Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Boeing China Trip - 30th Anniversary Banquet
December 3, 2002
Good evening. I am honored to be here tonight. It is a privilege to be a part of this historic anniversary celebration.
I wish to thank our honored representatives from China for joining us in tonight’s celebration. And I’d like to thank Alan Mulally and Boeing for their role in hosting tonight’s banquet, and for arranging this visit to China.
It is a profound pleasure for me to return to China. I have always enjoyed traveling to various cities here on Chinese Airlines.
You should be very proud of the great progress you’ve made in building China’s aviation industry. And I am always proud when I board your airplanes and I see that they are Boeing airplanes.
I love this country, and I look forward to future visits to China.
I consider myself fortunate to have strong ties to both China and America. I am an American. And I am proud to be an American.
But I am also Chinese and I am proud of my Chinese ancestry and cultural heritage.
I am proud of the enormous contributions China has made to civilization over the past thousands of years, and will continue to make in the future.
My grandfather came to America from China in the late 1800’s. He worked as a "house boy" – or servant boy – for a family in exchange for English lessons.
The house where he worked is less than a mile from the Capitol Building in Olympia, Washington—where I work. My family is now fond of saying that in one hundred years, the Locke family moved one mile.
It has been a profound journey for the Locke family. Profound because of the opportunities we discovered in America. And profound because of the rich Chinese culture and traditions we have never left behind.
Five years ago, I came to China. It was not my first visit. But it may have been my most memorable one.
I met with President Jiang Zemin. My parents and my brother and sisters and their spouses traveled to our ancestral home in Jilong, Guangdong Province.
I sat in the very room where my father was born. And I visited the grave of my great-grandfather. That pilgrimage was a dream come true for our entire family. It was symbolic of the ties between America and China, between cultures, between people.
Those ties are very important to the state of Washington. Chinese Americans have made many contributions to my state and indeed America.
We helped build the railroads and cities. We worked in the mines and timber camps. We labored on the farms and in canneries and factories. Chinese Americans helped transform Washington state and other states from a wilderness to modern-day economic success stories.
There were hardships to overcome. But we persevered. And today we continue to make an important contribution.
Chinese Americans are among the talented Boeing engineers and mechanics that design and build those great Boeing airplanes. We are software designers at Microsoft. We are doctors, lawyers, educators, and artists. And we are government officials.
The people of Washington remain very grateful for the contributions of Chinese Americans to our state. And the Chinese in America have not forgotten their ancestral homeland.
Washington state is grateful for our ongoing friendship and mutually beneficial trade relationship with China.
China has been a strong market for airplanes and for many other Washington goods and services. Washington state is the second largest source of exports to China from the U.S.
That’s why I led the effort to have the governors of the 50 states support permanent, normal trade relations for China.
We hope to continue to offer products and services that will be beneficial for the Chinese people. Medical technology and environmental technology. Agricultural products and food processing technology. And of course Boeing airplanes—the best airplanes in the world. Congratulations to China and Boeing on a remarkable 30 years—and good luck for the next 30 years!
Washington state is proud of our partnership with China. And we are inspired by the many ways in which China and Washington state will benefit as our trade expands and our friendship deepens.
We look forward to a future of continuing, mutually beneficial trade with China, and greater prosperity for the people of China, Washington state and America.