On November 9th, 2006, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao welcomed James S.C. Chao, the Chairman of Foremast Maritime Corp, to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. CSSC president Chen Xiaojin, vice president Lu Xiaoyan attended the meeting as well.
Wen thanked for Chao’s continuous efforts over years on supporting the Chinese shipbuilding industry as well as the Chinese shipping industry. Wen pointed out that Chinese shipbuilding industry was not a declining industry, instead, it was been growing up fast during the last few years, and would be continuously developing with a rapid pace in the future. Chinese shipbuilding, Wen said, would eventually be one of the most competitive and well-known shipbuilding industries in the world.
James Chao is the father of Elaine L. Chao, who is currently the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor. Chao is an American-Chinese who has successfully led Foremast Maritime Corp doing businesses with China for many years, and established a close partnership with both the Chinese shipbuilding industry and the Chinese shipping industry. In 1990s, Chao made the first order with two 65,000dwt Panamax bulk carriers in Jiangnan shipyard, which shocked the American shipping industry all in a sudden, and therefore had a very positive impact on opening the American market for China. Since 2002, he had put another two orders in Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co.Ltd. on 8 totally 1.4 million dwt Capesize bulk carriers, therefore his company becoming the biggest American customer for Chinese shipbuilding industry.