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Jerry Brown says he plans to head to China later this year

February 25, 2012 |  1:03 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown
Gov. Jerry Brown said Saturday that he plans to lead a state delegation to China later this year.

The governor, speaking to reporters at the National Governor’s Assn. meeting in Washington, said he has designated his top business advisor Michael Rossi to assemble a delegation to make the trip, but that no travel dates have yet been set.

“I first want to identify a team of private sector people to then work with the Chinese private sector people,” Brown said. “Rossi’s putting that together.”

Brown’s announcement comes after he hosted Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in Los Angeles earlier this month, and announced the opening of new state trade offices in Shanghai and Bejing.

On Friday, Brown met with Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yesui to talk about the trip. “I had a very good lunch with the ambassador, and he designated someone and I had Rossi call him right after I left the meeting yesterday,” Brown said.

After his lunch Friday, Brown met with Chinese experts at the State Department to receive more background and information about the country, his staff said.

“China has a certain affinity for California,” Brown said. “We have a large Chinese population, so this is a good growth potential.

Brown said as the second-largest economy in the world, relations with the nation will be increasingly important, particularly because they hold so much U.S. debt.

“If they ever flooded the world with it, they could devastate this country … ” he said.” So it’s very important that they start investing it back in the United States and people say they’re ready to do that … Instead of buying T-bills, they can buy into some of our projects.”

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-- Anthony York in Washington

Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown speaks with reporters Saturday at the National Governors Assn. winter meeting in Washington. Credit: Cliff Owen / Associated Press

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