Shoreline participates in US-China Relations Council Event featuring Ambassador Gary Locke and Governor Inslee

Diana and Samira with Gary Locke

Diana and Samira with Gary Locke

On Oct. 1st, Shoreline Community College participated in the Washington State-China Relations Council’s annual banquet, featuring U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke, Governor Jay Inslee and renowned China expert Sidney Rittenberg. More than 350 business leaders and community members attended the event.

A lifetime achievement award was presented to Rittenberg who lived and worked in China as a journalist and translator for more than three decades beginning in 1945.  He spent 16 years in solitary confinement in Chinese prisons under charges of espionage and survived to tell his story in his book, The Man Who Stayed Behind. The event also recognized the strong leadership of Council President, Joe Borich, who announced his retirement after 16 years of service with the Washington State China Relations Council.

Ambassador Locke gave the keynote address and urged Washington state to advance its economic ties with China. While Washington exports to China have grown substantially over the last year reaching $8 billion, the state ranks 26th among U.S. states attracting foreign investment. “Washington can and should do better,” Locke said.

In other remarks, Ambassador Locke touched upon the substantial number of Chinese students studying at higher education institutions in the U.S. He pointed out there have been considerable improvements in the turnaround times for visa issuance under his leadership. The number of international students coming to Shoreline from China has increased more than 300% in the last year.

After the event, Ambassador Locke stayed to network with attendees. Diana Sampson, Executive Director of International Education and Samira Pardanani, Director of International Admissions and Immigration Services, had a chance to talk with both Ambassador Locke and his wife Mona Locke. Sampson thanked Ambassador Locke for streamlining the visa application process for Chinese citizens and shared good news of Shoreline’s progress and achievements in global education.

This November, Governor Jay Inslee will be leading his first trade mission to China. Board Trustee Tayloe Washburn, President Daryl Campbell and Executive Director Diana Sampson, will join the Governor’s delegation to promote Shoreline Community College and our strategic partnerships in China.

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