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New York, NY (March 25, 2020) – In this time of global pandemic from the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Committee of 100 (C100) calls on the peoples and governments of the United States and China to come together to exert all extraordinary measures not only to slow the spread of the virus and to find a cure and vaccines, but to seek solutions to the vast, cascading economic consequences that is continuing to impact the world. And, as nonpartisan representatives of the Chinese American community, C100 firmly believes that to succeed we must reject any discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or national origin, and any provocation that has led to the verbal abuse and physical attacks against our community that we have witnessed in recent weeks.
As an organization that promotes constructive relations between the peoples of the United States and China and the full inclusion and equality of Chinese Americans in American society, C100 has been greatly alarmed by racially charged slurs, actions, and violence against the Chinese American and Asian American community. We are heartened by President Trump’s voiced support of the Asian American community, though regardless of reason or intent, some of these actions against Asian Americans have been fueled by earlier comments of U.S. officials, with some ascribing the name of the virus to a specific race of people at a time when Americans are fearful and looking for someone to blame. At the same time, we have been equally disappointed by the lack of transparency at the onset of the crisis by Chinese government officials, the credence given to conspiracy theories against the United States, and the suggested removal of American journalists from China.
We are living in a once-in-a-lifetime crisis that calls for cooperation and collaboration, not finger pointing and recriminations. As we continue to be vigilant in preventing the spread of racism, to slow the spread of the virus and ultimately find a cure and vaccines, we must bring everything—and everyone—to the table, and not fuel anxieties and fears. Now is the time that we should all unite in a common goal of finding solutions to the shared challenges we face.
We see many ways that the U.S. and China, the two biggest economies of the world, can work together through both the public and private sectors. Already, scientists, doctors, healthcare professionals, and public servants of all ethnicities are working together to save lives and find solutions. Americans are collaborating with their Chinese counterparts to learn from their unique experiences of both what has worked well in mitigating and treating the virus, and just as importantly, what hasn’t worked, so that the U.S. and other countries can learn from mistakes and missteps. We should also foster public and private partnerships and encourage businesses to re-energize employment and rebuild cross-border trade to galvanize a post-coronavirus global economy.
C100 is doing its part to encourage and expand on these efforts. In addition to a coordinated C100 fundraising drive to support relief endeavors, C100 has been able to leverage resources and relationships in China to connect providers of medical supplies and personal protective equipment to U.S. hospitals and states most in need. C100 members are also making individual efforts to lead, from Dr. David Ho leading research teams to find treatments and Yo-Yo Ma rallying artists around the world to provide comfort through music and art, to Li Lu sending approximately 1 million masks from China to the U.S., to X. Rick Niu and Betty Liu coordinating much-needed ventilators for the state of New York and Anla Cheng raising funds for virus relief efforts, to Ming Tsai and Andrew Cherng donating to support restaurant workers and feeding Americans in need. Recognizing that a whole-of-society approach is required, C100 is also hosting an online webinar series for China-based business and educational leaders to share their lessons learned from responding to the coronavirus, so that the U.S. can build on this experience in its own response.
COVID-19 has shown how inextricably connected and undeniably interdependent we all are, no matter how much we may believe walls and borders may protect us. The United States and China must answer the call of leadership and work together to address this unprecedented challenge. Let us get to work, united in international cooperation to save lives, solidify the global economy and support one another.
About Committee of 100
Committee of 100 (C100) is a non-profit U.S. leadership organization of prominent and extraordinary Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, healthcare, and the arts. Founded by the late world-renowned architect I.M. Pei and internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, among others, it is an institution of U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage. For over 30 years, C100 has served as a preeminent organization committed to the dual missions of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life and constructive relations between the United States and Greater China. www.committee100.org. Please follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for updates.