Thank you for your interest in the relationship between Washington State and Sichuan Province! We think you will find the WSFA to be an organization that can help you understand, and get engaged in, the relationship this region has with China in general and Sichuan province specifically. There is so much going on, and so many things to do and learn! We believe Americans should know and appreciate more about China, and that Chinese people should know and learn more about America. We hope you agree, too. The WSFA can help you get involved however you wish.
Chinese Consul General Visits Washington State Capitol – From December 18th to 20th, Chinese Consul General Gao Zhansheng met with Congressman-elect Derek Kilmer, Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen, Secretary of State Sam Reed and Secretary of State-elect Kim Wyman. Consul General Gao briefed on the 18th CPC National Congress, China’s economic outlook and cooperation between China and the state of Washington. Participants discussed how to further strengthen cooperation between Chinese provinces and U.S. states. We look forward to results from this visit in the expansion of programs for the good of both Washington and Sichuan!
30th Anniversary Celebratory Fortune Cookies – A big “Thank You!” to all the donors and restaurants who participated in helping make last year’s event a success: AmAsia3, Ms. Bernier, Ms. Heim, Ms. Marvinney, Ms. Miao, Ms. Ramquist, Mr. Rodgers, Mr. Shobert, Mr. Zhao, Tacoma Szechuan, Golden Phoenix, Chengdu Chinese, Chiang’s Gourmet, and the Wonderful Buffet.
The US China Press covered this event and described WSFA efforts in this article
Want to know the locations of the names on your fortune? Click here.
What’s Ahead Now?
Regional Sister City Video Teleconference. One of the desired outcomes from the March 2012 citizen delegation discussions with the Sichuan Foreign Affairs Department was to create opportunities for clearer communication between our people and institutions. The WSFA is developing a plan to link the Washington and Sichuan Sister Cities, state/provincial government leaders and public institutions together for a December video teleconference event. Future WSFA newsletters will keep you up-to-date on the time and locations where you can directly participate in this civil dialogue promoting understanding, development, and peace between our people.
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Stay in touch with what’s going on in the Puget Sound region with a range of China-related groups and institutions. We will keep you advised of new events and upcoming opportunities. Best of all, it’s free!
Looking to 2013 and beyond: “The Next Thirty”
The WSFA seeks to develop a broad set of programs to capitalize on the depth of experience that so many of our regional institutions and leaders have developed over the years, bringing knowledge, connections, and credibility to the region’s relationship with China. The focus of the WSFA is on the province of Sichuan. Our broader vision within that focus is to bring the various sectors of Washington education, business, culture and tourism interests together in creative ways to synergistically grow the relationship even further.
Student Art Contest: The “Next 30” Years of Relationship.
“Washington Day” culinary celebrations in Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan
Puget Sound regional performance by the Lantern Festival Company
Winery Tours of Washington
A Brief History of the Relationship
Immediately after the diplomatic opening of China in the mid-‘70s, Washington business and government leaders started travelling to China to explore the development of commercial ties. Soon the idea formed that Washington should explore a “sister state” friendship with a similarly mountainous and water-intensive agricultural basin in southwestern China called Sichuan (Four Rivers). In 1979 the first official delegation of state leaders visited the capital city, Chengdu, and on October 11th, 1982, Governor Spellman signed an official agreement of friendship between our people and the people of Sichuan province. The next year, Seattle and the city of Chongqing established a sister city relationship. In 1997 Chongqing became an independent municipality reporting directly to the central government, but remains the “cultural sister” of Sichuan. Over the years, numerous programs have been carried out with both relationships, and additional relationships and institutions have been created. Thousands of school children in both countries have been given opportunities to learn more about one another as a result. One of the most significant but painful events was the Wenchuan earthquake of 2008; it severely damaged the province and killed an estimated 68,000 people; Washington supporters of the WSFA sent emergency relief funds to aid the survivors. The newest relationship is the official Auburn-Guanghan friendship, which formed in the spring of 2012. The degree of change in both the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America has been so huge that one can hardly imagine the conditions which first characterized our efforts at communication and cooperation. What will your part in this story be for the next thirty years?
Who Are We? The Washington Sichuan Friendship Association (WSFA) is a non-profit group of volunteers supporting the development and activities of the official relationship between Washington State and Sichuan Province. Our board and membership is made up of both American and Chinese citizens, all of whom live in Washington State, working in a wide variety of professional fields and sharing a broad spectrum of experience. The Association was formed in the year 2000, after the exchange activities of Washington and Sichuan began to overwhelm the ability of Olympia’s staff to oversee and manage the communication and planning. Over the past thirty years, dozens of programs, educational and cultural exchanges, trade delegations, and performances have taken place. We hope that someday in the next thirty years an opportunity will appear allowing the association to be a non-government organization within Sichuan itself.