State officials launched the China caucus last week that will seek to further business, cultural and educational relations between Georgia and the People’s Republic of China. The Georgia China Alliance hosted a breakfast reception at the General Assembly to announce the caucus, which will provide forums for Senate and House legislators to learn more about and discuss Georgia’s relations with China. The caucus currently has 17 members. The alliance is a professional association comprised of the business leaders that grew out of a 2003 initiative of state Sen. Sam Zamarripa, D-Atlanta, called Georgia China Future.

“Trade with China is a bipartisan issue,” Mr. Zamarripa told GlobalAtlanta. “The caucus will involve members from both the state Senate and House. Many of the legislators are excited about this. Learning about business with China is something new and fresh.”

Other caucuses at the state Capitol, which he pointed to as examples, include one on agriculture and another on urban issues.

Yeshen Hu, the Chinese consul general in Houston, attended the March 10 event that was held at the Capitol. Other officials who attended included Craig Lesser, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and Carlos Martel, deputy commissioner of the international trade division.

Besides Mr. Zamarripa, who serves as chair, board members of the Georgia China Alliance include Guanming Fang, an attorney with the Atlanta law firm of Arnall Golden Gregory LLP; Henry Yu, president of the National Association of Chinese Americans;

Wei Hu, an attorney with the law firm Troutman Sanders LLP; C. Donald Johnson, interim dean of the Dean Rusk Center at the University of Georgia, Claire McLeveighn, the city of Atlanta’s director of external affairs and international relations;

Rick White, principal of Alisias LLC and George Lancaster, managing director for international business development, AmericasMart Inc.

To learn more about the Georgia China Alliance, go to