The governor of South Dakota and other leaders are in China this week on a trade mission. They’re splitting several days between Beijing and Shanghai, but they spent one day away from the packed cities to discuss partnership possibilities.
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard visited with the governor of Inner Mongolia Sunday as part of a week-long trip in China. Inner Mongolia is a Chinese province along the northern part of the country. Daugaard says a small American state like South Dakota can benefit from a sister-state relationship with a similar region in China.
"They’re more rural. They’re more like us," Daugaard says. "They’re not given as much attention by others, so when they get attention from a United States state like South Dakota who is similar to them, who has an agriculture and animal husbandry heritage, who has a very high interest in dairy as they do, they pay attention to us."
Daugaard says it’s simply more likely that South Dakota leaders can establish a strong relationship with Inner Mongolia, because the areas have similar resources and smaller governments.
The governor and people traveling with him are talking with Chinese business and government leaders about partnerships in food, manufacturing and education opportunities. They return to South Dakota Friday.