Lt. Governor Parkinson Reports on China Trip

Following a successful trip to China, Lieutenant Governor Mark Parkinson is pleased to announce a strengthening of our sister province relationship with the People’s Government of Henan Province and the possibility of the upcoming trade mission of Chinese officials to Kansas.

“In this time of economic challenge, we want the message sent loud and clear that Kansas is open for business and welcomes direct foreign investment in our state,” Parkinson said. “Many good paying jobs in our state are a direct result of foreign investment. The trip was a terrific opportunity to promote our individual state to key officials of the most significant emerging market in the world.”

While in China, Parkinson met with Yang Weibin, Deputy Director General of the Foreign Affairs Office for Henan Province. Director Weibin said he desired to put together a strong delegation of Chinese business and political leaders to come to Kansas to discuss trade, alternative energy development and methods to improve infrastructure.

During the eight-day trip, Lt. Governor Parkinson traveled to Beijing, Chengdu, Mianyang and Shanghai.

Parkinson visited the site of the massive earthquake in Sichuan Province. Over 69,000 Chinese died in the May 12, 2008 earthquake which measured an 8.0 magnitude on the Richter scale.

Parkinson met with and toured the areas hardest hit with Vice Mayor of the Mianyang Municipal People’s Government, Wan Lian Po.

Following the visit to Dujiangyan, a city that was completely covered in a mud slide after the earthquake and will not be rebuilt; Parkinson visited the temporary schools system which was established to teach the nearly 3,000 displaced children, many of who lost other family members, teachers and classmates to the quake.

In total, almost 7,000 school buildings were destroyed during the earthquake.

Moved by his experience in meeting with these students who also live at their temporary school, Parkinson agreed to explore the potential for a student correspondence program between the Chinese and Kansas students.

Parkinson’s trip to China was made possible through a first of its kind special mission organized by the National Lieutenant Governors Association and the Chinese People’s Friendship Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

The bi-partisan delegation of Lieutenant Governors also included representatives of Alabama, Connecticut, Nevada, and Wisconsin.