– Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and Shaanxi Province Governor Hu Heping announced that they had formalized Nebraska and Shaanxi Province’s relationship as sister-states. This announcement comes during Governor Ricketts’ second trade mission to China. In 2012, the State of Nebraska and Shaanxi Province signed a letter of intent to initiate a sister-state relationship. Over the past four years, Nebraska has continued working with Shaanxi Province to build partnerships and develop ties, requirements for establishing a sister-state relationship in China.
“The formalization of our sister-state relationship with Shaanxi Province is the fruit of years of labor,” said Governor Ricketts. “As our partnerships have proven, Shaanxi and Nebraska have many common interests and mutually beneficial synergies. Our relationship with Shaanxi is helping raise Nebraska’s profile in China, our fourth largest and fastest-growing trading partner. Thanks to the work of the business community and University of Nebraska, this sister-state relationship has the potential to grow and produce new opportunities for years to come.”
The State of Nebraska’s relationship with Shaanxi Province has resulted in investment capital and educational partnerships over the past few years. Investments and partnerships between Nebraska and Shaanxi include:
- EasyWay International – The first Chinese investment made in Nebraska came from Shaanxi-based EasyWay International, an international logistics and textiles company. EasyWay International President and CEO Wen Liang Xu serves as Shaanxi Province’s representative to Nebraska.
- Northwest Ag & Forestry University – The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) has nurtured a growing relationship with Shaanxi Province by establishing partnerships with both Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU) and Northwest Ag & Forestry University (NWAFU). The relationship with Xi’an Jiaotong led to establishment of a Confucius Institute in Lincoln, which promotes and teaches Chinese language and culture. UNL and NWAFU have established a joint degree program in Food Science & Technology, and have a growing research, and extension program.
- Shaanxi Province Ministry of Health – The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) also has strong ties to the province the Shaanxi Province Ministry of Health and Xi’an Jiaotong University Health Science Center are part of UNMC’s Asia Pacific Rim Development Program (APRDP).All of these continued engagements with Shaanxi Province have displayed Nebraska’s commitment to this sister-state relationship, leading to this week’s official recognition of the relationship with the province.
“The Sister-State Agreement opens a new chapter in our relationship,” said Governor Hu Heping. “I hope that this will establish closer collaboration and utilize each other’s advantages to strengthen cooperation in agriculture, investment, trade, culture, education, medicine, and other areas to create a model for Sino-American cooperation.”
Governor Ricketts and Governor Hu Heping signed an official proclamation solidifying the sister-state relationship between Nebraska and the Shaanxi Province. During the ceremony, they both exchanged gifts. Governor Ricketts received a special pot and Governor Heping received a beautiful glass fusion art piece by Nebraska Artist Deb Kubik of Auburn, Nebraska.
ABOUT SHAANXI PROVINCE
The capital city of Shaanxi Province is Xi’an. Shaanxi Province is home to the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang and his famous Terra Cotta Army. Along with the mutual investment between Nebraska and Shaanxi Province, they also share geographical similarities: Shaanxi is located in central China while its terrain consists mainly of plains and has a major river, the Yellow River, running across its eastern border, much like Nebraska. It has also traditionally been considered part of the breadbasket of China.
(UPDATED) Media Release:
Photos here. Audio here.
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