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The China Connection will lead you to take a look at how China's growth as a world power has already affected Missourians, and what we should expect for the future. It focuses on Missouri-China links in three areas: economy, education and culture.The China Connection is a production of the Reynolds Journalism Institute and KBIA. This multimedia reporting project is produced by reporters Chenfei Zhang, Eva Dou and Rachel Rice.

Bond to lead St. Louis business delegation to China

Former Republican Missouri Senator Kit Bond will lead a delegation of St. Louis-area business leaders to China later this year.

Bond's consulting firm that works on international trade will accompany regional and statewide businesses and academic institutions to China in December.

Tim Nowak, executive director of the St. Louis-based World Trade Center, says the trip is an opportunity to connect companies in Missouri with business partners, government entities and academic partners in China, which he says is one of the fastest growing export markets for the state.

"China consumes 8 percent of all of Missouri's exports," Nowak said. "It has gone from roughly $50 million in exports 15 years ago, to now we will pass more than $1 billion in exports to China."

In 2011, a package of tax incentives to help create a China cargo hub at St. Louis Lambert Airport failed to gain enough support in the Missouri legislature. 

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio) /

Follow Julie Bierach on Twitter: @jbierach 

Copyright 2021 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

Julie Bierach is the morning newscaster/news producer at St. Louis Public Radio. She was born and raised in St. Louis and graduated from Southeast Missouri State University. She started her career in Cape Girardeau, Mo. as a student announcer.