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California officials keen on exchanges with China

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-03-14 15:04

SAN FRANCISCO - From environmental cooperation to sister state ties, California officials are exploring deeper exchanges with China both culturally and economically.

"I noticed that the local government is very committed to relationship with China ... I also see a lot of opportunities in developing cultural exchanges," said Kansen Chu, California assembly member who represents San Jose in Silicon Valley, on Tuesday.

As chair of the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media, he told Xinhua that he was working to establish a sister state relationship with China's Shandong province.

"We find out that we both have our strengths and weaknesses in park management," he said.

He explained that Californian parks are good at categorizing the ecosystems while the parks in China are good at tracing history and categorizing the cultural and historical part.

"I think we can learn from each other and I'm definitely very committed to improving bilateral relationship to create a win-win situation," he said.

During the summer last year, about half a dozen Palo Alto students spent a couple of weeks in Shanghai on an exchange program, which helped lead to the recent establishment of a sister relationship between Palo Alto in California's San Francisco Bay Area and Yangpu district of Shanghai, eastern China.

Marc Berman, a California assembly member representing parts of the San Francisco Peninsula and Silicon Valley, called it a "fantastic opportunity."

"There are a lot of opportunities for collaboration both culturally and in terms of technology and innovation," he said. "Since I represent Silicon Valley, I'm looking forward to exploring a lot more of those opportunities."

California's trade with China has also been enhanced over the past years. In 2017, California exported $16.4 billion of goods to China, the third largest destination of the state's exports.

To attract investment from China, San Francisco launched a program "ChinaSF" 10 years ago with an aim to serve inbound companies and investment from China. So far, it has brought in more than $5.1 billion in investment from China.

The program is now exploring ways to take part in the Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China, and to tie the San Francisco Bay Area to the Greater Bay Area of the Pearl River Delta in China.

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