SISTER STATE RELATIONSHIP
Capital: Shijiazhuang (11,031,200 pop.)
Language: Jilu Mandarin, Beijing Mandarin, Jin
Area: 188,800 km2 (72,900 sq mi)
Climate: continental monsoon climate
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 Branstad, to the post of US Ambassador to China.