On January 12-13, General Fugh and I, along with members Gary Locke and Chi Wang of the U.S. China Policy Foundation, were part of a delegation of 45 Americans invited by the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs and the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, led by President Jimmy Carter and Dr. Henry Kissinger to celebrate the 30th anniversary of normalization of Sino-U.S. relations in Beijing (see related stories this issue). During the trip, one of the former Ambassadors to China told me how much he enjoys keeping up to date with C-100 through our newsletter. Just the other day, I heard from my high school social studies teacher, Mrs. Fox in Ohio, that she and her husband also enjoy the newsletter. It’s gratifying to know that we have a nice following out there. (Our gratitude goes to our long-time newsletter editor Jane Leung Larson.)
Mrs. Fox was the first one to tell me that she did not believe America was a melting pot but instead more like a fruit salad, with each one of us bringing our unique flavors and backgrounds to make this country what it is. She said that we all have something to contribute regardless of where we come from. I couldn’t help but reflect on her words as I stood on the National Mall January 20 in the freezing cold along with 1.8 million other Americans (maybe they weren’t all Americans, but at least for that moment during the President’s swearing-in ceremony, I think they were all Americans in spirit).
Now that the excitement of the January events is over, we gear up for our April 30-May 2 conference in Washington, D.C. We will celebrate our 20th anniversary as an organization with the appropriate theme from the Chinese proverb 承前启後: Learn from the Past, Create the Future. We look forward to seeing you there.
Happy Chinese Year of the Ox! 牛年好！