Spring Festival Celebrates Bay Area’s Strong Ties with China

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The Bay Area Council on Thursday (Feb. 16) ushered in the Year of the Rabbit with our signature Spring Festival Celebration, held in the Florence Fang Conference Center aboard our floating headquarters, the Historic Klamath. Leaders from the Bay Area and China gathered in-person and virtually to celebrate the ties that bring us together, even as rising tensions at the national level create strong headwinds for economic cooperation (see item below).

Among the guests highlighted were Asian Art Museum Director Jay Xu; China Committee Co-Chairs Kevin Xu of MEBO International and Florence Fang; Assemblymember Phil Ting; former Palo Alto Mayor Pat Burt; Consul General of China in San Francisco Jianmin Zhang; and the Shanghai Yangpu District Mayor Kan Xue. The hybrid format of the event allowed speakers to offer remarks from around the globe and demonstrate each side’s willingness to cultivate understanding. Mayor Xue stressed this by celebrating the 16 years of friendship between Yangpu and the Bay Area with a call for planting seeds of mutual friendship, innovation, and opportunity.

At the pinnacle of the evening, Director Xu received the Council’s Global Leadership Award for his outstanding work championing greater understanding through culture and art. He eloquently explained the role museums can play for bridging differences between cultures as hubs of humanity. Fittingly, the event also invited 12 Chinese artists doing creative work in America: Lin Chun, Jeselle Sue, Yuan Tang, Mojo Wang, Zhuoyun Chen, Xinghua Qi, Shengwen Yuan, Jianxin Wang, Wusong Cai, Xiaohan Zhang and Chang Gao. Flying in from New York, DJ Adai brought an electric atmosphere to round off the night. This cohort of pioneers illustrated facets of human ties that unite us all and opened the door for an exchange of ideas and perspectives. Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman remarked how this type of understanding is essential for productive business relations and public discourse.

All of this was possible thanks to the support of our sponsors: the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in San Francisco; Marketing Promotion Image; KTSF26; MEBO International; and Heller Manus Architects. This event is a testament to our region’s commitment to foster connections and building community. The Bay Area Council will continue to expand on this commitment as we organize future events, delegations, and prepare for APEC in San Francisco later this year. To learn more about our China work and Global Initiatives, please contact Senior Director of Global Business Development Alex Foard.

To view the night’s photos visit our Flickr.

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