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Celebrating a relationship

By JACK FREIFELDER and DONG LESHUO in New York (China Daily USA) Updated: 2015-04-10 16:53

Celebrating a relationship

Clarence Kwan(standing right), chairman of Committee 100, and its founding members(from left, standing)Oscar Tang, Shirley Yang and Henry Tang salute to I. M. Pei(seated in middle), also a founding member and a famed architect, Thursday night at the committee's 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner in New York. Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai(right),Ronnie Chan(second right), a Hong Kong tycoon philanthropist, and Howard Li(left), a member of this committee, and more than 400 guests attended this event. [Li Ge/China Daily]


C-100 gala marks 25 years of building bridges

The Chinese and American people "share many qualities for success, such as optimism, self-confidence and a strong belief in hard work", said Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the United States.

"The cross-cultural bridge that the Committee of 100 (C-100) has been building for the last 25 years will bring about greater understanding and awareness of the new relationship between the US and China," Tiankai said Thursday evening at the Committee of 100's 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala Dinner.

The rise of China "has not only lifted China," but it has also "brought the success story of one-fifth of humanity to the global stage," Tiankai said.

He said that the C-100 has done a commendable job of promoting "mutual understanding and appreciation" between the US and China.

More than 400 invited guests, including former US Ambassador Henry Kissinger, attended the ceremony, as well as Chinese Consul General Zhang Qiyue, US Congresswoman Grace Meng and former US Ambassador Nicholas Platt.

Kissinger said that "with increased interaction, stepping on toes is inevitable, but cooperation between the United States and China is essential."

"Today we interact all over the world, but the effort and the cooperation between the US and China is essential for the peace of the world," he said. "Any great achievement needs an inspiration. Both of us can only benefit from partnership, and the presidents of both countries have dedicated themselves."

The Committee of 100 (C-100) is an invitation-only membership organization with more than 150 Chinese Americans who are US citizens of Chinese heritage. They have achieved leadership positions in their fields of endeavor and have a passionate and active interest in C-100's mission.

The non-profit organization was established in 1990 by a group of prominent Chinese Americans aiming to serve as "cultural ambassadors" and to foster the exchange of ideas and perspectives among its membership with those in the community and government.

Its goal is to serve as a bridge between the cultures and people of China and the US, providing a forum for issues that Americans of Chinese descent face in reaching their full potential as US citizens.

For 25 years, C-100 has been dedicated to the dual mission of encouraging constructive relationships between the people of the US and Greater China, and promoting full participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life.

The organization's guiding principle is: "Seeking common ground while respecting differences."

Shirley Young, a co-founder of the C-100, said that the organization has been working hard since its inception to "establish a Chinese-American perspective" in both the US and Greater China.

"China was a very different place 25 years ago," Young said during a press conference before the gala dinner. "Frankly, there was a lack of understanding on China.

"We're proud to be at the forefront of advancing the inclusion and achievements of Chinese Americans, as well as strengthening relations between both countries," she said. And "we look forward to finding new ways to forge a positive and constructive conversation about these important issues."

Cui said that China and the US should work together in order to "seize the opportunity" in their relationship, and the C-100 is "a great source of inspiration for the entire Chinese-American community".

Kissinger said the US-China relationship going forward would center on the "common opportunity" between the two countries. He also expressed high hopes for President Xi Jinping's state visit to the US later this year, which he said should yield "great progress".

"One of the great fortunes of my life is that I had the chance to get to know the Chinese people," Kissinger said. "On my first trip to China, I remember saying something about China being a very mysterious country. But what is so mysterious about China?

"If we both continue to work on this platform - if we do as we are doing - then we can have a great future for our people."

Contact the writers at jackfreifelder@chinadailyusa.com and leshuodong@chinadailyusa.com

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