On August 9, 2017, the Committee of 100 hosted a private reception and welcome dinner in Beijing for the U.S. Ambassador to China, the Honorable Terry Branstad, who arrived in China on June 27, 2017. C100 members Kelly Cha, Mei-Wei Cheng, Wei Sun Christianson, David Chu, Howard Li, Carter Tseng, Dazong Wang, Dali Yang, and Ya-Qin Zhang participated in the dinner.
Ambassador Branstad thanked the Committee of 100 for recognizing his contributions to advancing U.S.-China relations as governor of Iowa at the C100 Awards Gala Dinner on May 18, 2017. He was honored to be appointed Ambassador to China representing not only Iowa but all U.S. citizens. He expressed his commitment to improving the Sino-American relationship. In his remarks, he stated his main goals as Ambassador: to work with China to confront threats to regional security and to address the bilateral trade imbalance.
He added that, as an organization of Chinese American leaders, the Committee of 100 plays an important role in promoting U.S.-China relations and is in a good position to advise him and the U.S. Embassy. The Ambassador looks forward to working with C100 to strengthen the ties between the two countries.
In emphasizing the importance of exchange between the younger generations of the United States and China, the Ambassador reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to increasing the number of American students in China.
Upon learning of the C100 Leadership Scholarship Program (LSP) in China presented by C100 member and LSP Executive Committee chair, Carter Tseng, Ambassador Branstad expressed the Embassy’s interest in promoting the leadership program. He believes it will identify future leaders who will increase understanding on both sides. Since its inception in 2005, the Leadership Scholarship Program has expanded to include the top 18 universities in China.
Ambassador Branstad’s view on the younger generation is echoed in C100’s recent landmark survey, “U.S. China Public Perceptions Opinion Survey 2017.” The survey was presented during the dinner by C100 member Dali Yang, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago.
The survey was very helpful, Ambassador Branstad said. “As a governor, I always want to know my constituency’s thoughts.”
According to this year’s survey, millennials in both countries have more favorable impressions and are more trusting of each other than they are of other groups, though overall favorable impressions in both countries declined since the last survey in 2012.
Other dinner guests present included Yawei Li, awardee of C100 Leadership Scholarship Program in 2012, Jianxi Wang, Chairman of the Beijing Dalio Public Welfare Foundation, Ling Weng, founder and director of the Beijing Center for the Arts, and Kelly Fuli Zong, President of Hongsheng Beverage Group.