Council Celebrates Year of the Ox, Honors Former Gov. Brown

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The Bay Area Council celebrated the Lunar New Year and the arrival of the Year of the Ox during a virtual event this week that spanned the Pacific and honored former Gov. Jerry Brown for his enduring leadership in promoting stronger ties between California and China on a wide range of issues.

“During this Year of the Ox, we would do well to remember an animal which embodies patience, reliability, and trust – attributes that will serve us well as we climb our way out of this global pandemic and focus on the fight against climate change” said Council CEO Jim Wunderman in welcoming an audience watching from both California and China.

The event opened with a live cooking demonstration by celebrity chef Martin Yan, who prepared a modern interpretation of a classic Chinese New Year’s dish and spoke about the power of food to bring people together. Throughout the event, Chinese artist Cai Wusong, working from the Tree Art Museum in Beijing, created a painting that acknowledged the tragedies of the 2020 COVID pandemic but also the opportunity for a new, more connected and cooperative global society.

The highlight of the evening came when former Gov. Brown was awarded the Council’s Global Leadership Award and then joined Wunderman for an in-depth conversation on the strained relationship between the U.S. and China and the opportunity that a new administration in Washington D.C., provides to address our challenges. It was behind Brown’s leadership that California, in partnership with the Bay Area Council, reopened its trade office in China and embarked on a series of agreements and MOUs to advance subnational cooperation on a range of issues, in particular climate change. The California-China Trade Office is housed in the Council’s Chinese headquarters in Yangpu, a vibrant technology and innovation hub outside Shanghai where we began operating 11 years ago. Brown joins Florence Fang (2019) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (2018) in receiving the honor.

The event also featured remarks from state Controller Betty Yee, Assemblymember Phil Ting, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Chinese Consul General in San Francisco Wang Donghua and Jiangsu Province People’s Congress Standing Committee Vice-Chair, Mrs. Xing Chunning, who recognized the 10-year anniversary of the sister state-province relationship between California and Jiangsu. The Council extends its thanks to event sponsors Deloitte and Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office. To learn more about the Council’s work in China, please contact Business Development Director Alex Foard.

Watch the entire celebration>>

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