Connecting Washington and China by Wendy Liu - Read Online
Connecting Washington and China
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Joseph J. Borich

President, Washington State China Relations Council

As a relatively junior Foreign Service Officer working on the State
Department’s China Desk in 1978, I found myself in an ideal “fly-on-the-
wall” situation from which to observe and peripherally contribute to
the chain of events that would lead to the full normalization of relations
between the U.S. and China on January 1, 1979.

By January 1980, I was in China helping to reopen the U.S. consulate
general there after a 30-year hiatus. Although I did not imagine it at
the time, I would spend much of the final 17 years of my Foreign
Service career involved with China. During that time I encountered
the Washington State China Relations Council – its executive directors,
board members, member company representatives and delegates of
various WSCRC-led missions – on a number of occasions. In the
process my knowledge of and respect for the WSCRC and its mission
grew with each passing year.

Perhaps it was destiny that the WSCRC’s executive director position
should become vacant in 1997 at the same time that I retired from
the Foreign Service. Whether by fate or coincidence I was ineluctably
drawn to accept the Council’s offer of employment, an acceptance that
years later I have found no reason to regret.

Washington is one of only a handful of states that have found
compelling reasons to establish and support a China-centric nonprofit
business association like the WSCRC, and the WSCRC remains the
oldest and arguably best known of these. The foresight of the WSCRC’s
founders tying together Washington state’s historical links to China with
the suddenly unleashed but still not well understood new opportunities
for business with China on a massive scale has been fully justified by
history. Today Washington leads all states on a per capita basis in trade
with China and is the only state to maintain a trade surplus with China.
This is very important because no other state is nearly as dependent on
foreign trade as Washington – nearly one job in three here is directly
tied to international trade. The vision of the WSCRC’s founders in
1979 has withstood the test of time.

I congratulate Wendy Liu for writing Connecting Washington and
China, published originally in 2005, and for updating it with new
content. The Washington State China Relations Council has in more
than a quarter century become an institution in the state of Washington
and in the realm of post-normalization U.S.-China relations. As such, its
story is certainly worth telling. But, this work also reflects an intensely
personal voyage of discovery for Ms. Liu, with her own metamorphosis
on her journey from China to the United States and from normalization
through Tiananmen and beyond. That, too, is a story worth telling.

Seattle, November 2009
Published: iUniverseBooks on
ISBN: 9780595819034
List price: $3.99
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