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American Students Visit Chongqing Stilwell Museum, Deepening China-US Understanding

By YAN DENG|Jan 21,2024

Chongqing - The Chongqing Stilwell Museum recently welcomed a group of over 10 American college students from Elon University in North Carolina. The first-time visitors to China began their tour of Chongqing at the Chongqing Stilwell Museum.

Group photo of the Elon University students in front of the bust of General Stilwell. (Photo/Chongqing Stilwell Museum)

The year of 2024 marks the 45th anniversary of China-US diplomatic ties. Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote a reply letter to his friend in the United States, inviting young Americans to China on exchange and study programs, citing a Chinese saying to “Read 10,000 books and travel 10,000 miles,” voicing hope that more young Americans will visit China, observe China with their own eyes, listen to China with their own ears, and measure China with their own footsteps, to have a glimpse of a real China in a multi-dimensional and comprehensive manner and build more bridges of close affinity between the two peoples.

With the staff’s introduction, the students visited the former residence of General Stilwell, watched “A Great Friend-Photo Exhibition on General Stilwell’s Life” exhibition, “Historical Witness: US Air Support to China During WWII Exhibition,” and “Merrill’s Marauders Exhibition” as well as the documentary film “Stilwell and the CBI.” 

Students in front of the stele of the US President Roosevelt’s Memorial to the People of Chongqing. (Photo/Chongqing Stilwell Museum)

Most students said they did not know about General Stilwell before and were deeply impressed by his achievements. 

Jake Diadimo, an American student, said, “The story of General Stilwell highlights the brave fighting spirit of the American and Chinese people and the success that both countries have enjoyed due to their close collaboration. In the face of an existential threat, China and the United States utilized the courage and ingenuity of their people and emerged victorious. This is a valuable lesson for the citizens of both of our countries. It was an honor to visit the Joseph Stilwell Museum and learn about this important part of our country’s history. Hopefully, many more Americans and Chinese will have the opportunity to visit the museum and learn about our shared chronicles.”

“I was not aware of the Chinese War of Resistance before coming to the museum. Growing up in America with American history textbooks, a lot of information gets skipped over, including important events that have helped shape U.S.-China relations to this day. Visiting the museum was truly an honor, and I valued learning about such an important part of history that has not gotten the recognition it deserves. I do hope more people choose to come visit and learn from this museum as it has been very inspirational and thought-provoking.” said another student, Lucy Burnette.

Students at the photo exhibition on General Stilwell’s life. (Photo/Chongqing Stilwell Museum)

According to the teacher in charge of the study tour group, Elon University organizes students to go on overseas exchange and study programs every year. He said that the Chongqing Stilwell Museum told the story of an American general and China, and he would suggest that the school include the museum as a fixed visit point for future study activities so that more young students could understand the history of China-US cooperation during the War of Resistance. The director of the museum said that Elon University was welcome to organize more students to come to Chongqing for exchange and study, and they were willing to build a bridge for people-to-people exchanges between China and the United States, as well as enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.


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