Chinese Relics and Relationships
05 January 2009
Late last year, GE welcomed 500 guests, including nearly 200 employees, to view an exhibit at Atlanta's High Museum of Art chronicling the reign of Qin Shi Huangdi - one of history's most notable rulers. The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army is on display through April 2009.
Qin Shi Huangdi is responsible for standardizing Chinese writing, currency, law, weights and measures; building a system of roads, the first phase of the Great Wall, and even a 7000-piece warrior army to guard his tomb.
Comprised of more than 100 objects, the display includes 15 life-sized terracotta warriors, officials, horses, and entertainers. The High Museum exhibition is the largest grouping of these objects China has ever loaned to the United States.
As lead sponsor of the exhibition, GE hosted a welcome reception, where John Rice, vice chairman of GE, summarized the importance of the exhibit and the partnership between GE and China. "This is really a celebration for us. It's a natural relationship with the country of China where we've been doing business, led by our Energy business, for 100 years," he said.
"When [the High Museum] approached us about being the lead sponsor for the Terracotta Warrior Exhibit, we agreed because it symbolizes something that's obviously important to the country of China and clearly of importance to our company: leadership, ingenuity, and longevity."
A similar sentiment about GE's relationship with China was shared by Zhou Wenzhong, Chinese ambassador to the United States, "GE is a good partner, and GE's success story in China is a good example of this win-win relationship between China and the United States. We want to thank GE for their participation in China's developed program."
The mood and significance of the reception was further underscored by the fact that it served as the kick-off to GE's 9th annual China CEO Program, which hosts CEOs in the United States and offers them a first-hand look at GE's best practices.
"I think this is a very good opportunity for CEOs from China to come to the United States to have a good exchange of views and to figure out what to do in the future in terms of more cooperation, and closer ties between the two countries," Wenzhong added.
GE's sponsorship of the exhibit is a way to celebrate GE's growing relationship with China, from a commercial, cultural and personal perspective, and China's willingness to share the exhibit with the American people for the first time holds perhaps even greater significance.