Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
China National Day Remarks
September 23, 2003

Good evening.

I would like to welcome Ambassador Wang back to Washington state. Thank you for hosting this wonderful banquet to celebrate China’s National Day.

And welcome to Vice Mayor Liu. We first met in Beijing last December. The Vice Mayor was kind enough to accept my invitation to visit Seattle. We greatly appreciate his interest and counsel on how Washington companies can provide products and services for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Tomorrow morning, Vice Mayor Liu and I will open a conference to assist Washington companies interested in the 2008 Olympic Games.

Finally, welcome to two distinguished gentlemen who have given so much to our state—Governor Albert Rosellini and Governor Mike Lowry.

I’m honored to join tonight’s celebration of the 54th Anniversary of the founding of Peoples Republic of China. And I am proud to be a Chinese American. China has made huge contributions to civilization for thousands of years. And China has again emerged as a major political and economic power.

Immigrants, including many Chinese, helped build our state and our nation. When Chinese people first arrived here, they struggled for survival and acceptance. They did the hardest and most humble jobs. Working on railroads, in gold and coal mines, timber camps and merchants in emerging cities. My grandfather was a servant. Chinese fought in the U.S. armed forces to protect democracy.

Today, we are blessed with a significant population of Chinese-Americans. Our Chinese-American citizens include successful professionals, businesspeople, and community leaders, political leaders, judges. We value our ongoing Chinese influences, and we value our state’s special relationship with China.

Next month, I will lead a trade mission to China. We look forward to honoring our close cultural relationships and trade partnerships. The trip will promote bi-lateral trade, tourism and investment in Washington state. We will visit Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. Ambassador Wang and his staff have been very helpful as we prepare for this trade mission, and we thank them.

I look forward to our meetings with top Chinese government officials and corporate leaders as we continue to build lasting relationships. In Beijing, I look forward to introducing our delegates to Vice Mayor Liu and other senior Chinese officials involved in the planning of the 2008 Olympics.

We have specific goals. We’ll seek direct flights between China and SeaTac. We’ll help Starbucks and other companies expand their businesses in China. We hope to resolve some of the barriers to exporting Washington agricultural products to China. We will introduce new Washington products and services to China. And we hope to bring more Chinese students in our colleges and universities.

We’re looking forward to our journey to China, and the ongoing journey of friendship between China and our state. The people of China have much to offer the people of Washington and the U.S. And Washington companies produce many items and service that will improve the standard of living for Chinese people. And tonight’s celebration is another step in that journey of friendship and mutually beneficial partnership.

I offer my sincerest congratulations on China National Day, and wish you all a very enjoyable evening.

Thank you.

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