Message from the USCPF President on our 10th Anniversary
In the last issue of our newsletter I discussed briefly the early years of the US-China Policy Foundation (USCPF), how our Foundation was established and how hard it was (and still is!) to exist as a new foundation in the Washington DC area. There are hundreds of well-established think tanks and public policy organizations in our nation’s capital, all of whom have large endowments or long term backing from the federal government or major US and foreign corporations. Our job has been much harder, as we have had to seek our own funding for individual projects from people who are often skeptical about China. During the next ten years, we hope to expand our base of support from charitable organizations and corporations.
After Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972 and the reestablishment of diplomatic relations, US-China relations seemed to ease into a period of mutual, if uneasy, cooperation. Underneath the surface, however, there is still a Cold War mentality among many members of Congress and US government officials and a prevailing feeling that China cannot be a true friend of the US. While this has made our job as a foundation all the more difficult, it has also made the work that we do even more critical. Any conflict between the US and China would be devastating; our mission is not only important for the futures of the US and China, but for global security and world peace as a whole.
To this end and because we are an educational organization, we have sponsored many successful events and symposiums, and attempted to increase Congressional understanding of China with our annual Policymakers Seminar and Trip to China, which informs congressional staffers about the People’s Republic of China., and culminates in a weeklong educational tour.
In celebrating our tenth anniversary, we are organizing a 2-day conference in Beijing later this year in cooperation with the Chinese International Cultural Exchange Commission (CICEC), an NGO in Beijing. The conference will gather China experts from America and the Beijing area that specialize in China-US relations, senior Chinese officials, business leaders, and USCPF board members. We would also like to include a delegation of American executives and business leaders in the conference, so that they might have an opportunity for exchange with their business counterparts and senior Chinese leaders. If your corporation would like to participate in this delegation, please contact Andrew Morentz or Sarah Terbrueggen at the Foundation as soon as possible.
While we have worked closely with the US Congress, State Department and other government agencies, for our tenth year of operation, we are making a concerted effort to build closer ties to the US-China business community. Both now and in the future, businesses will play a vital role in strengthening the relationship between the US and China. Due to the vast Chinese market, young Americans are making efforts to learn the Chinese language and culture, while young Chinese are learning English in even greater numbers. It is through the process of education and cultural exchange, which the USCPF endeavors to support, that stereotypes will be broken down and lasting bonds forged.
As a Chinese-American, I have been involved in US-China relations since the 1960’s; I know the people, I speak the language and yet the complexities of the US-China dynamic remain elusive. I hope that in our next 10 years, the USCPF can continue to educate the Chinese people about America and Americans about China and, little by little, create a long-lasting relationship that allows both countries and their peoples to flourish.
Last but not least, I wish to thank all of our board members, supporters and friends of USCPF during the past nine years. Together, we can continue to make a difference in U.S.-China relations.