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News: Lt. Governor Habib in Chengdu for 35th anniversary of Washington-Sichuan relationship, clean energy forum

Habib speaking at 35th anniversary event in Chengdu. Source: scwqb.gov.cnBy Wen Liu   Sept. 16, 2017

Earlier this month, it was revealed in the Chinese media and reported in these pages that Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib was going to China to attend events marking the 35th anniversary of the friendship relations between Washington and Sichuan. It turned out he made that trip soon after. According to website posts by Sichuan Foreign & Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, Sichuan Development & Reform Commission and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Sichuan Council, Lt. Governor Habib was in Chengdu, Sichuan from Sept. 10-11.

On Sept. 10, Habib first met with mayor of Chengdu Luo Qiang. The two talked about Sichuan as a key province in China’s clean energy development, with Chengdu, the capital, achieving 50% of green energy in its energy consumption. They also talked about strengthening bilateral cooperation in business and trade between Washington and Sichuan, and between Seattle and Chengdu in clean energy, aviation, IT, medicine, etc.

Lt. Gov. Habib and Vice Gov. Zhu Hexin of Sichuan. Source: scwqb.gov.cnHabib then met with Sichuan vice governor Zhu Hexin. Zhu expressed his welcome and briefed Habib on Sichuan’s economic and social development, how Sichuan was the “land of heaven” and “home of the panda,” how Washington state was Sichuan’s first international friendship state, and how in the 35 years, the two sides had carried out very successful cooperation in many areas, including clean energy, and how he hoped the two would further their cooperation and achieve win win for both. On his part, Habib expressed his thanks to Zhu and talked about how pleased he was to attend the 35th anniversary events there, and how Washington state paid a lot of attention to its relations and cooperation with Sichuan. He also pointed out that the opening of an office in Seattle by the Sichuan International Chamber of Commerce would help improve bilateral business, investment, sharing of resources and cooperation in trade, education, direct flight services and tourism.

Habib at clean energy event in Chengdu. Source: scdrc.gov.cnThe same day, Habib attended the U.S.-China “2+2” Clean Energy Forum, an annual event since 2015, at the Chengdu science center. It was a four-party event, by namely the Sichuan provincial government, Washington state government, Tsinghua University, and the University of Washington. Vice Governor of Sichuan Zhu Hexin, Lt. Governor Habib, Vice President of Tsinghua University Yo Zheng, and Vice Provost of UW Mary Lidstrom all delivered a speech. Keynote speakers were Prof. Kang Chongqing of Tsinghua University and Daniel Schwartz, Director of Clean Energy Institute at the UW, who presented “Accelerating Clean Energy Innovation- What is needed and what are we doing.” Lt. Governor Habib and Dr. Mary Lidstrom also witnessed the signing of a clean energy joint research memorandum and an agreement on international seed fund cooperation between Tsinghua and the UW.

Habib at 35th anniversary event in Chengdu. Source: ccpit-sichuan.orgOn Sept. 11, Habib attended a “Cooperation and Exchange Seminar” on the “35th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Friendship Relationship between Sichuan Province and Washington State.” It was jointly held by Sichuan Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Sichuan Foreign & Overseas Affairs Office as well the State of Washington. Lt. Gov. Habib as well as Li Gang, president of the trade council, respectively delivered their speech. Also at the event, the Sichuan International Chamber of Commerce announced the opening of its Seattle office. A Sichuan-Washington sister schools cooperation memorandum was also signed between an America-China youth exchange association and a Chengdu education bureau.

After Chengdu in Sichuan, Lt. Gov. Habib and his party stopped over on Sept. 12 in Dalian, the seaport city of Liaoning province in China’s northeast. There, Habib met with Dalian mayor Xiao Shengfeng. The two talked about Dalian’s trade relations with Washington state, including the new link between Dalian port and the Port of Seattle, and how to further cooperation between Dalian and Seattle in trade, aviation, port, tourism, high tech, education, culture and sports.

(For more information on major events in Washington state-China relations, go to WA China Chronicle.)