History & Mission


Established in 1980, the Northwest China Council is a non-profit, non-partisan, dues based, educational organization, dedicated to promoting better understanding of current affairs and culture of greater China, and the Chinese diaspora.

Mission Statement

The mission of the China Council is to promote greater understanding of Chinese culture, business, and contemporary affairs; and to be a regional resource, providing educational programs, information services, and foreign trade expertise in Oregon and southwest Washington. To accomplish our mission, the Northwest China Council sponsors lectures, seminars, and workshops; offers Mandarin Chinese language classes; organizes China Business Network events; and has led unique cultural and business tours to China.

Brief History

In the late 1970s, before “normalization” of relations with the People’s Republic of China after nearly 30 years of isolation, the Asia Society of New York established twelve Regional Councils to help educate the American public about Chinese history, culture, politics, and US China relations. One of those Councils was established in Portland, Oregon. Jane Larson was the founding director in 1980 and ran the organization for the first fifteen years.