Consul General Sun Guoxiang Hosts China’s National Day Reception in NYC

By Luyuan Zhang,

New York City, Sept. 30, 2013 –On Sept. 27, Sun Guoxiang, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in New York City, hosted a lunch reception in celebration of the 64th anniversary of the founding of the PRC. More than 450 people, including guests from government institutions, diplomatic corps and business sector, attended the event.
Ambassador Sun (left) talks exchanges business card with an attendee.

The process of the reception was fairly simple. Attendants went into the Consulate General from 12:30PM. Then they were guided to take elevator to the fifth floor and directed to the reception room. At the entrance of the room, Mr. Sun and his wife, Wang Min, as well as two other officers in the consulate greeted each and every one of the attendees. Half an hour later, the song “Welcome Our Guests” was played. At the end of the song, Cousul General Sun addressed the audience briefly and declared that the lunch reception began.The reception ended at around 2:00 PM.

In the speech, Ambassador Sun mentioned that although facing downward pressure, China’s economy grew by 7.6% in the first half of this year, which has laid a solid foundation for the further sustainable growth and contributed to the world economic recovery. He also stated that the bilateral ties between China and the U.S. are now moving ahead along a positive and smooth track. At the end of his address, he outlined what the N.Y. Consulate General would do to enhance this relationship.
Mr. Wilson, Ms. Angus and her friend are about to take pictures with Ambassador Sun.

“The Chinese Consulate General in New York will work to implement the consensus of the two presidents, build a bridge of exchanges in the consular district, expand our cooperation in politics, economy, culture and education and deepen the friendship between our two people,” Mr. Sun said.

Building the relationships is also one of the main reasons that attracted the attendees to the reception. “I want to come and pay my respect to the ambassador, Consul General,” said Jon Williams, Managing Editor for International News at ABC News, “and it’s all about building the relationship”.

Mr. Williams comes from Liverpool, United Kingdom. Although he has been to China’s National Day Reception in London, this was his first time to attend one in New York. He said it was a very important moment to celebrate what makes China special, as well as the relationships that has been developed between U.S. and China in the last 40 years.

Similarly, William Colton, member of assembly 47th District, gave compliment to the theme of the reception. He said that people need to communicate with each other so that we can better understand each other. That’s the way that we can advance in this world economy.

The PRC was founded on October 1, 1949. Two months later, the Central People’s Government passed a law and declared that October 1 is the National Day. This year, 2013, is the 64th anniversary of the foundation of PRC.

Like what happened on the dinner reception held on Sept. 26, quite a bit of attendants went to thank Consul General Sun for the invitation and expressed their desires for further cooperation in the future. Professor Feniosky A. Peña-Mora from Columbia University was not an exception.
Ambassador Sun(left) talks with Dr. Peña-Mora.

Dr. Peña-Mora went up to give a self-introduction to the ambassador and said: “Thank you for inviting me.” Consul General Sun shook his hand firmly and said: “Thank you for always taking a positive attitude towards the future of cooperation. We need more cooperation like this (Dr. Peña-Mora is working on a project cooperated between Qinghua University and Columbia University). If you need any help, please let us know.”

Mr. Peña-Mora told the reporter this is his second time attending China’s National Day Reception in the Consulate General in New York, because he believes that it is a good way to learn a little bit more about China and what’s happening there.

“People are kind of the same,” Mr. Peña-Mora said, in terms of the reception last year. “The speech is a little different, today we heard more about the collaboration between U.S. and China, as well as how to increase the friendship and understanding.”

For some attendants, this was their first or second time to attend China’s National Day Reception. For some others, they have witnessed each and every one of such reception since the Consulate General in New York opened.

Dressed in traditional Chinese costume, Jan Berris, the vice president of National Committee on United-States-China Relations said she probably has attended 150 receptions in this consulate general.

“We have very close relationship with the consulate,” Ms. Berris, who has traveled to China about 130 times since 1973, added “we are always happy to attend its events, especially one honoring the anniversary of the foundation of People’s Republic of China.”

The reception offered buffet with a combination of traditional Chinese food, such as dumplings and steamed buns, and “Westernized” dishes, as well as different kinds of fruit and disserts. Many attendees found the food served at the buffet very tasteful.

Shiyang Jiang, an analyst for corporative banking at Citibank, attended the reception with a colleague. She felt that the food is really delicious, especially the traditional Chinese food. Also, this reception, as far as she concerned, brought warmth to the Chinese community and provided a great opportunity for networking.

For many non-Chinese attendees, China has become more and more familiar to them, not only because of increased news coverage on China, but also due to their own personal exploration.

“I was one of the only nine non-Chinese people in the city. Everybody came and said ‘hello’ ‘hello’ ‘hello’, very friendly,” Mr. Wilson said he went to teach English in a middle school in a small city of Jiangxi Province in 2007-2008, adding “I loved it. It was very eye-opening. I got a good appreciation of China, what they are doing, and the development going on.”

Jeffrey Wilson came to attend the reception with the executive director of Commission on Voluntary Service & Action, Susan Angus. He knew that there have been many groups to celebrate China’s 64th Anniversary of foundation. And he felt this one has the largest English-speaking group because only it has the presentation in English.

Like Mr. Wilson, Jean-Claude Knebeler, Consul General of Luxembourg in New York, has been in China 50 times over the last 10 years. The cities he has visited the most are Shanghai, Beijing, Qingdao, Chongqing, Guangzhou, and Nanjing.

Being asked which Chinese city is his favorite, Mr. Knebeler, accompanied by his wife, said “They have different feelings. The people are all very nice and welcoming. For a European, Shanghai is probably the easiest city to live and to explore.” “But if you go a little further, it becomes more Chinese, and much more interesting,” he added.