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Consul General Gao Zhansheng Speaks at Rotary District 5160 Conference


Invited by Rotary District 5160, Chinese Consul General Gao Zhansheng attended as honorary guest the organization's 2012 conference at Meritage Spa and Resort in Napa on November 4, 2012, and delivered a key-note speech on notable changes in China and China-U.S. relationship.

Consul General Gao started by reviewing the friendship-building activities between Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco and Rotary District 5160 during the past 4 years.

"You (Rotary friends) so generously provided $40,000 worth of shelter boxes for the earthquake victims. I would like to thank all my Rotary friends here who launched or participated in the donation four years ago, for your kindness and compassion towards the Chinese people" Consul General Gao said.

He went on to elaborate on the notable changes taking place in China for the last decade.

"Today, China has become the world's second largest economy, second largest merchandise importer, second largest destination of foreign direct investment, largest merchandise exporter, largest manufacturer, and largest holder of foreign exchange reserves. While being proud of what the country has achieved, we are keenly aware of the fact that China is still a developing country, and there are many pressing challenges for us to cope with." He said.

Consul General Gao also reviewed the development of China-US relationship for the past four decades and then narrowed it down to China-California mutually beneficial cooperation, particularly in the area of agriculture.
"Thanks to the concerted efforts made by the two sides for the past four decades, China-US relationship has become one of the most consequential bilateral relationships in the world."

"California is a front runner in growing business relations with China. It has been by far the leader of trade export to China among all the 50 states. China is now the third largest export market for the Golden State."

"Agricultural exports from California to China have been big time bright spots for this state. China's burgeoning middle class and increasingly sophisticated and up-scale consumers are creating a huge demand for California's high-quality agricultural products". He said.

As Consul General Gao closed by saying "the friendship between Rotary District 5160 and the Chinese consulate never old; it mellows, like Napa wine",  the  audience stood up in applause and gave him a standing ovation.

Up to 500 District members were present in the event.

District 5160 has 3550 members in 71 clubs from San Ramon, CA on the south to Weed, CA on the north. In 2008, the District provided $40,000 in aid for China's Wenchuan earthquake victims. Alliance for Smiles, an local organization established by Rotarians, have conducted over 30 medical missions in China, repairing over 2000 broken smiles of Chinese children by providing free comprehensive treatment. District 5160 hosted three agricultural tours for the staff of Chinese consulate since 2009.

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