Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping wrapped up a five-day trip to the United States last week with a stop in Los Angeles that included meetings with state and local officials and private sector leaders. I traveled to Los Angeles to support the opportunity to further U.S.-China subnational engagement.
Vice President Xi's U.S. trip came at the invitation of his U.S. counterpart, Vice President Joseph Biden, following his trip to Beijing in August 2011. These reciprocal visits were agreed to by President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao during President Hu's state visit to Washington, D.C. in January 2011.
California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. welcomed Vice President Xi to California, and he and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hosted several events during the visit. I joined Governor Brown's meeting with Jiangsu Province Party Secretary Luo Zhijun, and participated in the U.S. and Chinese Governor's Roundtable, hosted by the Governor.
Moderated by Vice Presidents Biden and Xi, Governors Neil Abercrombie (HI), Pat Quinn (IL), Peter Shumlin (VT), Brian Schweitzer (MT) and seven Chinese provincial officials continued to build relationships to foster expanded trade, cultural, environmental, and educational ties. In addition, I attended, along with San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Mayor Villaraigosa's luncheon for U.S. and Chinese business and government leaders.
As part of an effort to increase direct investment in California and to assist the state's business community, Governor Brown announced plans to re-open representative offices in Beijing and Shanghai, and proposed the formation of a California-China Joint Task Force to drive more collaboration, investment, and trade between California and Chinese provinces.
Before his visit to California, Vice President Xi stopped in Des Moines and Muscatine, Iowa, where he was hosted by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.