EST. 1983

"This agreement is a significant step in US-China relations and a diplomatic milestone for the State of Iowa."

– Governor Branstad

About Hebei

  • Population: 63.9 million people

  • Capital: Shijiazhuang

  • Language: Mandarin Chinese

  • Area: 187,000 sq.km

  • Major Attractions: the Great Wall; Anji Bridge; Longzing Buddhist temple

  • Education: 50 universities and colleges

  • Climate: temperate continental 


In 1983, Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa and Governor Zhang Shuguang of Hebei signed an agreement formalizing the relationship.

Many exchanges have taken place over the years, including the famous Xi trip to Iowa that took place in 1985. In 2012, a then-Vice President Xi traveled again to Iowa to meet his “Old Friends", writing this letter commemorating the occasion.  A well known outcome of this 1985 visit is the placement of Iowa’s former Governor, Terry Brandstad, to the post of US Ambassador to China.

To connect further with Hebei, visit the website for the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Chicago.

Feature Projects

Friendship Demonstration Farm

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Global Youth Institute

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Interested in learning about more of our projects? View our annual report and latest committee report.

Recent & Upcoming Delegations

Apr 11 - 14, 2018

Iowa delegation looking at ethanol businesses 

Jan 30 - Feb 2, 2018

 RiseSun company, a Hebei delegation, looking at energy sources and businesses in Iowa

Apr 12 - 15, 2017

Hebei delegation visiting Iowa universities 

Apr 22 - 26, 2017

StudyIowa, an Iowa delegation, visiting Hebei schools, followed by a Hebei educational delegation traveling to see Iowa schools; conversations about applications and international students

Apr 8 - 12, 2018

Hebei educational delegation visiting to see teaching methods and Iowa universities

Dec 15 - 24, 2017

Hebei delegation visiting Iowa Kimberly Farm and discussing medical cooperation and the demonstration farm

Sept 17 - 26, 2017 

Iowa Delegation attending meetings and a conference with RiseSun and a focus on agricultural relationships

Citizen-to-Citizen Relations

Drake Football Team to Hebei

June 2018

This year the Drake football team had the opportunity to travel to our sister state of Hebei, China in order to learn about Chinese culture, visit some sites, and play in the first ever international Division 1 football game in China against Hebei University. They trekked across the ancient Great Wall, learned a little Chinese, and met some new friends. This team came home with a great experience and a win. We'll have to see if they can bring back the title next time as well!

Meet the Leadership

Dr. Will Zhang has been volunteering for ISS since 1998. He became Chair of the Hebei Committee in 2000. Will has helped coordinate many exchange projects in Hebei, and in its neighboring cities of Tianjin and Beijing.

Will teaches English and global study courses at Des Moines Area Community College. He also serves on the Iowa Sister States Board of Directors.

Map from Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding website

Sino-US Frienship House Photo from NPR by Clay Masters/Iowa Public Radio



1963 Bell Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50315

Phone:  +1 515.348.6265

Fax:  +1 515.725.3010

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© 2020, Iowa Sister States


Last Updated: September 8, 2020