Previous Years of the Ram have been good for US and China

Updated: 2015-03-10 11:22

By Chang Jun(China Daily USA)

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Previous Years of the Ram have been good for US and China

Luo Linquan, Chinese consul general in San Francisco, shares a lighthearted moment with Bay Area-based representatives of Chinese enterprises on March 5. Chang Jun / China Daily

Bombarded with non-stop festivities celebrating the Chinese New Year over the past four weeks, I have come to believe one thing about the Year of the Ram: it will see more Chinese enterprises continuing the trend of investing in the Bay Area.

In K&L Gates' San Francisco office on March 5, where the law firm this year held its annual Spring Festival celebration with the Chinese Enterprise Association, ChinaSF and the Asia Society, partner Howard Chen chronicled some epic events that took place in previous Years of the Ram and helped shaped history.

"We have every reason to believe that miracles will happen in this Year of the Ram," he said.

The late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping paid his historic visit to the US in 1979 to facilitate exchanges across all channels shortly after the official normalization of bilateral relations.

In 1992, Deng went on his landmark "Southern Tour", a trip that still fell under the Year of the Ram based on the lunar calendar, re-emphasizing the importance of continuing the course of reform and opening up and rebuffing any attempts to make a U-turn. Previous Years of the Ram have been good for US and China

In 2003, Hu Jintao was elected President by the National People's Congress and he fostered more dynamic and vibrant exchanges and co-operation between China and US.

Last year, Chinese investment in the US reached $12 billion, topping the $10 billion mark for the second year in a row. In 2013, Chinese annual foreign direct investment (FDI) in the US exceeded the FDI of US companies into China.

There might be no better place than San Francisco to illustrate the closeness and co-existence of China and US. There are roughly 200 Chinese enterprises operating in the Bay Area with businesses ranging from real estate, aviation and tourism to high tech and clean energy.

In the last few years, the number of businesses on the both sides has grown tremendously, particularly the Chinese businesses investing in America and California, State Senator Robert Herzberg said. Traveling extensively throughout China as an international business attorney, Herzberg has noticed purchases by Chinese of real estate in southern California and wineries in northern California have been strong.

At KL &Gates' celebration, eight Chinese companies were recognized for their sizable contribution to the San Francisco Bay Area:

SuNing Commerce R&D Center USA, an affiliate of China's leading home appliance e-commerce giant, which opened a Palo Office in 2013 and has 60 plus employees; Hanergy America Solar Solutions with a focus on the sale of solar modules and applications products; Oceanwide International Investment Co (USA), the Chinese real estate firm that inked an agreement to buy massive Transbay site for $296 million; Zarsion America, Inc, which committed $1.5 billion to building the Oakland-based Brooklyn Basin in 15 years.

Two air carriers - Air China Limited San Francisco, which has been flying passengers across the Pacific for 30 years, and newcomer to the Bay Area China Eastern Airlines San Francisco - were recognized for serving the area.

And two gaming industry players - Forgame US Corporation and Perfect World Co - were recognized for robust revenue increases in the US market and playing leading roles in China's gaming industry.

As celebrations of the Chinese New Year are close to wrapping up in the Bay Area, I'm hopeful that the Year of the Ram will bring good luck and prosperity for everyone in China and the US.

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