For eight days this fall (Oct. 3-10), Beijing's Bird's Nest will be home to bulls and bucking broncos. Rodeo China is a throwback to the Deng Xiaoping era of renewed China–U.S. cooperation, when Deng hit the Texas rodeo in 1979. (See the famous photo of Deng in a cowboy hat to the left.)
One of the organizers' top stated reasons for Rodeo China is "to inspire American and Chinese young people to realize that 'the Code of the West' principles are the basis for success in life and will help make them better global citizens."
Rodeo China is one of several U.S.–China cultural exchange programs planned for 2011. The China–U.S. pledge to enhance cultural ties deepened earlier this month when Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong met Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington for the second annual Consultation on People-to-People Exchange. Liu also traveled to San Francisco, where she addressed Asia Society's National Chinese Language Conference and exhorted 1,200 educators to invest in women, youth, and our school systems.
You have five months to brush up on your Chinese rodeo vocabulary. Here's a short video to get you started: