Viewing cable 09GUANGZHOU642
Title: Guangzhou Begins Asian Games Campaign to Promote Its

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09GUANGZHOU6422009-11-20 05:17:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Consulate Guangzhou
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FM AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
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INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE 0346
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0885
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 0277
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 0278
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RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASH DC
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RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC 0326
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 GUANGZHOU 000642 
 
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SUBJECT: Guangzhou Begins Asian Games Campaign to Promote Its 
International Image 
 
GUANGZHOU 00000642  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
(U) This document is sensitive but unclassified.  Please protect 
accordingly.  Not for release outside U.S. government channels.  Not 
for internet publication. 
 
¶1.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  Guangzhou held its one-year countdown 
celebration for the November 2010 16th Asian Games, kicking off an 
effort to use the Games to advance its image as a modern, 
cosmopolitan city and a worthy destination for tourists and foreign 
investment.  The countdown ceremony capitalized on the 2009 United 
Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) World Council Meeting in 
Guangzhou to further raise the international profile of the event. 
Over 5,000 international and local participants attended the 
November 12 multi-media extravaganza.   Already an economic 
powerhouse, Guangzhou hopes the Asian Games will give the city the 
international recognition commensurate with its status as a global 
trade and manufacturing center, doing for Guangzhou on a smaller 
scale what the Olympics did for Beijing.  Post plans (see final 
para) to capitalize on the Asian Games to capture goodwill and 
promote U.S. trade and investment opportunities.  END SUMMARY. 
 
Kicking Off a Big Year for Guangzhou 
------------------------------------ 
 
2.(SBU) Over 5,000 people, including representatives from each of 
the 45 participating National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and many 
UCLG participants, attended the official November 12 countdown 
celebration for the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, which was widely 
covered by the region's media.  The 16th Asian Games set for 
November 12-27, 2010, will bring together teams from 45 countries, 
around 12,000 athletes and tens of thousands of guests and 
spectators.  Guangdong Party Secretary Wang Yang and Sheikh Ahmad 
Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister of Kuwait and President of 
the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), jointly launched the November 12 
countdown ceremony.  The program performances featured top 
Guangzhou-based artists, as well as those from different regions of 
Asia, and sought to amplify the theme of harmony, Asian diversity, 
and goodwill. 
 
Foreign Local Officials Add International Luster 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
¶3. (SBU)  The city also took advantage of concurrent United Cities 
and Local Governments (UCLG) World Council Meetings, co-hosted by 
Guangdong and Guangzhou to further raise the profile of the Asian 
Games.  Guangdong and Guangzhou's senior officials, Beijing 
luminaries, and 600 international delegates attended the UCLG's 
series of conferences, speeches, banquets, and ceremonies November 
12-14.  Guangdong Governor Huang Huahua invited participants to 
attend the Asian Games and noted that over the past 30 years, 
Guangdong had "tied knots" with 88 provinces and cities from 37 
countries, hosted more than 1,300 groups totaling over 30,000 people 
and sent 800 delegations abroad.  Highlighting the province's 
remarkable economic performance over the last 30 years, Huang 
pointed out its strength in the global economy as the 11th largest 
world trader if taken as an independent economy.  The United States 
was represented by state aQ local delegations led by Hawaii 
Governor Linda Lingle and San Francisco City Administrator Edwin 
Lee, as well as the Consul General.  The Consul General met 
separately with Governor Lingle to discuss trade and investment 
opportunities for Hawaiian firms in south China and ways to further 
promote Hawaii as a destination for Guangdong tourists. 
 
Importance to Guangzhou: We Don't Get No Respect 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
¶4. (SBU) Guangdong and Guangzhou officials see the Asian Games as a 
critical part of a long-term strategy to raise the profile of the 
city as an international center and tourism destination.  Officials 
in South China often complain that it is overlooked by international 
visitors and delegations who favor Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, and Hong 
Kong.  Citizens and officials alike view the Asian Games as an 
opportunity to display its strength and vibrancy on an international 
stage -- to put Guangzhou on the map and gain the world's attention. 
 
 
¶5. (SBU) The city has already invested US$1.7 billion to construct 
the Asian Games Town -- a village that will house the athletes and 
media and which incorporates extensive green technology -- along 
 
GUANGZHOU 00000642  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
with infrastructure projects city-wide to improve the city's 
accessibility and living standards.  Many buildings are currently 
swathed in construction scaffolding;  fresh paint and road repairs 
abound as the city gets a face lift in preparation for the games. 
Guangzhou's 14 million residents will also benefit from the 
construction of what will become Asia's largest train station, new 
metro lines, significant renovation of roads, and new IT 
infrastructure allowing free Internet access city-wide.  In 
addition, Guangzhou hopes to benefit from environmental clean-up 
efforts, China's largest vacuum system garbage collection that is 
under construction and the radical improvement of public English 
signs. The Games will also stimulate and strengthen local business 
and international trade ties.  However, given the global economic 
crisis, Guangzhou's government has made fiscal responsibility a 
priority and wants to distance itself, albeit respectfully, from the 
"expensive" Beijing Olympics. 
 
U.S. Interests and CG Guangzhou Asian Games Action Plan 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
 
¶6. (SBU) The high priority provincial and city officials place on 
the success of the Asian Games and the high level of attention we 
expect from the public across south China make this a unique 
opportunity to advance U.S. interests here.  Post plans to leverage 
local public, press and government interest by demonstrating U.S. 
public support through a series of public diplomacy and media 
programs that we believe will be warmly received and help improve 
the United States' image in south China.  Post has developed a 
year-long public diplomacy plan to demonstrate its support and 
encourage volunteerism.  For example, Consulate Guangzhou plans to 
hold a month-long Weekly Forum series of presentations at local 
universities on U.S. sports culture and the Asian Games. The CG 
plans to host a reception for visiting American coaches and local 
counterparts in the run-up to the Games.  Consulate Guangzhou and 
American  community volunteers will support events and make goodwill 
gifts for the Games.  Post has already enjoyed favorable press 
coverage from the Ambassador's inclusion of the Asian Games in his 
remarks during his recent visit.  We believe public U.S. support for 
the Asian Games will strengthen relations with local and provincial 
governments as well as encourage greater mutual exchange and 
international understanding.  U.S. firms are also pursuing trade and 
investment opportunities, including opportunities to participate in 
high-tech green projects. 
 
GOLDBECK