friendships going

beyond the personal level. The state of Oregon developed a sister-state/province rela

tionship with Fujian province 35 years ago and a state/municipality relationship with Tianjin in 2014.

“China raised 800 million of her people from poverty and made it a p

riority to restore her natural environment to become an ecological civilization,” she said.

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