With a delegation of more than 300 businesses, cultural and political leaders, San Francisco Week in Shanghai was a
historic trip as we celebrated both the breathtaking World Expo as well as the 30th anniversary of the founding of the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee.
Over 15 sponsors were showcased, including presenting sponsor Marvell, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, United
Airlines, HOK Architects, Heller Manus Architects, Monster Cable, Cubic, Cotchett, Pitre and McCarthy, Hilton Hotels,
General Motors, Suntech, Beringer Wines, David Perry & Associates, MarketWire, the Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf, CW Group and Yogavive. Without their generosity, San Francisco Week would not have been possible.
Highlights of the San Francisco Week in Shanghai 2010
Events in support of San Francisco Week occurred in both San Francisco and Shanghai, including a Sustainability Luncheon at the InterContinental- San Francisco, pre-departure reception at the Chinese Consulate, ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Expo's Urban Best Practices Building, VIP tours of General Motors Pavilion and the USA Pavilion, where Jose Villarreal, the U.S. Commissioner General to Expo 2010 Shanghai, greeted us personally, Sustainability Forum, where Mayor Gavin Newsom delivered the keynote address, and a gala dinner with entertainment provided by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Glide Memorial Ensemble and video messages of support were broadcast to the audience from United States Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The committee sponsored the participation of several of the city's cultural icons- the Glide Memorial Choir, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Chanticleer, the Saint Mary's Drum & Bells Corps, the Murphy-Comerford Irish Dancers, the Bridge Chamber Virtuosi and the dancers of the Samoan Cultural Center - who joined the delegation and enthralled a cross-cultural audience while performing at City Square on Expo grounds.
Pictures from San Francisco Week in Shanghai 2010
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. 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.
Looking to the future, James Fang, the Committee's chairman since 1996, believes that both cities will face many of the same issues and thus will have even more opportunities to work together in the search for solutions. "What I envision for the next 30 years is a mutually beneficial push for sustainable energy. I see projects where we create green-collar jobs," said Fang. However, he is not abandoning the Committee's roots.
Cultural and humanitarian projects will continue and the Committee hopes to finally realize the vision of a Chinese garden in San Francisco as described in the first MOU.
The Shanghai government too, recognizes that the relationship is changing. The Honorable Liu Yungen, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Shanghai People's Congress, came to San Francisco in March 2010 at the invitation of the Committee. Liu met with Mayor Newsom as well as executives from Bay Area companies that are at the cutting edge of technology.
The Chairman described the partnership as entering a more "substantial" phase. Fang agrees. He's looking forward to the next chapter in the story of the San Francisco Shanghai Sister City Committee and points to a future where the two cities are friends, partners and leaders in a changing world.