China Focuses On America's Midwest In New Trade Deal

Chinese ambassador to the United States, Zhou Wenzhong, joined United States Senator Kit Bond and Senator Claire McCaskill in announcing the Midwest/China Hub Commission, an entity that will operate both in St. Louis, Missouri, and in Beijing.

The new commission will coordinate efforts to make St. Louis a hub for China's trade with the American Midwest.

"We are very pleased with the formation of this new Commission," Ambassador Zhou said. "It is another indication of the strong interest of the St. Louis region in advancing trade links with our country. That interest remains keen on our part as well."

Local and state leaders in Missouri, United States, have been working with their Chinese counterparts for about a year for establishing the St. Louis region as a multi-state commercial hub for China. During a trip by local and state leaders to Beijing last spring, local and state leaders and Chinese governmental officials signed two memoranda of understanding.

The first, with China's Investment Promotion Agency and Trade Development Bureau, called for efforts to expand trade, promote Chinese investment, and provide a location for U.S. operations for Chinese companies in that part of the United States. The second, with China's Civil Aviation Administration, called for a joint assessment of the feasibility of establishing an air freight and passenger hub at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri.

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