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C100 conference explores state of China-US relations

By ZHANG MINLU and XU YIFAN in Washington | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-05-07 03:26

Photo taken on Sept 24, 2015 shows the national flags of China (right) and the United States on the Constitution Avenue in Washington. [Photo/Xinhua]

Key academics, policymakers, philanthropists and other professionals gathered in Washington, DC, at the annual conference of the Committee of 100 (C100) to gain deeper insight into the state of Chinese Americans and relations between China and the United States.

C100 is a non-partisan leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia and the arts, held a "Trailblazers: Past, Present and Future" awards gala dinner on Thursday to highlight the contributions and challenges in advancing constructive dialogue and relations between the people and leaders of China and the US.

The organization was created in 1990 by renowned China-born American architect Ieoh Ming Pei, commonly known as I. M. Pei, to bring Chinese Americans and Americans to work together to overcome problems, former US secretary of state and long-time diplomat Henry Kissinger said in a video.

I.M. Pei is "one of the greatest architects of the world, who uplifted humans' spirit by his designs in the cities of China and then American cities," said Kissinger.

Pei also was committed to the relationship between China and the US, which "is central to the peace and prosperity of the world", he said.

At Thursday's dinner, Kissinger was honored with the I.M. Pei Award for his "extraordinary leadership and achievement in the pursuit of the Committee of 100's missions".

"To wish you and all your associates continued success in the great effort of enabling our two countries to work together cooperatively, and to overcome disagreements," Kissinger said.

"C100 has been at the forefront in speaking out against injustices to the Chinese American community and the PI community, and we will continue to do so," Gary Locke, former US secretary of commerce, ambassador to China, and governor of Washington State, said at the awards dinner.

He said there has been "a disproportionate pursuit of alleged espionage aimed at researchers and academics who are of Chinese descent".

The China Initiative "unfairly targeted scientists, researchers and academics based on their Chinese descent, based on their Chinese names and faces," said Locke.

"C100 remains persistent in working toward justice for the newest individuals whose careers, livelihoods and families were severely disrupted, tarnished ruined by the misguided application of this initiative," he said.

Eric Yuan, founder and CEO of Zoom and also a C100 member, said he loves the organization "connecting and promoting Chinese Americans in business, government, academia and the arts". At Thursday's dinner, Yuan was given the Distinguished Service Award for advancing human connectivity.

Also honored at the dinner was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with the Committee of 100 Distinguished Service Award for courage in countering racial profiling.

Stop AAPI Hate received the Distinguished Service Award for vigilance in combating hate crimes and violence.

After not holding the 2020 and 2021 annual conference and gala because of the COVID pandemic, C100 is holding its annual conference and gala from Thursday to Saturday, marking the 33rd anniversary of C100.

This week's conference consists of four panels: "How Global Tectonic Forces are Reshaping US-China Geopolitical and Economic Relations"; "The Past, Present, and Future of Diplomacy in China"; "Our Place on the Mall — Asian Pacific American History and Culture at the Smithsonian" and "The 'China Initiative', Collateral Damage, and the Pursuit of 'Justice' by the Department of Justice".

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