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Economic Club of New York to host Premier Li

By Paul Welitzkin in New York | China Daily USA | Updated: 2016-09-19 12:56

While Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is in New York to address the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, he will give a speech to the prestigious Economic Club of New York.

Barbara Van Allen, president of the club, said it has more than 1,200 members, including some of the most prominent and influential business and government leaders in the world. The club's membership draws from a diverse range of industries that represent the overall economy of New York City.

The organization was founded in 1907 by J.W. Beatson, secretary of the National Economic League in Boston, and four business leaders from New York City.

Its founders sought to emulate the successful example of other economic clubs in the Northeast with the aim of bringing business people and professionals together for serious discussions of economic, social and other public issues in a non-partisan forum.

"The Economic Club of New York is a distinguished institution globally recognized as the foremost nonpartisan speaking forum in the United States," Van Allen wrote.

"By embracing and promoting free expression of diverse views and opinions, the club acts as a catalyst for innovation in thought and ideas impacting the most critical social, economic, and political issues of our time."

The club has been host to former US presidents Woodrow Wilson, William H. Taft, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Republican presidential contender Donald Trump spoke at the club on Sept 15. More recently, Van Allen said Jack Ma of Alibaba addressed the club.

"Over our 109-year history, the club has hosted more than 1,000 eminent leaders from around the world, including Winston Churchill and Margret Thatcher (United Kingdom), Indira Ghandi (India), and Mikhail Gorbachev (Soviet Union). In 1999, the club hosted the then premier of China, Zhu Rongji, in front of over 1,300 people," said Van Allen.

The club's current chairman is Terry Lundgren, chairman and CEO of Macys Inc, the national department store chain.

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