Chinese officials enjoy Temple Square visit

Two top Chinese governmental accountants visited Temple Square April 30. The two, Lou Hong, director of research and regulation draft division, Treasury Department in China's Ministry of Finance, and Cheng Xiao Jia of the Accounting Regulatory Department in the Ministry of Finance, are in the United States for three months for training in government accountancy.

They were in Salt Lake City during the last two weeks in April to receive training under Kim Thorne, director of the State Division of Finance. Before leaving they were taken on tours of local attractions, including Temple Square.

The author of several books on accounting, Lou Hong is in charge of designing the Chinese treasury management reform program. Cheng Xiao Jia has taken part in setting Chinese accounting standards and systems, and in publishing international accounting standards.

They said they enjoyed their visit to Temple Square and to Utah. One of the reasons for their visit was to make friends with American officials and others.

Their trip to the United States was hosted by Tom L. Allen, chairman of the U.S. Governmental Accounting Standards Board, who has enjoyed a warm relationship with accounting officials in the People's Republic of China for the past two years.

In 2001, he addressed an International Symposium on Government Budgeting and Accounting Reforms, and in 2002 a seminar on U. S. Governmental Accounting and Non-Profit Organization Accounting, both of which were held in Beijing. He was also interviewed on national television.

Afterwards, he was asked to return to China and train about 300 Chinese national and local finance officers. Later, two officials from China were hosted by his office as they learned the established accounting procedures of governments in the United States.

A former bishop, Brother Allen resigned his position as Utah State Auditor to accept the chairmanship. He expressed appreciation for the hospitality of his hosts while in China.

"Even though there were other countries participating, my wife, Paula, and I were always treated as special guests, sitting next to the minister of finance, Xiang Huai Cheng, in the State House where President Bush and others have been hosted," he said.

"Even though my term as chairman of the GASB ends in one year, I have been asked if I would continue in a training and advisory role with the Chinese Finance Ministry."