Friday, September 23, 2011

Dispatch from China: West meets west at Sichuan University

Arizona State University enjoys a special relationship with Sichuan University, a major university in what is considered western China. In fact, ASU President Michael Crow and his team have established deep and enduring relationships all across China, which I believe will pay dividends for generations to come.

Our delegation participated in a roundtable discussion with about 20 students from the university.  A highlight of this meeting was former Congressman Matt Salmon using his fluent Mandarin to discuss issues with the students. 

The students were all very bright, gracious and well informed about the world.  Most expressed an interest in visiting or working in the United States.

The Arizona delegation all left with a good feeling following our discussion with China’s Gen Y.

Dispatch from China: New sneakers

You can eat off of the pavement in certain sections of Shanghai. I feel as if the part of the city where we are staying is almost too new. The best analogy I can think of are new white tennis sneakers - almost too bright and only look right when they get a few marks.

The city of Shanghai has about 23 million people, which is more than twice the size of the largest city in the United States, New York City.

Cranes are everywhere and it reminds me a bit of Arizona circa 2006, when you could feel the growth.

Waking up today on a beautiful, sunny Shanghai morning was simply exhilarating.  The skyline is remarkable and can compete with any city I have ever seen.

Dispatch from China: Taicang Speed

We just finished a visit to Hareon Solar ( a Chinese solar company.  

Beginning at the end of 2010, ground was broken on a joint venture with Schott Solar in Taicang, a city of about one million, 40 or so kilometers from Shanghai. Taicang is a small town by Chinese standards, with about 800,000 people living or working in it.

Six months after breaking ground the facility was shipping product! 

The locals call this "Taicang speed." Permitting alone in the U.S. can take longer than six months.

Dispatch from China: A mighty wind

We visited the Chinese manufacturing site for TPI Composites, a wind company headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The 40 meter blades are part of turbines that are rated at 1.5 MW.

A picture of me next to the stem provides some sense of the size.

The process to manufacture seems far more labor intensive than producing solar.

As with solar, the wind industry is heavily dependent on policies enacted all over the world to encourage production.

There is a general sense of nervousness in both sectors on that governmental commitment.

Dispatch from China: Chicks

People always figure out how to get around rules. The authorities in Shanghai put severe restrictions on the purchase of cats and dogs. But the demand for pets does not abate.

The solution?

An unregulated, thriving industry in pet chicks.