San Fran­cisco mayor lauds Op­tics Val­ley PRO­FILE

China Daily (Canada) - - WORLD - By LIU KUN in Wuhan and ZHAO YANRONG in Bei­jing

Sil­i­con Val­ley has en­hanced its ties with China’s Op­tics Val­ley in Wuhan be­cause de­vel­op­ment in Cen­tral China ben­e­fits the United States.

San Fran­cisco Mayor Ed­win Lee made the re­marks in late Novem­ber while on his third trip to China this year. Lee

the first AsianAmer­i­can elected to lead the city was mak­ing his first visit to Wuhan, the cap­i­tal of Hubei prov­ince.

With Tang Liangzhi, his Wuhan coun­ter­part, the two may­ors wit­nessed the sign­ing of agree­ments to set up li­ai­son of­fices that will en­able more ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two cities.

“Part­ner­ships be­tween cities can be trans­lated to jobs and eco­nomic growth,” Lee said.

Com­pared with his ear­lier vis­its to Bei­jing and Shang­hai, the mayor said he found San Fran­cisco’s friend­ship with Wuhan in­ter­est­ing and unique.

“The two val­leys are both high-tech towns. Sil­i­con Val­ley is the world center for chip­mak­ing, and Op­tics Val­ley has the largest pro­duc­tion for op­ti­cal-elec­tronic prod­ucts in China,” he said.

The mayor also said that he had gained a deep ap­pre­ci­a­tion of Op­tics Val­ley and was aware of its fu­ture prospects while dis­cussing with some top US com­pa­nies in­clud­ing IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Synop­sys their de­vel­op­ments al­ready un­der way in Asia.

With a long his­tory and im­por­tant lo­ca­tion, Wuhan also has an ad­vanced trans­porta­tion sys­tem and ed­u­ca­tion re­sources. Since Hubei al­ready has been a driv­ing force in Cen­tral China’s de­vel­op­ment, the prov­ince of­fers great po­ten­tial within China’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, Lee said.

Even though China’s an­nual eco­nomic growth slowed down to sin­gle digit, Wuhan is still de­vel­op­ing rapidly as China pays in­creas­ing at­ten­tion to cen­tral and western China’s de­vel­op­ment.

The Wuhan gov­ern­ment said the city’s GDP has al­ready had a year-on-year growth of 10 per­cent in the first three quar­ters of this year.

“What’s im­por­tant for us is the op­por­tu­ni­ties brought by the de­vel­op­ment of Cen­tral China. San Fran­cisco is def­i­nitely catch­ing the wave,” he added. • 2011-present San Fran­cisco • 2005-11 City ad­min­is­tra­tor • 2000-05 Di­rec­tor, Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works • 1996-2000 Di­rec­tor, City Pur­chas­ing Depart­ment • 1991-96 Di­rec­tor, Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion

Mayor of • 1989-91 Whis­tle-blower Or­di­nance in­ves­ti­ga­tor and deputy di­rec­tor of em­ploy­ment re­la­tions

Re­gional de­vel­op­ment usu­ally fol­lows a trend from coastal re­gions to in­land, the mayor said. He said he be­lieves that Wuhan will be another Shang­hai in the near fu­ture.

Nearly 80 uni­ver­si­ties are lo­cated in Wuhan, where 1.2 mil­lion col­lege stu­dents give the city the world’s largest univer­sity pop­u­la­tion.

“I am glad that they have so many uni­ver­si­ties here. The tal­ent in the city can sup­port many good in­dus­tries and great in­no­va­tions, whether it’s in the arts, tech­nol­ogy, sci­ence or health­care,” Lee said.

Wuhan and San Fran­cisco have a great deal in com­mon, and have all el­e­ments to be­come great cities, he added.

As the first Asian-Amer­i­can mayor in the his­tory of San Fran­cisco, a city in which more than one-fifth of the res­i­dents are eth­nic Chi­nese, Lee ex­pects to en­hance friend­ship with Wuhan through more di­rect flights be­tween the two cities.

“The flights have to stop by Shang­hai, and the jour­ney lasts as long as 10 hours,” he said, urg­ing the two cities to achieve di­rect flights to shorten the trav­el­ing time. Con­tact the writ­ers at liukun@chi­ and zhaoy­an­rong@ chi­

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