On Sunday I said farewell to the group of 47 Maryland law students, alumni, faculty, and friends who spent their spring break visiting China. The trip was a huge success with the group visiting Beijing, X’ian and Shanghai. I did not accompany the group to X’ian on Wednesday because I had to teach class on Thursday and present a guest lecture at Tsinghua University’s School of Public Policy and Management. I flew to Shanghai on Friday morning to rejoin the group after they arrived from X’ian.
On Friday evening the group attended a reception at the Maryland Center, the state’s office that promotes trade and economic development with China. The reception was sponsored in part by DLA Piper, the firm that also had hosted a reception for us in Beijing. Several prominent members of the legal community in Shanghai were present at the reception. ZeeZee Zhong, director of the Shanghai branch of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots organization gave a great presentation on their work promoting environmental education in primary and secondary schools in China. Peking University law professor Dan Guttman gave a wonderful talk debunking common misconceptions about the development of the rule of law in China. Ning Shao, Chief Representative of Maryland’s China Office, talked about the office’s work in promoting closer ties between Maryland and China.
On Saturday the group toured Shanghai, visiting the JinMao Building, the YuYuan Gardens, the Jade Buddhist Temple, and other notable sights. After a great farewell dinner on Saturday night, many of the students gathered at Shanghai nightspot the Glamour Bar on the Bund to party late into the night. On Sunday the group flew back to the U.S. and I returned to Beijing for another week of classes.