Sil­i­con may­ors are on mis­sion to China

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By CHEN JIA in San Fran­cisco chen­jia@chi­nadai­

In a move to draw in­vest­ment and forge con­nec­tions with Chi­nese en­trepreneurs and of­fi­cials, the may­ors of Menlo Park, Union City, Mill­brae and Mor­gan Hill, North Cal­i­for­nia, an­nounced plans for a land­mark joint trip to China on Thurs­day.

And the del­e­ga­tion may in­clude may­ors from as many as eight more Sil­i­con Val­ley cities be­fore it takes off.

“It could be the largest-ever group of Amer­i­can may­ors to visit China to fur­ther lo­cal­ize and deepen China-Cal­i­for­nia re­la­tions,” Stephanie Xu, pres­i­dent of China Sil­i­con Val­ley, the trip’s or­ga­nizer, told China Daily at a press brief­ing in San Fran­cisco on Thurs­day.

“These Sil­i­con Val­ley lead­ers will visit Chi­nese in­no­va­tion hubs and sources of in­vest­ment that are al­ready re­shap­ing Cal­i­for­nia cities,” she said.

The may­ors will be joined by mem­bers of the Chi­nese Con­sulate in San Fran­cisco and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from other Sil­i­con Val­ley cities and leading cor­po­ra­tions. The del­e­ga­tion will leave for China on June 16 and their 11-day trip will have four stops — Bei­jing, Shang­hai, Shen­zhen and Wuhan.

“The city of Menlo Park wel­comes all kinds of in­vest­ments, in­clud­ing from China,” Menlo Park Mayor Ray Mueller said. “We were re­cently ap­proached by some Chi­nese in­vestors look­ing for of­fice space. We will cer­tainly in­form them should any­thing be­come avail­able.”

“Real es­tate, green tech and other in­dus­tries, we ex­pect Chi­nese in­vestors from var­i­ous fields,” Carol Du­tra-Ver­naci, mayor of Union City, said.

In the past two years, the state of Cal­i­for­nia has been very am­bi­tious in its quest for more in­vest­ment from China.

Last year, Cal­i­for­nia Gover­nor Jerry Brown led a week-long trade mis­sion to China with more than 75 par­tic­i­pants to Bei­jing, Nan­jing, Guangzhou and Shen­zhen.

His del­e­ga­tion came to China just as the Cal­i­for­ni­aChina Trade and In­vest­ment Of­fice re­opened af­ter a sim­i­lar one had closed in 2003. To­day, the new of­fice is funded with $1 mil­lion in pri­vate-sec­tor funds raised by the Bay Area Coun­cil busi­ness group.

In 2014, San Fran­cisco Mayor Ed Lee vis­ited China for his third time on a trade and cul­tural ex­change mis­sion.

On his first trade trip to China in April, Lee se­cured a $100,000 do­na­tion for retrofitting the San Fran­cisco Chi­nese Hospi­tal.

That trip also pro­moted the sports busi­ness be­tween the two sides. The Golden State War­riors — San Fran­cisco’s NBA team — took two games to Chi­nese bas­ket­ball fans in Shang­hai and Bei­jing in Oc­to­ber.

About 80 busi­ness lead­ers from the San Fran­cisco Bay Area paid a $6,000 par­tic­i­pa­tion fee each to join Lee on his China trip in Novem­ber.

ak­land Mayor Jean Quan was also off to China with a Bay Area busi­ness del­e­ga­tion last au­tumn. As a re­sult, Chi­nese com­pany Zar­sion agreed to in­vest $1.5 bil­lion to trans­form 65 acres of in­dus­trial land in Oak­land into a wa­ter­front neigh­bor­hood with 3,100 homes. Kelly Zhang con­trib­uted to the story.

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Menlo Park Mayor Ray Mueller (left) speaks with Union City Mayor Carol Du­tra-Ver­naci (cen­ter) and Stephanie Xu, Pres­i­dent of China Sil­i­con Val­ley, or­ga­nizer of a multi-mayor mis­sion to China an­nounced on Thurs­day.

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