OK-SAFE 6/6/11 – U.S. Governors will be saying more than “Ni hau” (Hello) to Chinese party officials at an upcoming National Governors Association (NGA) meeting.
The U.S. – China Governors Forum, scheduled for July 15-17, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah, is set to include one-on-one pairing of U.S. Governors with Chinese provincial party secretaries and Governors. The pairings, called “peer-to-peer exchanges,” aim to “strengthen bilateral cooperation.” Topics are to include items of “mutual interest,” i. e. “job creation, education, health and economic cooperation.”
A second session will take place in China in late 2011 or early 2012.
This forum is the result of a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the establishment of the U.S.-China Governors Forum to Promote Sub-National Cooperation, signed by Sen. of State Hillary Clinton on January 19, 2011.
Secretary Clinton shakes hands with the Chinese foreign minister after the memorandum of understanding signing, 1/19/2011
Photo Source: U.S. Dept. of State
The Governors Forum will be held behind close doors.
[See researcher Vicky Davis' excellent article on this meeting, entitled "Quislings to Collaborate with Communist Chinese."]
The collaboration is indicative of the deepening U.S. involvement with the Chinese government, particularly at the sub-national (state and local) level.
At the Third Round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue held in May 2011 the U.S. and China agreed to 48 strategic outcomes, including “further cooperation between U.S. and Chinese enterprises and institutions on healthcare, disaster response, and smart grids.”
The Rhodium Group, (RHG) has a China Investment Monitor map, indicating that between 2003-2010 there were 230 deals between states and China, totaling $11.7 Billion in “greenfield and acquisition” investments. This includes Oklahoma.
According to The Rhodium Group investment map, Oklahoma has one Chinese investment so far, totaling $4 million in “consumer products”.
Governor Mary Fallin, a member of the NGA’s Economic Development and Commerce Committee, will most likely be promoting more Chinese investment in Oklahoma.
From this committee’s May 2011 briefing:
“Attracting Foreign Direct Investment into the States
On May 17, 2011, the NGA Economic Development and Commerce Committee hosted a briefing for governors’ staff about the role of foreign direct investment from the perspective of U.S. subsidiaries of foreign parent companies. Topics discussed included how to recruit investment, tax challenges, conflict-of-laws and the importance of physical infrastructure to global competitiveness. Panelists: Tom Langan, director of U.S. government relations and public affairs, Unilever (NGA Corporate Fellow); Nancy McLernon, president and CEO, Organization for International Investment (OFII); and, John Lettieri, senior director of public policy and government affairs, OFII. Audio link (mp3)“
Oklahoma’s Dept. of Commerce promotes Foreign Direct Investment in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma’s universities have been busy developing Chinese partnerships, including OU’s Confucius Institute, which aims to “foster a permanent place for the teaching and study of Chinese in Oklahoma K-12 schools courses.”
Where’s the Document?
According to the Chinese Embassy in the U.S website, describing President Hu Jintao’s U.S. visit:
“During Hu’s January visit, the two governments signed a memorandum of understanding commissioning the CPAFFC and the NGA to create the governors forum mechanism.
According to the document, the forum will serve as an important communication platform aimed at promoting practical cooperation at the sub-national level in areas such as trade, investment, energy, environment and culture”
No amount of searching of the State Department, White House, and Chinese embassy websites has revealed the actual Memorandum of Understanding document.
A FOIA request for a copy of the MOU has been submitted to the State Dept.’s Office of Global Intergovernmental Affairs.
The 2011 NGA Winter Meeting , held in Washington D.C. featured Zhou Qiang, Party Secretary, Hunan Provincial Committee, pictured above. Zhou encouraged increased sub-national cooperation. Photo Source: National Governors Association.
What are the intentions of the Fallin administration regarding expanding Chinese involvement in Oklahoma?
Does Gov. Fallin intend to partner with a Chinese party official at the July meeting in Salt Lake City and seek increased “sub-national cooperation”?
Does Fallin intend to encourage Chinese foreign direct investment in Oklahoma or seek public-private partnerships with the Chinese in developing Oklahoma’s infrastructure?
These and other questions need to be answered by this “conservative” governor.
Governor Fallin’s office contact information: