Gover­nor be­gins five-day visit to US

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YI in Bei­jing zhang_yi@chi­

A top of­fi­cial of coal-rich Shanxi province has started a five-day visit to the western US states of Idaho and Wy­oming in an ef­fort to boost ex­changes in eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion, tourism and ed­u­ca­tion.

Shanxi Gover­nor Li Xiaopeng is head­ing a gov­ern­ment del­e­ga­tion from the province to visit busi­nesses, sci­en­tific in­sti­tu­tions and univer­si­ties in the two states, ac­cord­ing to Shanxi Daily, a ma­jor gov­ern­ment-run news­pa­per.

The visit was ini­ti­ated by Idaho Gover­nor Butch Ot­ter and Wy­oming Gover­nor Matt Mead.

Dur­ing the visit, the del­e­ga­tion will brief the US author­i­ties about poli­cies and mea­sures that the province has taken to deepen eco­nomic re­form, widen open­ing-up and boost in­no­va­tion.

The del­e­ga­tion said it wishes to learn from the two states about how to trans­form the econ­omy of a re­source-rich area, as Shanxi is it­self de­ter­mined to build a com­pre­hen­sive energy base and launch a trans­for­ma­tive pi­lot pro­ject with its own re­source-ori­ented econ­omy.

In Wy­oming, the del­e­ga­tion will celebrate the 30th an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of the two re­gions’ friendly re­la­tions and plans to step up ex­changes in tourism and ed­u­ca­tion.

Li will wit­ness the sign­ing of a va­ri­ety of agree­ments be­tween the two sides, some of which are in the tourism and ed­u­ca­tion sec­tors.

Li, son of for­mer premier Li Peng, was elected gover­nor of the province in Jan­uary 2013 at the first ses­sion of the 12th pro­vin­cial Peo­ple’s Congress, the lo­cal leg­is­la­ture.

He was ap­pointed act­ing gover­nor of Shanxi in De­cem­ber 2012, re­plac­ing for­mer gover­nor Wang Jun.

Be­fore that, Li was gen­eral man­ager of China Hua­neng Group, the coun­try’s largest power gen­er­a­tor, be­fore his ap­point­ment as Shanxi vice­gov­er­nor in June 2008.

Li is one of 171 al­ter­nate mem­bers of the 18th Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party of China, the po­lit­i­cal body that com­prises the top Party lead­ers.

Shanxi province has been syn­ony­mous with coal and is the coun­try’s top coal pro­ducer. It’s a pow­er­house whose abun­dant re­serves of fos­sil fu­els have kept China in op­er­a­tion for gen­er­a­tions.

The province has been in the media spotlight since seven of its top lead­ers, some at the min­is­te­rial level, were placed un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion on cor­rup­tion charges last year.

The past year has seen gov­ern­ment shake-ups across the province. More than 15,000 Party of­fi­cials — 45 of them at the bureau level — have been pun­ished for “vi­o­la­tions of the law and party dis­ci­pline”, a phrase of­ten used as short­hand for cor­rup­tion and graft.

Li Xiaopeng, Shanxi gover­nor

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