Governor Plans Trip to China
In October, Gov. Bev Perdue will lead a state delegation on a two-week Asian trip that will in-clude stops in Hunan Province in China and Japan.
It was during a meeting two weeks ago with Laishan Yu, executive vice governor of Hunan Province, that Perdue promised him she would go to China.
A glance at Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco was all he needed to start putting details in place. North Carolina and Hunan Province are sister states.
The delegation stayed in Moore County during its visit.
Perdue announced the two-week Asia trip last week. The North Carolina group will include a number of staffers as well as state business leaders who will be making efforts on finding both Chinese and Japanese businesses who would want to set up or expand operations in North Carolina. Crisco himself has made many business trips to China over the past 25 years.
Yu had led a delegation to Moore County in honor of Lt. Robert Hoyle Upchurch, a Flying Tiger from High Falls who died during World War II while defending China against Japanese invaders. He was buried in Hunan Province with full honors even though his name was not known at the time.
For 63 years, villagers from Guidong, in Hunan Province, honored their "American Pilot" until DNA identified him and his remains were reburied at High Falls United Methodist Church. The Hunan people dedicated a memorial for Upchurch in 2007 after his body was returned to his family in North Carolina.
As a result, North Carolina and Hunan signed a number of agreements to cooperate as sister states and pursue business, cultural and tourism ventures together. In the governor's office at the old state capitol building, Yu and Purdue exchanged gifts and pledged efforts to build ties.
Purdue greatly admired a piece of silk embroidered with images of her sister state on the other side of the earth. State Sen. Harris Blake of Pinehurst had earlier presented Yu with a pottery vessel thrown by noted Moore County potter Ben Owen III that commemorated the visit.
The purpose of the vice governor's visit was to share information about his fast-growing country and help gain a mutual understanding of the two states' similarities and differences. Nearly 67 million people live in the Hunan province, making it China's seventh-most populous area.
The region lies in the southeastern part of China in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and epitomizes an area with a large agricultural presence that has begun emphasizing industrial development in the last decade.
Contact John Chappell at 783-5841 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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