The U.S-China trade relationship is the largest of its kind in the world. Despite tensions at the national level, bilateral engagement has actually been getting stronger at the state and local level.
CGTN’s Wang Guan speaks to Alaska’s Governor, Bill Walker, to find out why.
This April, when Chinese President Xi Jinping left Florida after a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, he made an unexpected stop in Alaska.
Bill Walker, the governor of Alaska, was with the Chinese president during his six hour layover. He said it was the highlight for him to have met with Xi.
China has been Alaska’s largest trading partner for years. In 2016, a third of the state’s export, which is worth $1.2 billion, went to China.
After Governor Walker’s meeting with President Xi, the two sides decided on a new area of cooperation, natural gas.
Keith Meyer is the president of Alaska’s largest natural gas development company. He also met with the Chinese president.
“President Xi said to me China has 100 years of Liquified Natural Gas demand and I said to him we have 100 years of LNG supply,” Meyer said. He believes that China and Alaska together would have a beautiful marriage.
According to Meyer, the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation has decades of proven gas supply. One of the company’s advantages is its proximity to the Asian market. “We are 7-9 days of shipping to Asia and it is direct,” Meyer said.
Last year, China sent more overseas bound tourists than any other country, but currently only 1 percent of Alaska’s tourists are Chinese.
The Alaska governor is talking with several airlines to bring direct flights from China to Alaska. He also said he can’t wait to see more Chinese tourists coming to the state to enjoy the beauty of northern lights, icebergs and the all-wild Alaska salmon.