- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Gov. Brian Sandoval will go to China next month in the second trade mission he has taken there since assuming office.

The Republican governor is leading the trip to Xi’an, Nanjiang, Shanghai, and Beijing in his capacity as president of the Council of State Governments. Representatives from Alaska, Idaho, Minnesota, Kansas and Delaware are also coming on the mission, which will focus on environmental sciences and the commercial use of technology.

“Through trade missions to China, which the governor will again be leading in October, and the hosting of in-bound Chinese delegations in Las Vegas, the state is working to further define what Nevada has to offer the international market,” said Steve Hill, director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Sandoval visited China on official business in 2012. The latest trip, scheduled for the third full week of October, comes on the heels of a three-week trade mission he took to five European countries this summer.

But it also comes a few weeks after Nevada announced it will close a tourism office it has operated in China for more than a decade and will pay more than $52,000 in severance costs to staff. Tourism director Claudia Vecchio described the move as a restructuring, while documents also refer to a difference in opinion between Chinese and Nevada tourism officials.

Vecchio said she hopes to have a new tourism operation running in China next summer.

The governor’s office said the closure and reopening will modernize Nevada’s strategy in China. The office said Sandoval “fully intends to continue developing a dynamic relationship with China and that includes substantial marketing efforts to ensure Chinese travelers come to Nevada and explore the exciting opportunities our state has to offer.”

Sandoval also announced that he and governors from Washington, California, Iowa, Michigan and Oregon had signed an accord this week with Chinese governors. The Governors’ Clean Energy and Economic Development Accord aims to expand the use of renewable energy and bring more clean energy technology to market.

“This step furthers our commitment to build a robust economic relationship between the state of Nevada and the substantial market that the People’s Republic of China offers our business community,” Sandoval said in a statement.

The signing coincides with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s official visit to the United States.

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