SHANGHAI, China -- Gov. Jerry Brown officially launched California's new trade and investment office here Friday, the first such office to open since the state shuttered a dozen outposts around the globe a decade ago.
To celebrate the opening, and give Brown something tangible to return home with, state officials announced four new partnerships between California and Chinese companies that they said were worth more than $200 million combined.
In brief remarks, Brown cited President Nixon’s historic trip to China in 1972 to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries. "We are continuing that history of breaking new ground and opening doors," he said.
Friday's event was the ceremonial heart of Brown's week in China. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Brown and his entourage of state government and business officials loaded buses for a 13-course banquet lunch.
The 2 1/2-hour banquet hosted by the government of Shanghai’s Yangpu District took place in the opulent government-run Fudan Crowne Plaza Hotel. Delegates munched on salted meat soup and hand-pulled noodles underneath 50-foot-long glass chandeliers and elaborate art deco wall coverings.
A trio of musicians played classical music, including works by Chopin and Beethoven, but they were stumped when Brown, on his way out, requested music from Vivaldi.
Friday evening, Brown is expected to be on hand for the launching of a new marketing campaign aimed at drawing more Chinese tourists to California.