Years of find­ing the com­mon ground BIO

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By DENG YU in Seat­tle lin­dadeng@chi­nadai­lyusa. com

“For a long time I have held firmly to the view that the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the US and China is the most im­por­tant in the world and will con­tinue to be so for the in­defi nite fu­ture,” said Joe Borich, a China hand who has served ev­ery US Pres­i­dent from Nixon to Clin­ton in var­i­ous China-re­lated ca­pac­i­ties.

Borich just got back from a busi­ness mis­sion to China where he vis­ited eight cities in­clud­ing Bei­jing, Shang­hai and Shen­zhen in three weeks. Borich thought the trip was suc­cess­ful and plans to go back on an­other one mid-sum­mer.

Such trips to China are nor­mal and fre­quent for the 70-year-old vet­eran US con­sul gen­eral who feels him­self strongly China-con­nected and ac­tively in­volved in USChina com­mu­ni­ca­tion in busi­ness, cul­ture and pol­i­tics.

He main­tains a vast net­work of con­tacts with Chi­nese govern­ment of­fi­cials and busi­ness lead­ers, as well as with US govern­ment agencies and Amer­i­can busi­ness or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Borich has held nu­mer­ous govern­ment po­si­tions at the US State Depart­ment, in­clud­ing US con­sul gen­eral to Shang­hai from 1994 to 1997, where he di­rected pro­gram de­vel­op­ment with an em­pha­sis on pro­mo­tion of US ex­ports and in­vest­ment.

He helped open the con­sulate gen­eral in Shang­hai in 1980 and was a mem­ber of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee on US-China Re­la­tions and the Pa­cific Coun­cil on In­ter­na­tional Pol­icy, among other trade or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Start­ing in 1997, Borich was pres­i­dent of the Wash­ing­ton State China Re­la­tions Coun­cil, the na­tion’s old­est non- gov­ern­men­tal statewide trade as­so­ci­a­tion ded­i­cated to pro­mot­ing re­la­tions with China.

In this ca­pac­ity, Joe rep­re­sented trade pol­icy in­ter­ests of more than 100 cor­po­ra­tions, in­clud­ing Boe­ing, Mi­crosoft, Costco and Ex­pe­d­i­tors In­ter­na­tional.

“The job of the coun­cil was pro­vid­ing value to its mem­ber­ship while help­ing de­velop commercial, ed­u­ca­tional and cul­tural ties be­tween our state and China,” he said.

“This is what we have al­ways done and it must con­tinue to be job one go­ing for­ward. One way we can pro­vide value is to alert our mem­ber­ship to — and help com­bat — ill- con­sid­ered leg­is­la­tion and other govern­ment ac­tions that could threaten our trade re­la­tion­ship with China, a re­la­tion­ship that in its present form un­der­girds most of our state’s econ­omy in one form or an­other.”

Through a distin­guished ca­reer span­ning govern­ment, non-profit, busi­ness and the mil­i­tary, Joe Borich has been a re­spected an­a­lyst and of­fi­cial op­er­at­ing at the fore­front of the US- China re­la­tion­ship.

Last year, af­ter serv­ing on the coun­cil for 16 years, Borich de­cided to step down to ac­cept a new chal­lenge — se­nior ad­vi­sor to Ny­hus Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, a Seat­tle­based global com­mu­ni­ca­tions, pub­lic re­la­tions, pub­lic af­fairs and ex­ec­u­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tions firm.

At the an­nual ban­quet of the Wash­ing­ton State China Re­la­tions Coun­cil on Oct 1, 2013, VIPs in­clud­ing then US am­bas­sador to China Gary Locke, Gov Jay Inslee and Wang Shi, chair­man of Vanke, China’s largest real es­tate de­vel­op­ment firm, showed up to say good­bye to Borich, who has served as head of the or­ga­ni­za­tion for more than half of its life.

“I have al­ways en­joyed my as­so­ci­a­tion with China,” he said. “Af­ter I re­tired from the for­eign ser­vice, the work at the US-China Re­la­tions Coun­cil en­abled me to make use of my skills, ex­pe­ri­ence and con­tacts ac­quired over years in the for­eign ser­vice and take them to the pri­vate sec­tor.

Now my present con­sult­ing work is an­other ex­ten­sion of my 40-year Chi­nafo­cused ca­reer, which I will never con­sider chang­ing,” Borich said.

The Boao Fo­rum for Asia 2014 con­fer­ence will be held in Dubai and Seat­tle in Septem­ber. The meet­ing in Seat­tle will fo­cus on en­ergy re­sources and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment co-spon­sored by the Trade De­vel­op­ment Al­liance of Greater Seat­tle, the Wash­ing­ton State China Re­la­tions Coun­cil and the US- China Clean En­ergy Fo­rum.

For the first time the Boao Fo­rum for Asia (BFA) — Asia’s pre­mier eco­nomic fo­rum — will be held in North Amer­ica. Borich said Seat­tle was hon­ored to host the con­fer­ence and he hoped to get Ny­hus Com­mu­ni­ca­tions more in­volved in it.

Borich re­cently founded a one- man com­pany — Borich Con­sult­ing. With his level of ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­per­tise with China, he helps Amer­i­can com­pa­nies in­ter­ested in en­gag­ing with China more deeply and Chi­nese com­pa­nies in­ter­ested in es­tab­lish­ing a pres­ence in the US.

“I’ve al­ways seen my role, even dur­ing my for­eign ser­vice years, as try­ing to help both sides find a com­mon ground, whether in busi­ness, cul­ture or pol­i­tics,” Borich said.

One of his con­sul­tancy clients is the Seat­tle Fam­ily Re­gional Cen­ter, an EB-5 project led by Seco De­vel­op­ment try­ing to bring im­mi­grant in­vestors to­gether with qual­ity de­vel­op­ment projects to en­rich the Seat­tle com­mu­nity.

When a Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion of more than 30 in­vestors vis­ited the cen­ter in early May, Borich demon­strated his knowl­edge of the in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­ment for US- China busi­ness by an­swer­ing ques­tions from the del­e­ga­tion.

“I see this project as a good one since it has been solidly fi­nanced. It helps the in­vestor re­al­ize their im­mi­gra­tion and in­vest­ment pur­pose, and at the same time serves the busi­ness and eco­nomic in­ter­ests of cities like Seat­tle,” Borich said.

Borich was born in Min­nesota, re­ceived a bach­e­lor’s de­gree from South Dakota State Univer­sity, and a mas­ter’s de­gree from the Univer­sity of South Dakota.

He lives with his wife Ting Hsiao-hui and their daugh­ter Grace in the Seat­tle area.

JOSEPH J. BORICH

Se­nior Ad­vi­sor, Ny­hus Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Age: 70

• Bach­e­lor’s de­gree, South Dakota State Univer­sity (1967) Mas­ter’s de­gree, Univer­sity of South Dakota (1972) Peace Corps vol­un­teer in Thai­land (1967-69) Served in the US Army, one tour in Viet­nam (1969-71) Deputy Chief of Mis­sion, US Em­bassy, Mo­gadishu (1988-91) • US Con­sul Gen­eral to Shang­hai (1994-97) Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Wash­ing­ton State China Re­la­tions Coun­cil (19972013) Se­nior Ad­vi­sor, Ny­hus Com­mu­ni­ca­tions (2013-present)

I’ve al­ways seen my role, even dur­ing my for­eign ser­vice years, as try­ing to help both sides find a com­mon ground, whether in busi­ness, cul­ture or pol­i­tics” JOE BORICH SE­NIOR AD­VI­SOR, NY­HUS COM­MU­NI­CA­TIONS

DENG YU / CHINA DAILY

Joe Borich, a China hand who has served ev­ery US Pres­i­dent from Nixon to Clin­ton in var­i­ous China-re­lated ca­pac­i­ties.

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