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US ambassador starts Shanghai visit at a local school

Gary Locke, the US ambassador to China, started his two-day visit to Shanghai by working with schoolchildren in an organic garden yesterday afternoon. This is his first visit to the city since he took the post in August. Locke arrived at the Jinzhou Primary School at 4pm yesterday to participate in the "Roots and Shoots" organic garden program. Students showed him drawings of their dream farms and handicrafts they made from waste and plants they grew. Locke harvested vegetables, watered the soil and sowed seeds in the school's organic garden together with the students. "I'm very impressed by your commitment to the environmental protection," Locke said. "In the Unites States, First Lady Michelle Obama has an organic garden on the grounds of the White House. They grow vegetables, using organic methods, no chemicals, no fertilizers, no insecticides," he said. "They harvest many fruits and vegetables from that garden to serve in the White House," he added. He also shared his gardening experience with students, telling them that his family used to have a large garden many years ago and he grew corn, squash, strawberry and other vegetables and fruits in the garden. He praised students' efforts and encouraged them to persist. "In many countries around the world, it has really been the efforts of young people that changed the thoughts and behavior of the adults," he said. This morning Locke attended a business breakfast organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and had a media roundtable. This afternoon, he is scheduled to visit the General Motors (China) Investment Co Ltd and talk with the company leaders about the Sino-US cooperation in automobile development.

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