Victor Hao Li, who served as the president of the East-West Center during the 1980s, died Wednesday in Oakland, Calif.
He was 72.
Li served as center president from 1981 to 1990. He then founded the Asia Pacific Consulting Group of the law firm, Watanabe Ing & Kawashima, with former Gov. George Ariyoshi. Li helped U.S. companies set up operations in China while Ariyoshi did similar work for Japan.
Born in Hong Kong, Li graduated from Columbia College and Columbia Law School. He earned two post-graduate degrees from Harvard Law School.
He was the Lewis Talbot and Nadine Hearn Shelton Professor of International Legal Studies at Stanford University before he moved to Hawaii to serve as center president, according to the East-West Center Foundation.
Because of a personal invitation from Li, Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang made Hawaii his first stop on his first official U.S. visit in 1983.