SOURCE: San Francisco / Shanghai Sister City Committee

San Francisco / Shanghai Sister City Committee

June 25, 2010 12:40 ET

"San Francisco Week" Wraps Up in China at Shanghai World Expo

San Francisco / Shanghai Sister City Delegation Heads Back to San Francisco With Deeper Connections in Business, Politics and the Arts

SHANGHAI, CHINA--(Marketwire - June 25, 2010) -  Three Mayors -- Two Cities -- One incredible week in China celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the San Francisco / Shanghai Sister City Committee (www.sfshanghai.com).

"This was not only an historic but a groundbreaking event for the San Francisco / Shanghai Sister City Committee," said James Fang, Chair of the Sister City Committee. "We not only celebrated the strength of our two cities through performance and friendship we have also carved a new path of cooperation especially in the field of green and sustainability issues between our two great cities."

Led by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom & James Fang, the City's official Delegation to the World Expo included former Mayors Frank Jordan and Willie L. Brown, Jr. -- the first time that three such urban executives joined together on such a trip. Other high level Bay Area representatives included California Supreme Court Justice Ming Chin, Marvell cofounder Weili Dai, whose company was the presenting sponsor of the trip, San Francisco Assessor Phil Ting, attorney Joe Cotchett, PG&E's Vice President of Corporate Environmental Affairs Steven Kline, ChinaSF Director Ginny Fang, United Airline's Vice President James Keenan, San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO Joe D'Alessandro, Visa's Nathan Nayman, Leo Lin of Monster Cable, Lawrence Lui of the Hilton Group, San Francisco Port Chair Rodney Fong and Mary Lau, widow of San Francisco / Shanghai Sister Committee original chairman Gordon Lau.

Presenting sponsor for the trip was Marvell with major sponsorship from United Airlines, PG&E and HOK Architects. Additional sponsors included ChinaSF, The Ritz Carlton, Monster Cable, Beringer Wines, Cubic, Heller Manus Architects, Suntech, YogaVive, the law firm of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, BART, San Francisco's Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf, David Perry & Associates, Inc., Marketwire, Hilton Hotels and General Motors.

The Delegation's official activities began on Friday, June 18 with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Expo's Urban Best Practices Building where a wide range of exhibitions and displays exampled San Francisco's commitment and advances in green and sustainable business practices. Greeting attendees were two "VIP" greeters: Chinese basketball legend "Yao Ming" and US President "Barack Obama," courtesy of San Francisco's Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf. During the afternoon, the Delegation toured Expo, including special tours of the GM, China and USA pavilions. Later that evening, ChinaSF co-hosted a reception at the Delegation's headquarters, the Portman Ritz Carlton Hotel, featuring a fashion show of designs by San Francisco's Anthony Cruz Legarda with special guest model Willie L. Brown. Jr.

On Saturday June 19, Mayor Newsom delivered the keynote address and participated in a special "Sustainability Forum" during which a lively discussion ensued on ways to combat global climate change and other eco-issues. Later that afternoon, United Airlines hosted a luncheon including a performance by the Children's Peace Choir of Oakland, California's Northern Light School. That evening, Shanghai business man David Lo organized a spectacular Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony at the Shangri-La Hotel with entertainment provided by the San Francisco's Conservatory of Music, the Children's Peace Choir of Oakland the Glide Memorial Ensemble. Mayors Newsom and Shanghai Vice Mayor Tang exchanged official gifts and awards of appreciation were given to all Delegation sponsors. Video messages of support were broadcast to the audience from United States Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Throughout the week, June 17 - 25, Delegates engaged in one-on-one business meetings with their Chinese counterparts and thousands of people streamed through the Expo's Urban Best Practices Building to learn about San Francisco. The City's cultural icons -- the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Chanticleer, the St. Mary's Drum & Bells Corps, Glide Memorial Choir, the Murphy-Comerford Irish Dancers and the Dancers of the Samoan Cultural Center -- enthralled a cross-cultural audience and introduced San Francisco's diverse arts community to a new generation -- and country -- of fans.

"For 30 years, the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee has worked to bring people together. There have been banquets and basketball games, fashion shows and trade shows. The committee has completed more than 200 projects of mutual cooperation," said Fang. "Doctors on both sides of the Pacific have exchanged the latest research. Artists have shared their vision. Students have expanded their thinking. No matter what the occasion, there has always been a personal touch as the committee is founded on the ideal of person-to-person diplomacy. On this anniversary, we remember the visionary leaders who founded this committee and the first sister city relationship between the United States and China, and we look forward to the next 30 years."

The 2010 Shanghai World Expo opened on May 1 and will continue through October 31, 2010. 60 million Chinese plus 10 million international travelers are expected to take in the pavilions and presentations of more than 170 nations at this first "World's Fair" of the second decade of the 21st Century and the only such conclave of the year and the only one in Asia. World Expositions are galleries of human inspirations and thoughts. Since 1851 when the Great Exhibition of Industries of All Nations was held in London, the World Expositions have attained increasing prominence as grand events for economic, scientific, technological and cultural exchanges, serving as an important platform for displaying historical experience, exchanging innovative ideas, demonstrating esprit de corps and looking to the future.

The San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City committee is a goodwill organization with more than 200 cultural, business and governmental exchanges between San Francisco and Shanghai. In 1980, United States Senator Dianne Feinstein, then mayor of San Francisco, and Shanghai's Mayors Wan Dao Han and Jiang Zemin, started the sister city relationship. Both Feinstein and Jiang have ascended to national leadership in their respective countries, but their lasting ties continue to this day. San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City committee is a 501c(3) non-profit charitable organization. All contributions are tax-exempt. Its directors are volunteers. The committee receives no government funds or taxpayer funds.

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