On Wednesday, February 10th, China General Chamber of Commerce – USA (“CGCC”) and CGCC Foundation, the largest independent, non-governmental, non-profit organization representing Chinese investments in the United States, hosted its 2021 Lunar New Year of the Ox Gala. With the theme “New Beginnings,” the virtual gala, streamed on both the CGCC official gala website and iQIYI International, engaged thousands of individuals—from CGCC member organizations to those interested in the U.S.-China business community—to not only honor U.S.-China business leaders that went above and beyond in responding to the tumultuous events of 2020, but also to celebrate the Lunar New Year together and look forward to what 2021 will bring for the U.S.-China business community.
The gala began with new year greetings from prominent leaders and members of the U.S.-China business community, including Former U.S. Ambassadors to China Max Baucus and Terry Branstad, CEO of the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC) Pete M. Weichlein, CEO of the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) Jim Sutter, Regional Director of USSEC Greater China Xiaoping ZHANG, and business executives from Chinese companies in the U.S.
XU Chen, Chairman of CGCC and President & CEO of Bank of China U.S.A. welcomed all CGCC members and friends in the opening remarks. He said, “The ‘ox’ is a symbol of honesty, reliability, and perseverance in Asian cultures. This year, we are grateful that we are still able to connect online for this special Gala, celebrating the Lunar New Year of the Ox, strengthening our partnerships, and making a toast to all the exciting ‘new beginnings’ that 2021 brings.”
Three awards were presented during the gala to recognize individuals and companies for their dedication towards strengthening U.S.-China business relationships, their unique impact on improving industry standards and the international business environment, and their commitment to corporate social responsibility and community services.
Evan G. Greenberg, Chairman and CEO of Chubb, was honored with the Goodwill Ambassador for China-U.S. Exchange Award for his keen discernment and strategic commitment towards a constructive China-U.S. relationship. As an industry leader with over 40 years of experience, Mr. Greenberg has long promoted active U.S.- China exchange at all levels and advocated for productive business collaboration between the nations. “Thank you for honoring me with your Goodwill Ambassador award. We are in an important and evolving period in the relationship between the United States and China, the most important bilateral relationship in the world. One of the most important priorities, not just in the interest of our countries but for the entire world, is to restore active and thoughtful diplomatic engagement between our two nations based upon reality and not wishful thinking. We should both want to find a way to cooperate while we compete, and where necessary defend our respective interests in a manner that avoids conflict,” Mr. Greenberg expressed during the Gala.
This year’s International Leadership Award was awarded to Haijiang ZHOU, Chairman and CEO of HOdo Group, for his significant contributions to promote high industry standards, improve the business environment, and fulfill social responsibilities. “Facing the increasingly fierce global competition, I believe that China’s private sector needs to produce and cultivate world-class companies with strong competitiveness, large market value, comprehensive global integration, and positive social impact,” Mr. Zhou stated when talking about engaging in the global market and the international competition.
Steven Xu TAN, Vice Chairman of CGCC and President of China Telecom Americas, spoke highly of the Chamber and its member companies’ philanthropic commitment and efforts in his special remarks. He believed that “Even though 2020 was a tumultuous and devastating year, CGCC Foundation has been proven to be an irreplaceable force for good by connecting our members with the local communities. This is the reason why CGCC members continue to support the foundation year after year.”
As the U.S. and China enter a new chapter of economic and trade cooperation, CGCC is sincerely grateful for the inspiring remarks from Stephen Schwarzman, Founder and CEO of Blackstone, ZHANG Jiantao, Vice President of Coca-Cola Greater China and Mongolia, Marc Allen, CSO of The Boeing Company, and Mark LEUNG, CEO of JPMorgan China, who expressed their utmost optimism for a constructive and sustainable relationship between the two largest economies in the world.
The Chamber also presented 15 Chinese member companies with the Outstanding Community Contribution Award for their dedicated work with CGCC and CGCC Foundation in leveraging their resources, expertise, and talents to make a positive impact in assisting customers, employees, and the larger community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. That honored include (listed in alphabetical order): Bank of China USA, BYD Motors LLC, China Construction America, China Mobile International (USA) Inc., China Telecom (Americas) Corporation, China International Capital Corporation, Fosun Foundation, Fuyao Glass America, Inc., Hainan Airlines, Hubei Baiyunbian Group, ICBC U.S. Region, SANY America, SF International, State Grid US, and Wanxiang America Corporation. CGCC expresses its utmost appreciation to these outstanding community contributors, as they continue to not only confront the economic and health challenges of 2020, but also help pave the way for new beginnings in 2021.
The award program concluded with best wishes and a joyful introduction to the Lunar New Year and its customs and traditions from Kate Barton, Global Vice Chair of EY, and Shau ZHANG, Partner & EY Americas Leader of China Overseas Investment.
The gala was emceed by Peter Reisman, Co-Chair of the CGCC Government and Public Relations Committee.
For more information about the awards and awardees, and to rewatch the event, please visit CGCC’s 2021 Gala website.
Special thanks to EY, Bank of China, China Telecom (Americas), HOdo Group, Citi, Chubb, State Grid, JP Morgan, Agricultural Bank of China, China Mobile, SL Green, Gemdale, Marsh & McLennan, KKR, General Atlantic, Hikvision, China Investment Corporation, China Merchants Bank, CBRE, China International Capital Corporation, China Unicom, Starr, China Construction Bank, The Starr Foundation, and everyone that supported the organization’s efforts and made this evening possible.
Founded in 2005, China General Chamber of Commerce – USA (“CGCC”) has been recognized as the largest and most influential non-profit organization representing Chinese enterprises in the U.S. As an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental chamber of commerce, CGCC provides a broad range of programs, services, and resources to over a thousand multinational members across the U.S., with a mission to create value, generate economic growth, and enhance cooperation between the U.S. and Chinese business communities.
About CGCC Foundation
Established in 2014, CGCC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. The mission of CGCC Foundation is to deepen mutual understanding and cooperation between the United States and China through research, public charity and engagement in economic, cultural and social exchanges.