SAN FRANCISCO — On Sunday, September 25, 2011, Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng met San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee for the first time to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee.
The meeting marked the first time two mayors of Chinese heritage met in the history of US-China and San Francisco-Shanghai relations. The historic occasion marks a new era for the San Francisco-Shanghai relationship, the 31-year old Committee and San Francisco Mayor.
“San Francisco and Shanghai are model cities for innovative solutions and ideas,” said San Francisco Mayor Lee, host of the September 25 event. “Our shared commitment to sustainable development and economic prosperity is at the heart of the progress and promise between the people of Shanghai and San Francisco.
“We are extraordinary sisters in the pursuit of innovation, forging new development for our nations, and the world,” Lee added. “We are strengthening the promise and partnership between the United States and China.”
“We are embarking on a new area of cooperation, partnering sustainable San Francisco and Shanghai businesses so that we can create green collar jobs for our residents and restore the environment we share,” said James Fang, chairman of the Sister City Committee.
Joining the Sister City Committee will be Marvell – the world’s third largest fabless semiconductor company, which is the leading sponsor of the historic meeting of the two mayors.
Marvell co-founder Weili Dai led the 2010 delegation to the World Expo. “I was born in Shanghai and came to San Francisco over thirty years ago; It is such a great honor to join Senator Feinstein, Governor Brown, Lt. Governor Newsom, Mayor Lee, and all of California’s great leaders in welcoming Mayor Han to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Shanghai and San Francisco Sister-City Relationship,” said Dai, Co-founder of Marvell Technology Group, Ltd, the world’s third largest fabless semiconductor company.
“Both Shanghai and San Francisco are world leaders in the new innovation economy. I believe it is very important that our two powerful cities continue to grow our partnership to advance education, research, technology, and business. This collaboration will lead to more job opportunities to grow and strengthen the global economy,” she said.
Among the 2010 initiatives led by then Mayor Gavin Newsom, Sister City and Marvell, San Francisco was the only American city to receive official status at the World Expo in Shanghai hosted by Mayor Han. During San Francisco Week in June 2010, Mayor Newsom, Sister City and Marvell hosted a Sustainable Energy Exhibition for Expo visitors. For Shanghai and Bay Area audiences, they led a forum on private and public sector green and economic initiatives in San Francisco and Shanghai. In February 2010, Shanghai’s leaders came to San Francisco to talk to Bay Area green business leaders on how they were reducing the carbon footprint of the World Expo. Senior government and business leaders are expected to attend the welcome dinner for Mayor Han at Carnelian by the Bay at One Ferry Plaza. Among those attending will be former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, former San Francisco mayors Frank Jordan and Willie Brown who have led San Francisco- Shanghai initiatives through the Sister City Committee.
T.Y. Lin International, a San Francisco-based internationally recognized, multi-disciplined full-service infrastructure engineering firm will assist in supporting this event, taking place in full view of their joint work with Shanghai on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
“We commend the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee for its leadership in shaping a promising future for sustainable energy, green-collar jobs and infrastructure,” said Alvaro J. Piedrahita, President and CEO of T.Y. Lin International. “Our company has strong roots in the Chinese community and we are honored to participate in this event.”
United Airlines Senior Vice President of Technical Operations Jim Keenan highlighted the importance of San Francisco and Shanghai’s relationship. “With the only nonstop service between San Francisco and Shanghai,” said Keenan, “United is pleased to connect these two vibrant, world-class cities, furthering commerce and tourism and strengthening cultural ties.”
San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee – For over 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 250 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.