CNMI Mayor Signs Agreements in China

May 7, 2009

Saipan Mayor Juan Tudela has signed a "visa-related assistance agreement" with a Chinese Guangdong Renfeng Human Resources Development Co. Ltd while visiting Guangzhou, China last month. From the Saipan Tribune:
The LOI said that in order to promote friendship between the Chinese and Saipan people and to develop economic cooperation, both parties agreed to provide visa-related service to Chinese citizens who would like to visit Saipan, according to the principle of mutual trust and benefit.
From the Marianas Variety:
Although the federal government will not include Chinese and Russian tourists in the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program, Saipan Mayor Juan B. Tudela has established contacts with Guangzhou officials in China regarding visa-related services.

In a letter of intent signed on April 19, Tudela and the mayor of Guangzhou agreed that they will provide visa-related services to Chinese citizens who would like to visit Saipan.

The details of this cooperation have yet to be discussed by the concerned agencies of Saipan and Guangzhou.
What " visa-related services" does the mayor propose to provide? " I am guessing that Tudela meant CNMI travel documents since after November 28, 2009 U.S visas will be required unless the DHS restores the CNMI visa waiver program.

Guam also entered into an agreement with Guangzhou. From the Marianas Variety:
Recently, Guam entered into a memorandum of understanding with Guangzhou, China, which gave some Chinese travelers a chance to visit Guam for a limited period, among other provisions.
Guangzhou is described as a tourist destination.

Tudela also signed a "letter of intent" with Mayor Yuan Peng of the City of Chuxiong in Yunnan Province "to establish a friendly city relationship that would also deal with tourism and other economic activities." The Saipan Tribune reported:
The cooperation agreement will include industry, agriculture, trade, science and technology, arts, education, medicine, tourism, and “others which both sides from time to time shall determine beneficial and appropriate.”

In line with this, the governments of both Saipan and Chunxiong have adopted resolutions through the principles of the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China.
In November 2008, Tudela traveled to China to pen agreements with other municipalities. From the Marianas Variety:
Saipan Mayor Juan B. Tudela says he has been meeting recently with prospective investors and working to forge stronger ties with China’s major cities to promote local tourism.

On Nov. 8, Tudela said he met the mayors of Baishan and Siping municipalities to discuss possible economic opportunities between them and Saipan.

..Tudela said he signed sister city agreements with the two Chinese municipalities.

“The signing of the two agreements will enhance future opportunities in the area of modern technology, fisheries, student cultural exchange programs, education and water sources that can benefit Saipan,” he said.

The mayor’s trip was arranged by Patrick Wang of the American-China Friendship Association.
Both Baishan and Siping are located in the Jilan Province of China.

In December 2008, Tudela took another trip to China to attend the Global Outsourcing Summit 2008 in Zhengzhou and then to Chengdu City for the fourth International Cooperation Summit for CEOs and Provincial Governors and Mayors.

In September 2007, Tudela signed an agreement with the mayor of Lienyangang City, China. From the Saipan Tribune:
Saipan Mayor Juan B. Tudela said the agreement with Lienyangang Mayor Liu Yong Zhong aims to promote prospective investments in the CNMI. The agreement also intends to generate tourism, cultural and student exchange visits and technical assistance in the areas of agriculture, fisheries and renewable energy.

Tudela said his trip to China was funded by the Jiangsu Provincial Government and Lienyangang City.
China is also home to Luen Thai Footwear. Willie Tan invited readers of the web site to the facility in Quanzhou, China:
On behalf of the whole Luen Thai Footwear family, I will be happy to welcome you to our renewed and energetic facility in Quanzhou, China.

Once again, thank you for your continued support.

Willie Tan
Chief Executive Officer
Luen Thai Private Group
Luen Thai also has garment factories, in Guandong, Bejjing and Shaghai City.

Does the U.S. Department of State have to approve M.O.U.s, letters of intent, or other agreements between U.S. municipalities and foreign municipalities and governments? Or were these simply symbolic gestures of good-will?

Corrected from an earlier version, thanks to George the Geographer!


george the geographer said...

Guangzhou and Quanzhou are two different places. Guangzhou (traditionally called Canton in English) is located in Guangdong Province in southernmost China. Quanzhou is in Fujian Province, which lies along the southeast coast, to the northeast of Guangdong.

Anonymous said...

The Municipality of Saipan has no role in issuing CNMI immigration documents.

wendy said...

Thanks Geography George!

Anonymous said...

How does this guy get away with things like this. Maybe the Chinese think he is the President of NMI and this Commenwealth is like Palau,or something.
I do not know how he can, on his own, do anything like this. This has the potential to do a lot of damage to any relationship between the said provinces and any possable investment in the NMI.

Also if you read 5-10-09 the PDN about the Chinese taken off any labor list for the US, this will not be feasable after the NMI for any foriegn investment with Chinese workers unless there is somekind of a waiver for investors.

Anonymous said...

4 days after you wrote this story the Tribune has one out.

Anonymous said...

I meant for this comment above to be on the post about Janet Maritita. That story came out today.