Washington's Nonprofit Organizations on China

Washington State China Relations Council (华盛顿州中国交流理事会)

WSCRCIn 1979, the year U.S. and China normalized their diplomatic relations, a group of local business and civic leaders thought it was a good idea to form a council to solely deal with China. On August 6, the founders filed the Articles of Incorporation with the office of Bruce Chapman, Secretary of State in Olympia. It was the first state-wide non-profit devoted to developing ties with China ever formed in the country. Signers were Robert Anderson, Patricia Baillargeon, Stanley Barer, James Dywer and Richard Kirk. Over the years, serving as its executive directors were Robert Kapp (1979-1987, 1992-1994), Bill Abnett (1987-1992), Eden Woon (1994-1997), Joe Borich (1997-2013), and Kristi Heim (2014-2016). Before 2001 when China joined the WTO, one major task of the Council was lobbying the Congress for the annual renewal of China's MFN (Most-Favored-Nation) status to help Washington's trade. In 2014, along with U.S.-China relations, the Council celebrated its own 35th anniversary. In February 2017, the Council announced Mercy Kuo as its new president and T. Andrew Wilson its new chairman. For more information, visit the website here.


China Club of Seattle (西雅图中国会)

China Club of SeattleAlmost reaching its centennial, China Club of Seattle is the oldest non-profit organization on China in the region. Founded in 1916 by a group of professional and business leaders of Seattle for Sino-American friendship, its 40th anniversary was featured in Time magazine on Feb. 27, 1956. Its first president, according to Time, was Thomas Burke, a former Chief Justice of the Washington Territory Supreme Court, who had helped fight off the mob trying to deport 350 Chinese nationals in 1886. The Club also fought for the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion laws and helped provide financial aid for Chinese students. Over the 99 years, the "China" in the name of the Club has gone through many changes, the Club however, has never wavered from its mission: "To increase the awareness, understanding and appreciation of developments in Chinese culture, history, philosophy, and current affairs." The Club holds five regular dinner events a year, with special guest speakers on various China-related topics, usually at a Chinese restaurant with delicious meals. Currently serving as the president is Bart Fite. For more information, visit the website: here.


Seattle Chinese Garden Society (西华园协会)

Seattle Chinese GardenThe idea of a Sichuan-style Chinese garden in Seattle grew out of the development of the sister city relationship with Chongqing in the early 1980s. In 1986, after leading a Seattle trade mission to Chongqing, Mayor Charles Royer pointed a citizens committee to study the garden idea. Chaired by the architect Jim Dawson, the committee conducted a feasibility study. In 1990, Jim Dawson along with others founded the Seattle Chinese Garden Society. Now, after almost thirty years since the idea and rounds of capital campaign and construction later, the Seattle Chinese Garden, located in the Delridge neighborhood in West Seattle, is partially complete. Visitors can enjoy the Pine and Plum Pavilion, Knowing the Spring Courtyard and the Luoyang Tree Peony Garden. When complete, the 4.6-acre garden will have a tea house on a lotus pond, a four-story viewing pavilion and a large Gathering Together Hall. Serving as president of the Seattle Chinese Garden has been Jon Geiger, a Boeing executive. Jim Dawson is the vice president. For more information, visit the website here.


US-China Clean Energy Forum (中美清洁能源论坛)

Clean Energy ForumAs a platform for candid dialogue and joint development of programs to enhance clean energy cooperation between the United States and China, US-China Clean Energy Forum (CEF) grew out of the initiative by Sen. Maria Cantwell in 2006 in her trip to China. After its creation in 2007, the Forum organized the first meeting between representatives from both governments in March 2008 in Gig Harbor. More meetings followed. Since 2010, CEF has been an active partner in the official US-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC), and leads the US Intellectual Property team. Founding co-chair: Stan Barer, Chairman Emeritus of Saltchuk Resources; Chief Executive Officer: Dennis Bracy, Chairman of Avatar Studios. For more information, visit the website here.


The Tai Initiative (泰论坛)

The Tai InitiativeThe Tai Initiative came into being in 2011. Based in Seattle, it works locally and nationally to educate, network and encourage subnational leaders in the U.S.-China relationship, especially relationships formed by states/provinces, cities, schools, businesses and the civil sector. It provides leadership training, program consultation, and community dialogue platforms for the purpose of improving leaders’ trust-building capacity in public and private institutions of both nations. Since founding, it has held three conferences on U.S./China subnational relations: in Seattle (2013), Denver (2014), and Washington, D.C. (2015). The executive director of The Tai Initiative is Carson Tavenner, who also heads the Washington State Sichuan Province Friendship Association. For more information, visit the website here.


Washington State China Chamber of Commerce (华盛顿州中国商会)

WASCCCWashington State China Chamber of Commerce (WASCCC) was registered in July 2012. As stated on its website, it assists Chinese and American enterprises, business professionals and the general public to better understand the business environment and cultural traditions of the two countries; it assists its members and businesses in both the U.S. and China to find trade and business partners; it explores and identifies key factors effecting the business development, economic growth and investment trends through a wide range of activities, including seminars, academic exchanges, expert discussions, business briefings, trade missions, hosting Chinese business delegations, and training; and it is committed to the development of U.S.-China trade relations and investment opportunities. The organization has hosted events such as a forum on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and sponsored events such as Seattle Biz Tech Summit. President of the WASCCC is Mark Wen. For more information, visit the webpage here.


Washington State Panda Foundation (华盛顿州熊猫基金会)

Panda FoundationWhen Chinese president Xi Jinping visited Lincoln High School in Tacoma during his two-day stay in Washington state in September 2015, former governor of Washington John Spellman delivered to him a letter by the state legislators requesting two pandas for Washington. Emerged from that letter was a new, mysterious and exciting non-profit: Washington State Panda Foundation. Not only mentioning the organization, the legislators also promised their full support. Registered in November 2014, the Foundation’s chairman is Ron Chow, who also heads the Washington State Sichuan Province Chamber of Commerce as listed in below. John Spellman, the former governor, and Zhuang Hanjie, an alumnus of Lincoln High, serve as co-chairs. More information about the Foundation will be posted as it becomes available.


Washington State Sichuan Province Chamber of Commerce (华盛顿州四川省商会)

WASCCCWashington State Sichuan Province Chamber of Commerce (WASPCC), almost as new as the Panda Foundation, has a focus on Sichuan, Washington’s friendship province in China. According to its website, it provides services to member companies in Washington state and Sichuan province in communication and cooperation, in developing international business and trade, in reflecting members’ opinions and suggestions, and in safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of the members. While promoting business in Washington and Sichuan, it will also establish service centers to provide assistance to members in conducting business elsewhere in China and the U.S. Areas it provides services in include business, cultural exchange, agriculture, tourism, finance, and cross-border e-commerce. Serving as chairman of the WASPCC is Ron Chow; its executive president, David Chong; and its honorary president, Sam Reed. For more information, visit the webpage here.

Seattle US-China Business Council (西雅图美中商会)

SUNBC logoFiled in January this year, 2015, Seattle US-China Business Council is the youngest local business association to connect with China. As stated on its website, its mission includes connecting financial and human resources in both the Great Seattle area and China, promoting common business interests, improving business conditions, promoting members’ products and services, helping them integrate into the society, and fostering goodwill among local communities. In June, Seattle US-China Business Council announced its new partnership with the Office of Business and Investment Development of Lang Xi County, Anhui province, China. Founder as well as president of the Council is Michael He, who had previously founded the Greater Seattle Chinese Chamber of Commerce Eastside Council. For more information, visit the website here.


Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Washington State (华盛顿州中国总商会)

CCCWAThe idea of forming it reportedly came during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Seattle in September 2015 when a large number of Chinese government and business officials were gathered here. As a chapter of the China General Chamber of Commerce-USA, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Washington State (CCCWA) was registered with the State of Washington in May 2016. On June 8, the Chamber held an official celebration in Seattle formally announcing its establishment. Chinese Consul General from San Francisco Luo Linquan, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and former Governor of Washington Gary Locke attended and spoke at the event. The Chamber has now over 50 members, representing finance, communication, technology, aviation, real estate, and medical and pharmacy. Serving as the president of is Cathy Zhou, head of the Seattle branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. For more information, visit the website here.