Thank you very much, Secretary Lew. And thank you, Steve [Orlins] and Ming [Hsieh] for inviting me here tonight. Good evening everyone! It is such a delight to be with you in person!
Thank you for inviting me to share a few thoughts this evening. For 55 years, the National Committee on U.S. China Relations has played an important role in encouraging better understanding between the people of China and the United States. You have promoted open dialogue between the two countries with the goal of enhancing mutual understanding and promoting a stable, productive relationship. Today, the U. S. -China relationship is in one of its most sensitive and difficult stages since 1979. In the U. S., liberal and conservative policymakers from both political parties are unusually aligned in criticizing China. In addition, most reporting on China in the American media are negative or suspicious in tone. Against this backdrop, I would like to encourage all of us to remain vigilant. We must ensure that the difficult relations between the two countries do not turn into anti-Asian hate or negative sentiments or violence that harm the Asian American community. That’s why I’m glad to see new organizations being established to give voice to Asian American concerns. I want to acknowledge the presence of Peng Zhao, who with several other prominent Asian Americans, have established The Asian American Foundation.
And now it is a great pleasure to introduce Ming Hsieh– this evening’s honoree….