Consul-General returns to Orange County for visit

Updated: 2013-11-16 00:45

By WANG JUN in Costa Mesa (

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Consul-General returns to Orange County for visit

President of American Chinese CEO Society, Robert Sun (first from left) speaks at a welcome party for the new Chinese Consul General in Los Angeles, Liu Jian (first from right) at Orange County's South Coast Plaza. This is Liu's first visit to Orange County after he arrived this summer. Middle: Executive Director of Domestic and International Marketing of South Coast Plaza, Werner Escher. [Wang Jun/China Daily]

Chinese Consul General in Los Angeles Liu Jian visited Orange County for the first time in 20 years at the invitation of the American-Chinese CEO Society.

"I'm so glad to come back after 20 years," Liu said on Nov 12. His first visit was made during a short trip to the US when he was a young diplomat from China. He was appointed consul general in July.

Liu was welcomed at a reception hosted by South Coast Plaza, the international luxury shopping center in Costa Mesa, and by members of the American-Chinese CEO Society, which is made up of business leaders from the US and China and has offices in Los Angeles.

In comments made before he proposed a toast at a private reception, Liu said the meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama at the Sunnyland estate in Rancho Mirage, California, this summer had laid a new foundation for the US-China relationship.

"Sino-US relations are facing a historic opportunity. China is undergoing economic restructuring, transformation and upgrading while the US is also thinking about how to respond to its new challenges," Liu said. `This is both the opportunity and challenge for the sustainable development of the bilateral relations. The Sino-US economic complementarities will further expand the cooperation potentials between the two countries. We should all call for a deepened and enriched Sino-US relations and jointly promote the bilateral cooperation to a new level."

The South Coast Plaza's executive team, led by Werner Escher, executive director of domestic and international marketing, welcomed Liu to largest mall on the US West Coast.

He was presented with lucky coins, from which he chose a penny, made a wish and tossed it into a wishing fountain. A traditional Chinese Guqin performance was put on for Liu.

In front of the book store Assouline, Liu received a copy of a newly published album about the founder of South Coast Plaza, Henry Segerstrom. Generations of the Segerstrom family grew lima bean fields in what is today's South Coast Plaza, which has the highest sales revenue of all US shopping centers. It has played host to various world leaders and celebrities, including members of England's royal family, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the king and queen of Sweden, the sultan and princess of Brunei.

"Chinese celebrity Yang Mi and Hu Bing visited South Coast Plaza not long ago," said Escher, who was one of the recipients in April of the "2012 Peace through Commerce Medal" awarded by the US Department of Commerce.

"Ambassador Liu's words upon leaving South Coast Plaza were complimentary of the environment," said Escher. "He said, 'I should bring my wife here.' His wife is the consul general in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is expected to join her husband soon."