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Video: People's Daily Online interviews Mayor of San Francisco Edwin M. Lee

(People's Daily Online)

14:21, April 08, 2013

People’s Daily Online: Hello everyone, welcome to People’s Daily Online. Today our guest is Mr. Edwin Lee, Mayor of San Francisco. Welcome Mr. Lee. Thank you for joining us today.

Mayor: Thank you for welcoming me here. It’s my pleasure.

People’s Daily Online: Would you like to say hello to the audience of People’s Daily Online?

Mayor: Certainly. Well I am mayor of San Francisco, California. And I’m glad to be here, the studio of in Beijing, China, and love to share information about what is happening in our great city but also what we are doing together to promote friendship and understanding in business and cultural exchanges between San Francisco and People’s Republic of China.

People’s Daily Online: Well, Mr. Lee, How many times have you been to China? And what is the main purpose of this trip to China?

Mayor: Before this trip I have been to China perhaps ten times as private citizen visiting also with the official trips from previous mayor Willie Brown who had six trips to China before this one. And I was in previous capacity of working in San Francisco Government. And this trip is my first official trip as the mayor of San Francisco. Of course, I’m very proud that I’m here in Beijing meeting the high government officials but also the people who want to work with us in promoting exchanges cultural, artistic and business.

People’s Daily Online: Well Mr. Lee. We know that San Francisco and Shanghai are sister cities. During the past 33 years, the two cities have witnessed a significant progress in bilateral exchanges. What is the plan for San Francisco to enhance its friendship with Shanghai or other Chinese cities particularly in economic and cultural bilateral exchanges?

Mayor: While the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City is one of the oldest sister city relationships and first one China has with the United States’ city. And we honored that very much. We are in help for many decades now exchanging a lot of cultural exchanges.

So, San Francisco, for example, holds one of the largest ethnic celebration parades for the Chinese New Year. Often in times there is strong participation from Chinese artists and ethnic dancers and performers from Shanghai and Beijing or many of the minority ethnic groups have come to join in this parade. The parade is very famous. It is one of the largest parades in the United States and it provides the American audience as well as international audience an understanding of the culture of the Chinese people and it is, I think, one of the largest attractions for the city of San Francisco.

In addition, we have very fine Asian Art Museum which is also promoting Asian art and history of China. And today in San Francisco, for example, we are hosting a small view of the terra-cotta soldiers that by agreement with Xi’an and the museum there. They have an agreement to lend us for short period of time several of the terra-cotta soldiers so we could educate our public about Chinese history.

And we are working on other agreements. Yesterday we singed the memorandum of understanding with the vice minister of culture to extend more exchanges with the parade, with ethnic dance, with our participation, with our symphony for classical music. And we hope that some of the symphony classical music artists from China can join us in our symphony performances as well.

Related reading:

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San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee visits People's Daily Online

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