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. . to Friends and Partners China! This is a new venture exploring use of the Internet as a means of promoting understanding of and exchange with the culture and people of China and, more importantly, to introduce opportunities for cooperation and friendship between individuals and organizations in our countries. It hopes to work with and build upon the good work of so many initiatives on the Internet today in introducing the culture and people of China to the world - as well as the many organizations who have been working towards the same goal of fostering cooperation and friendship for the past several years.

Creating "Friends and Partners China" is itself an act of friendship - developed over the past two years by friends in China, Russia, and the U.S. - individuals separated by thousands of miles but united by common concern of promoting better understanding and exchange across cultures - and by common interest in exploring how new technologies might be used for that purpose. It is the latest member of a family of projects created by the original "Friends and Partners" effort - active since 1994 bringing together friends from around the world with an interest in countries of the former Soviet Union.


The following map shows the founding Chinese partners involved.


The original Friends and Partners effort has helped support a community of several thousand participants, handling many million information inquiries and email exchanges. It has received a number of awards and honors (including designation by one Internet publisher as one of the top 30 "must see" sites on the Internet) and the helpful support of such organizations as Sun Microsystems, NATO, the US State Department, the Soros Foundation (ISF), and, most recently, the Ford Foundation. Friends and Partners illustrates how the Internet can be an amazingly simple and effective tool at promoting better understanding across the previously difficult barriers of geography, language, and culture.

At the moment, FPChina is more a 'framework' of an information system -- more 'heart' than substance. The primary services offered now include a growing catalog of China-related resources all over the Internet, and various databases and communications services. During the coming summer months, we will be adding local content about cities and regions of China as well as information about art, history, and culture.

Our main goal now is to help others build upon this initial framework -- to create and link together information on our nation's histories; our art, music, literature, and religion; our educational and scientific resources; our geography and natural resources, our languages; and our opportunities for communicating, travelling, and working together. The 'end product' -- an evolving and dynamic information and communications resource -- will hopefully help introduce new relationships and, in the process, create new opportunities for better understanding, cooperation, and exchange. We feel it demonstrates good use of this wonderfully chaotic, rapidly growing global network we call the Internet.

Please join us! FP China will successfully accomplish its goals as it develops a community of individuals who share in and help develop its work and vision. There are many ways to contribute -- these include:

  1. for a start, sign the FP China guestbook

  2. join the email listserver "fpchina" . This will become the real "heart" of F&P China.

    Just send a one-line email message to message to listproc@solar.ncsa.uiuc.edu with the following text:

    SUBSCRIBE FPCHINA Your name

    This is a moderated list from which a 'digest' of all postings will be sent to subscribers every 2-3 days.

  3. contribute information about yourself in the new "friends" database

  4. visit the WWW site and suggest new links, new areas of content, and help us better organize the existing information. Every page has a special link at the bottom with which you can make suggestions.

  5. volunteer to manage and further develop an existing section or service (we'll help you get started)

  6. contribute your own information - we'll give you an account and help you get started with your own Internet publishing - you can publish material about your travel experiences, your ideas, your organization's activities, etc.

  7. start up your own communications service - bulletin board, chat room, email listserver, etc.

  8. for more ideas, just visit the "Help Us!" page at:
We ask only that the services contribute towards friendly exchange and improved understanding.

We will soon be providing a 'mirror' of all services in Beijing, China on a computer at the Institute of High Energy Physics, directed by Dr. Rongsheng Xu. This houses the very first Internet node inside China. In addition, colleagues led by Dr. Xu from the consortium of IHEP, Fudan, Lanzhou, Nankai, and Tsing Hua University will facilitate this project from within China. We hope "Friends and Partners" will also help promote the exciting development of computer networking and application in China.

We will also soon begin work providing the content of the server in both English and Chinese languages. One step at a time . .

We would like to express our most heartfelt gratitude to our home institutions in Beijing, China, Pushchino, Russia, and at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Their continued support makes so many good things possible.

Please enjoy your exploration and let us know how we can improve this effort.

Thanks for visiting, and please check back often for new information and services !

The F&P China Team

Dr. Rongsheng Xu, Beijing, China
Dr. Michael Lusk, Knoxville, TN USA
Dr. Ge Zhang, Knoxville, TN USA
Natasha Bulashova, Pushchino, Russia
Greg Cole, Knoxville, TN USA


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Updated: 1998-08-
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