Chinese ambassador to US to speak on campus April 17

Chinese ambassador to US to speak on campus April 17 The Chinese Ambassador to the U.S., His Excellency Li Zhaoxing, will speak at The University of South Dakota on April 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Farber Hall of Old Main.

Zhaoxing, who has served in the position since 1998, will address U.S. and China relations. He will be introduced by U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), who arranged the ambassador's trip to South Dakota.

As a member of the President's Export Council, Johnson has been a key strategist in the effort to grant Permanent Normal Trade Relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC). Johnson also has hosted a series of trade missions during the past several years to build trust and establish strong trade ties with the country and continues to work with Chinese business leaders, trade officials and government leaders through his relationship with the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. He said that China, as the world's most populous nation, means a huge new market is opening to South Dakota.

"The People's Republic of China represents an enormous market for U.S. goods, especially agricultural products. The country has a population of over 1.2 billion people, an economy growing at about 10 percent each year and a land mass of which only seven percent is arable," Johnson said. "Trade between the U.S. and the PRC has expanded rapidly during the past five years. In 1994, South Dakota was China's 29th largest trading partner. Now the state is China's 14th largest trading partner."

The PRC has made dramatic concessions to earn the right to trade with U.S. in terms of opening its market to more American products, reducing trade barriers and lowering tariffs, Johnson said.

Zhaoxing, born in Shandong Province in October 1940, graduated from Beijing University in 1964. From 1995-98 he was vice minister of Foreign Affairs and in 1993 a guest professor at Beijing University and Nankai University. From 1992-95, he served as the permanent representative and ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations.

He was assistant minister of Foreign Affairs from 1990-92 and deputy director general and director general of the Information Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1985-90. From 1983-85, he was the first secretary of the Chinese Embassy in the Kingdom of Lesotho and from 1977-83, he was a staff member and deputy division chief of the Information Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was also a staff member and attache of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, 1970-77; and staff member of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs.

The lecture is sponsored by the W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership and USD's Program Council.

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