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Former US governor hopes to get panda from Chinese President

John Spellman, former governor of Washington State Photo:

“I want to ask President Xi for a panda for Washington State,” John Spellman, the 88-year-old former governor of Washington State, told the with a smiling face.

The hale and hearty old man who lives in one of the houses for the elderly in downtown Seattle feels honored by President Xi’s visit to Seattle. “I feel very excited about Xi Jinping’s visit. Chinese presidents’ visits to Seattle has almost become a tradition. I am very much looking forward to the meeting with the visitors.”

“I hope the two countries continue to develop bilateral ties based on the already established relationship,” he noted.

He also said that Xi’s visit will not only promote the economic and trade exchanges between the US and China, but also the diplomatic relationship between the two countries.

“Maintaining a good relationship between China and the US is good for both sides. I think the Sino-US relationship may be the most important relationship among all the US diplomatic relationships,” he added.

Spellman was the 18th governor of Washington State from 1981 to 1985. He also served as the first King County Executive from 1969 to 1981.

As a “pioneer” in establishing the relationship between China and the US, Spellman met with former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in Seattle in 1979. Three years later, as the governor of Washington State, he signed a cooperation agreement with Sichuan province of China.

The representatives of the Sichuan-Washington friendship and cooperation agreement came from Boeing Company and Washington University, and the agreement enabled Sichuan and Washington to establish better cooperation and gain mutual benefit.

“The trip to Sichuan in 1982 was very impressive, and I was very happy to see the signing of the Sichuan-Washington cooperation agreement,” Spellman said.


(This article is translated and edited by Charmian.)

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