"MY FIRST IMPRESSION OF CHINA" Launch & Celebration Dinner Party 10/29/2014
On October 24, nearly forty people gathered at the China Harbor restaurant to celebrate the publication of my new book:
MY FIRST IMPRESSION OF CHINA--Washingtonians' First Trips to the Middle Kingdom.
Among those attending were many of the government, business, academic and community leaders whose stories are in the book, including former governor of Washington John Spellman, who signed the friendship agreement between the State of Washington and the Province of Sichuan in 1982; Congressman Jim McDermott, who signed the memo in 1983 establishing the sister city relationship between Seattle and Chongqing; Stan Barer, who brought the first Chinese cargo ship Liu Lin Hai to Seattle in 1979 after 30 years of no shipping between the two countries; and Joe Borich, former and the longest-serving president of the Washington State China Relations Council, along with spouses, family and friends.
I took the opportunity of the best audience I could ever have and expressed my gratitude to all those who participated in this project. Very importantly, I read an email from one of the book's participants, another former governor of Washington, who couldn't attend the dinner:
"Wen: I did receive the book and have thoroughly enjoyed reading the essays. I had not realized how much official and semi official contact Washington state has had with China over the years. Thank you so much for leading this project. It is a good addition to our history.
The participants in the book project, whom I hold great respect for, got their copy of the book for the first time. It was very gratifying for me to see them hold or thumb through the new book. It was all the more humbling when some of them asked me to autograph their copy.
It was truly a warm gathering. As Pat Davis, former Port of Seattle commissioner, said, there, in that room, was the cream of the crop of Washington's China hands.
Former Amb. Darryl Johnson put it this way:
"In fact, that group constitutes a core of people in and near Seattle who are deeply involved in building a strong relationship with Beijing. ...And the book you put together is a fine collection of impressions and ideas regarding China today, and the China-Seattle connection."