Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong (L) receives from David Skorton, president of Cornell University, the letter of intent on the repatriation of Cornell's Fungi of China Collection at Cornell University in the United States, April 13, 2009. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
NEW YORK, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Cornell University on Monday returned to China a well preserved collection of mushrooms which were managed to be sent to the United States for safekeeping at the start of World War II.
At a repatriation ceremony, Cornell President David Skorton presented visiting Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong with one of the rare mushrooms.
Liu was grateful for the return, saying that it embodies the American people's deep friendship toward the Chinese people.
Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong (2nd L) looks at fungi specimens at Cornell University in the United States, April 13, 2009. Liu attended a repatriation ceremony of Cornell's Fungi of China Collection at the university April 13. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
It will surely play an active role in expanding exchanges and cooperation between the United States and China in education, science and technology and other fields, as well as in promoting the development of Sino-U.S. relations, Liu said.
Some 1,700 specimens will be delivered to China in the fall, including 57 considered irreplaceable.
More than 70 years after their discovery, "examples of this kind almost do not exist in China, which makes this collection invaluable for the study of the variety, distribution and evolution of Chinese fungi," said Liu.
"On behalf of the Chinese government, I would like to say a big thank you to Cornell University."