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Chris Schlect, President of Northwest Horticultural Council, has been invited to join a select group to greet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Seattle Sep. 22-24, an event officially confirmed today.

Seattle will be the first U.S. stop on the visit by Xi. Schlect told Good Fruit Grower he plans to be at the meeting.

Chris Schlect

Chris Schlect

China is an increasingly important market for U.S. cherries, apples and other fruit. Good Fruit Grower last reported in August on new rules for U.S. apple shipments to China.

China re-opened to US. apples after two years of discussion.

Associate Editor Melissa Hansen reported in 2014 that Washington’s apple industry had worked for more than a year to develop an export work plan as a condition of exporting apples to China that’s feasible for Washington growers and shippers but also satisfies the Chinese government. Agreement to the export protocol by both the Chinese and APHIS and the recent Chinese visit triggered the market reopening.

Read Hansen’s report.

The list of other anticipated attendees for the Xi visit include executives from U.S. and Chinese companies, including Apple, IBM, Google, Cisco, Uber, Alibaba and Baidu. Xi is scheduled to visit Boeing and Microsoft. Xi will also visit Lincoln High School in Tacoma. Xi visited Tacoma years ago when he was a provincial official in China, former Gov. Gary Locke, an organizer of the visit, told the Seattle Times.

Here’s more from The Times.