Wednesday August 12, 2020

The U.S.-China Policy Foundation’s 21st Annual Gala Dinner
Thursday, November 17, 2016
The Mayflower Hotel, Washington, DC

Ambassador Cui Tiankai delivers remarks More photos can be viewed here

Ambassador Cui Tiankai delivers remarks
More photos can be viewed here

For the U.S.-China Policy Foundation (USCPF), the Annual Gala on November 17, 2016 commemorated a history of improving U.S.-China relations. The Foundation has played a critical role in those efforts since 1995, when USCPF was created to enrich mutual understanding between the United States and China. Speakers and guests alike agreed on the importance of continuing these efforts into the future.

Gala guests hailed from government, diplomatic, commercial, and academic spheres. They included envoys from the Burmese, German, Japanese, Mongolian, Nepalese, Singaporean, and Chinese embassies; former and current U.S. Congressmen and Congressional staff; American and Chinese business leaders; as well as scholars of U.S.-China relations.

The attendees arrived at Washington, DC’s Mayflower Hotel for a cocktail reception in the Chinese room. The dinner program then began in the Grand Ballroom with a welcome address to the 150 guests from Gala Co-chair, Ambassador James Sasser, former U.S. Ambassador to China (1996-1999) and Senator from Tennessee (1977-1995).

Ambassador Sasser returned to the podium again after dinner to present the first award for Lifetime Achievement in U.S.-China Education to Dr. David M. Lampton, Director and Professor of China Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS. In his introductory remarks, Ambassador Sasser described Dr. Lampton’s prolific and important research on Sino-American relations, acknowledged again by every subsequent speaker. Dr. Lampton’s own speech reflected his talent for nuanced research on China. He described how the Sino-American relationship is no longer one between just governments or economies, but “between societies,” as well, with corresponding implications for how we interact with China in the future. Dr. Lampton’s wife, Susan, heard the remarks from her seat at the head table. The full text of his remarks can be read here.

Gala Co-chair Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy, former U.S. Ambassador to China (1991-1995), introduced the night’s second award recipient, The Honorable Barbara Hackman Franklin, with an anecdote about her unique and important contribution to U.S. China relations. As 29th Secretary of Commerce under President George H.W. Bush, Secretary Franklin flew to Beijing on a diplomatic mission to foster trade relations in November 1991, while Ambassador Roy was stationed there. Secretary Franklin too chose to focus her remarks on this juncture in the U.S.-China relationship. Following a hotly contested U.S. arms sale to Taiwan, Secretary Franklin’s objective was to repair the frayed thread between the two countries through trade. Her husband, Wallace Barnes, who was also seated in the audience, traveled with her at the time. She was remarkably successful in her mission, as American and Chinese business signed $1bn worth of contracts over the 10 days that she was there. These negotiations injected a major impetus into the Sino-American trade relationship that has continued to evolve, with Secretary Franklin’s efforts serving five presidents and since. Like Dr. Lampton, Secretary Franklin concluded her speech with an invective to remember and embrace the deeply interconnected relationship these two countries share. Her remarks can be found in their entirety here.

Ambassador Roy presented the final award to 8th UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, accepted by the Director of the UN Information Centre in Washington, DC, Mr. Robert Lawrence Skinner. Mr. Skinner delivered remarks from Secretary-General Ban, who felt “honored to receive the Global Peacemaker Award.” His speech focused on the U.S. and China’s joint roles in founding and leading the UN, underlining the importance of their continued cooperation. The Secretary General’s remarks can be found here.

With the conclusion of the award ceremony, the audience then turned their attention to the annual speech by USCPF President and Co-Founder, Dr. Chi Wang. He reflected this year on the work of the U.S.-China policy Foundation and thanked the many guests and sponsors in attendance.

Lastly, Ambassador Sasser invited the final speaker to the podium, His Excellency Cui Tiankai, the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. In his speech, Ambassador Cui recalled the historic growth in U.S.-China relations since the normalization of relations in 1979, when Chinese diplomats established temporary offices at the Mayflower Hotel, the very venue where USCPF’s Gala took place. While admitting different cultural backgrounds he emphasized common ground between the desires of American and Chinese peoples. Ambassador Cui’s remarks reinforced the idea of “interdependence” and “interconnectedness,” as he reminded the audience that the U.S.-China relationship was either “win-win or…lose-lose.” Ambassador Cui’s full remarks can be read here.

The 21st Annual Gala was a celebration of USCPF’s past programs following a year of important elections in Taiwan and the U.S. In 2016 alone, USCPF published Volume 12 of the Washington Journal of Modern China, as well as hosted two panel discussions on the outlook for the next administration’s China policy and impressions of Taiwan’s new leadership; two Policymakers Trips to China; in addition to a defense delegation luncheon and dinner.

The U.S.-China Policy Foundation would like to thank all the gala speakers, guests, and the staff at the Mayflower Hotel for making this event a success. Yet this and all of our events would have been impossible without the support of our sponsors, to whom we again express our gratitude. We thank our sponsors not only for supporting our organization, but for their dedication to the continued improvement of U.S.-China relations. More information about this year’s gala dinner, including photo, media, and video links, can be found below.

Links to More Information

Gala Program
Letters of Greeting
Gala Sponsors
Gala Speakers (Videos)
Reception Interviews (Videos)

Gala Photo Album
Gala Media Links

Gala Sponsors