The Chinese ambassador to the U.S., Jiechi Yang, will visit Atlanta, Friday, Nov. 16, and will be available to meet with Georgia companies that sponsor the National Association of Chinese Americans (NACA) dinner gala scheduled the same day.

          Sponsors of the gala, to be held at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia, will be invited to a luncheon with the ambassador at the Southern Center for International Studies on Nov. 16, NACA president Lani Wong told GlobalFax.

          The ambassador’s visit coincides with China’s official admission to the World Trade Organization and marks the beginning of a series of cooperative projects between Atlanta and Beijing, according to C.S. Kiang, NACA board member and a former professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

          Dr. Kiang and a team of environmental science experts who have been collaborating on a project to improve Beijing’s air quality, are advising the Chinese government on ecologically-safe ways to develop the country’s western provinces. They are also helping China prepare environmentally-sound technologies for the recently-coined “Green” Olympic Games in 2008.

          “On a ‘bad air day’ in Atlanta, you have maybe 10 miles visibility; in Beijing it is one mile,” Dr. Kiang told GlobalFax. “Myself and other advisers are making recommendations for the city’s transportation and energy usage, as well as clean, efficient technologies that we believe will help reduce the country’s trade deficit. A healthy environment is particularly important now that China will be a member of the WTO and will host the 2008 Olympics.”

          Dr. Kiang’s team includes Ray Anderson, chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based Interface Inc. flooring company; Thomas Stelson, President Carter’s former assistant secretary of energy and retired executive vice president of Georgia Tech; William Browning, senior research scholar at the Rocky Mountain Institute and Sjaak Slanina, senior scientist at the Netherlands Energy Research Foundation.

          The experts will travel to China, Dec. 12-22, to attend a conference on the development of China’s western provinces, and they hope to meet with the chairman of the Beijing Olympic Committee to discuss the city’s on-going clean up projects.

          Dr. Kiang said that China is interested in meeting with development experts from the southern U.S. because sustainable growth plans have been implemented later here than in northeastern or western cities, and China is in the beginning stages of this process.

For NACA gala information, contact Ms. Long at (770) 394-6542. Contact Dr. Kiang at (404) 894-1748.