Date: January 22, 2010
From: Victoria Yu, Executive Director, Asian Education Foundation
Re: PRESS RELEASE -- AEF Board Member Dennis Richardson Receives Honorary Citizenship Award
On January 13, 2010, the Fujian Provincial People’s Government of China awarded AEF Board Member and Oregon State Representative, Mr. Dennis Richardson, the Fujian Honorary Citizenship Award. This prestigious award of Honorary Citizenship was granted to Rep. Richardson for his tireless efforts in promoting friendship and trade between the peoples of Oregon and Fujian.
The sister-state accord between the State of Oregon and the Province of Fujian was reached in 1984. Since his first trade mission to Fujian in 2002, Rep. Richardson has made multiple trips to Fujian and other parts of China, coordinated visits to Oregon by Chinese delegations, and facilitated educational and trade initiatives from both sides of the Pacific. Rep. Richardson is an avid advocate of bringing the teaching of Mandarin, the official Chinese language, into Oregon K-12 public schools. This visionary initiative will enable Oregon students to obtain a necessary tool in preparation for a career in the global marketplace where China plays an increasingly critical role.
Rep. Richardson’s work in expanding Oregon’s economic frontier into China has been acknowledged and appreciated by his fellow legislators and constituents. In recent years China has become the number one destination for Oregon exports. The Honorary Citizenship awarded by the Fujian provincial government is a testament to Rep. Richardson’s steadfast leadership in fostering a constructive Sino - American relationship that was characterized by U.S. State Department officials as the most important bilateral relationship of the 21st century. We congratulate Rep. Richardson on his receiving of this award.