Consulate salutes 2013, looks ahead

Updated: 2014-01-06 11:08

By Chen Jia in San Francisco (China Daily USA)

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After a more than four-month trial on English-language social media, the Consulate General of China in San Francisco announced its fan base on Facebook had reached 1,331.

"We hope to use our official Facebook page to better interact with all segments of American society," Consul GeneralYuan Nansheng said in a speech in San Francisco on Friday. "We are still in the beginning stages and still learning."

The first and only Chinese consulate-run official Facebook account in the US, the page has got 41 ratings.

"I know many of you have 'liked' our page and keenly followed our postings. I encourage everyone to keep looking to our page as a source of relevant and helpful information, and the spread the word to your colleagues and friends," he said.

The consulate was among the earliest Chinese consular missions in the US since the two countries established diplomaticrelations in 1979.

Its consular district covers Northern California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Alaska - an area of about 30 million people and a region that is scientifically and technologically innovative, economically dynamic, culturally diverse and at the forefront of building a cooperative US-China partnership.As the 11th Chinese Consul General in San Francisco, Yuan made his debut in April of 2013 and witnessed "even stronger" and "more productive" ties between China and the district that his consulate covers.

"Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee paid a very successful visit to China. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee even visited China three times," he said.

One of the most exciting results from Brown's China visit is that a Chinese investment group has agreed to finance a $1.5 billion mixed-use development project in Oakland, he said.

The project, also known as the Brooklyn Basin deal, will create 10,000 jobs, 3,100 housing units, 200,000 square feet of retail a commercial space, and 30 acres of parks.

He also noted six Chinese provincial governments and California signed an agreement in 2013 to increase trade and investment links, making California the first and the only US state that has established a joint working group with China's local authorities.

Last year also saw California sign a landmark memorandum of understanding with China's National Development and Reform Commission, committing to jointly combat global climate change. It is the first US sub-national entity to sign such a deal with China.

Last but not least of the achievements from 2013 that Yuan mentioned on Friday - California opened a special Confucius Institute at the UC-Davis, which is the world's first devoted to Chinese food and drink.

"The Year of the Horse (2014) marks the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship between our two great nations," Yuan said.

It also marks the 150th anniversary of the arrival of a large number of Chinese to work on the Central Pacific Railroad, he said. "We are planning special events to commemorate these monumental moments in history," he said.

In late March of 2014, the consulate will be partnering with the American Jewish Community San Francisco Office and Israeli Consulate-General to organize a symposium honoring Ho Fengshan, the Chinese consul general in Vienna during WWII who rescued thousands of Jews from the Holocaust by issuing Chinese visas, he added.

 Consulate salutes 2013, looks ahead

Chinese Consul General in San Francisco Yuan Nansheng speaking at a reception on Friday, where he promoted, among other things, the consulate's new Facebook page and the promising year ahead for US-Chinese relations. Chen Jia / China Daily

(China Daily USA 01/06/2014 page2)