Tuesday, September 23, 2014
FOLLOW US: 

 

National Urban League Visits Beijing, China on Historic Trip 
 to Improve Chinese-African American Relations

 

Delegation of 46 includes NUL President Marc H. Morial, Los Angeles Urban League President Blair Taylor, NNPA Chairman Danny Bakewell Sr., and Others

 

National_Urban_League 

 

PHOTO CAPTION: (From left to right) National Urban League President & CEO Marc H. Morial, Mr. C.H. Tung, Chairman, China –United States Foreign Exchange Foundation, Danny J. Bakewell Sr., Chairman, National Newspaper Publishers Association, and Blair Taylor, CEO, Los Angeles Urban League, attend a welcome dinner hosted by the China –United States Foreign Exchange Foundation in Beijing, China, at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010. (NNPA Photo/Jasmyne A. Cannick) 

Trips Represents Beginning of New Relationship Between African-Americans and the Chinese People 

By Jasmyne A. Cannick
NNPA, Foreign Correspondent

(Beijing, China) - President and CEO of the National Urban League, Marc H. Morial and Los Angeles Urban League President and CEO Blair Taylor has led a 40-person delegation to the Beijing, in the People’s Republic of China for a cultural and trade mission hopefully signaling the beginning of a new relationship between the Chinese people and African-Americans.  The historic trip is meant to engage in the first of many meaningful discussions on possibilities of future partnerships and investment between the Chinese and African-Americans.  It is the first time a national delegation of African-Americans of this size has visited Beijing on such a mission. 

Since the election of President Barack Obama, the Chinese people have taken an interest in African-Americans in the US leaders in exploring and developing ways that African-Americans and Chinese can do business and exchange cultural and educational ideas.  Los Angeles Urban League President and CEO Blair Taylor, in 2006, took a 12-member delegation to China on such a mission to visit Beijing and Shanghai.  This mission continues and broadens that effort. 

“This delegation represents “our best” in business, entrepreneurship, banking and finance, education, sports, entertainment, media and political thought,” commented Morial.  

Notable members of the 40-person delegation to Beijing include: Blair Taylor, President and CEO, Los Angeles Urban League, Danny Bakewell Sr., Chairman of the National Newspaper Publisher’s Association (NNPA) which represents over 200 Black newspaper publishers in the United States, Robert J. Brown, Chairman and CEO of B&C Associates, Inc., former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater, James Buford, President and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan, St. Louis, Thomas Sayles, Vice President for Government and Community Relations for the University of Southern California, Albert Dotson Jr., President of 100 Black Men America, Mark Mallory, Mayor of Cincinnati, Carl Ballton, President and COO, Union Bank Foundation, Dr. Franklin D. Gilliam Jr., Dean, UCLA School of Public Affairs, and Carl Dickerson, CEO of Dickerson Employee Benefits.  In addition, the National Urban League has brought along journalists Michelle Miller from CBS News, TVOne’s Roland S. Martin, and the NNPA foreign correspondent Jasmyne A. Cannick to tell accurately the story of this historic trip back home in the US. 

The delegates departed Newark, NJ on Jan. 30 on a 14-hour flight to Beijing and received an extremely warm welcome at the airport from host organization the China-United States Exchange Foundation and were escorted to the Grand Hotel Beijing.  After checking in, the delegates were escorted to a grand reception and dinner at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse hosted by Tung Chee-hwa, founding chairman of the China-United States Exchange Foundation.  Chairman Tung Chee-hwa was delighted with the Urban League's visit and interest in China and said he hoped when they left Beijing the group with leave with a message of "friendship." 

“African-Americans are a force to be reckoned with,” Chairman Tung Chee-hwa told the delegates during the grand reception.  “The Chinese people want to be friends with America.  We want to understand African-Americans better and we want for you to understand the Chinese people better.  We want to know about your historic Black colleges and universities, corporations, non-government organizations, and the many many Black owned newspapers.” 

On Monday, Jan. 30, Ambassador Liu Guijin, former Special Envoy on African Affairs for the People’s Republic of China met with the delegation for little over an hour to brief delegates on the history of China’s relationship with Africa as well as update the group on today’s relationship with many African nations.  Mr. Liu Guijin explained China’s long standing relationship with African nations that spanned from the Tung and Ming Dynasty through present day.  Cheers and laughter erupted from the delegation when Ambassador Liu Guijin remarked how Spanish and Portuguese explorers “so-called” discovered Africa. 

Ambassador Lui Guijin explained in depth China’s relationship with Africa beginning with a quote from popular Chinese thinker, educator, and political figure Confucius, “what you do not wish for yourself, do not do unto others.” 

“China’s support for Africa can be looked at in three stages,” Ambassador Liu Guijin explained.  “The first, 1949 to 1978, China built a solidarity with African countries who we felt were justified in their struggle against colonialism.  We supported Africa’s economic independence at time when the Chinese people were very poor.  In 1978, China opened its doors and adjusted its foreign policies, encouraging Chinese companies to go to Africa.  Today, Chinese finance often goes to large-scale infrastructure projects, with a particular focus on hydropower generation and railways. More than 35 African countries are engaging with China on infrastructure finance deals, with the biggest recipients being Nigeria, Angola, Sudan, and Ethiopia.” 

When questioned about the support for African nations with human rights violations, Ambassador Lui Guijin stated plainly that China respects African countries to advance their own human rights pointing out that the Chinese people understand different countries have different backgrounds and histories and they are not in the business of telling other countries what to do. 

“We try to focus on the five principals of peaceful co-existence as set out by Premier Zhou Enlai,” explain Ambassador Lui Guijin.  “Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful co-existence.” 

After the meeting with Ambassador Lui Guijin, the delegates were received by Beijing’s Ministry of Commerce for a historic conversation between the National Urban League and Beijing’s Zhong Shan, the Vice Minister of Commerce. 

NNPA Chairman and Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper publisher Danny Bakewell Sr. encouraged Chinese officials to use the power of America’s 200 Black newspapers to speak to and market directly to African-Americans.  A suggestion that the Chinese are eager to engage NNPA further on. 

“The Chinese realize that Black Americans have a buying power of $1.1 trillion and are willing to engage African Americans directly on how to best work together to meet our mutual interests,” commented Mr. Bakewell.  “As Chairman of NNPA, I look forward to working with the Chinese people on ideas and strategies that will bring both of our countries closer together in the coming years.” 

James Buford, President and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan, St. Louis and Robert J. Brown, Chairman and CEO of B&C Associates, Inc. led many of the delegation’s conversations with the Chinese on how African American businesses can begin to do more business in China, specifically in Beijing—an idea that Chinese officials are eager to work African American business leaders on. 

Following the Ministry of Commerce, delegates were escorted to the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse for a luncheon hosted by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs He Yafei.  The luncheon was given in the same ballroom in which Beijing recently hosted President Barack Obama. 

Tuesday ended with the delegation meeting with various Christian Chinese religious leaders on the state of Christianity in Beijing. 

Upcoming meetings for the delegation include a meeting on Wed., Feb. 3. with the Ministry of Education, China Council for the Promotion of International trade, and a visit of the Great Wall of China at Juyongguan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Category: International


Win Tickets to see Multi-Emmy Award Winner WAYNE BRADY in the Cole Porter Broadway musical KISS ME, KATE!

Taste of Soul Sponsors
Click to
Win!