Oct. 12, 2017 -- Bill Warnock, president of Boulder-Lhasa Sister City Project, takes a group photo with students after delivering solar-powered lighting to a primary school in rural Lhasa, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, in 2002. (Photo provided by Bill Warnock)
DENVER, the United States, Oct. 12, 2017 -- Staring at a large thangka of Potala Palace hanging on the wall of the north stairwell of the Boulder Municipal Building in Colorado State, Dr. Bill Warnock paused for a long moment before talking, plainly overcome by his thoughts.
"This thangka was given to the people of Boulder in 1987 by the mayor of Lhasa," said the president of Boulder-Lhasa Sister City Project (BLSCP).
Thangka, meaning "cloth painting," is a traditional Tibetan painting art form.
Boulder, Tibet's only sister city in the United States, is located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in the State of Colorado in the west, about 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Denver.
"During my first trip in 1988, I was impressed by the friendliness, compassion, and appreciation shown by the Tibetan people. This motivated me to develop and implement many exchanges, particularly to help Tibetans in rural Lhasa Prefecture in health care and solar electricity," Warnock told Xinhua.
Established in 1986, the BLSCP has contributed to the development of the city of Lhasa and some other Tibetan areas in China through exchanges in health care, education, environmental protection, as well as culture and art.
As an American who has visited Tibetan areas in China 22 times since 1988, including 17 journeys to Lhasa and five journeys to Tibetan areas in the western part of China's Sichuan Province, Warnock has witnessed changes in Lhasa over the years.