CUSEF Chairman John Zhao welcomes global dignitaries as 2023 Hong Kong Forum on U.S-China Relations opens


Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great privilege to stand before you today.

On behalf of our founder Mr. CH Tung, and the entire Board of CUSEF, I want to extend our sincere gratitude to all of you for being here in person, for this 2023 Hong Kong Forum on U.S.-China Relations. The ability to gather safely is not lost on us, particularly after three years of the pandemic.

I want to welcome you to Hong Kong. As you will see in the next few days, this incredible city is open for business.

I am particularly honored to have with us today special participants who are continuing the important work of the three men featured in the short film you just saw: Neil Bush, Founder and Chair of the George H.W. Bush Foundation; Meagan Martz of the Carter Center; our Governor CC Tung; and our new Vice Chairman Andy Tung.

As CUSEF’s new Chairman, I recognize that I am stepping into large shoes that are, frankly, impossible for any one person to fill on their own. I am humbled by the trust that has been placed in me by Mr. Tung and the board. I know that with my fellow Governors, including Dr. Victor Fung, our founding Vice Chairman, and Mr. Andy Tung, our new Vice Chairman, I will be supported with both continuity and new innovation.

This year marks CUSEF’s 15th anniversary. We are excited to build and expand on the important work started by our Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Tung Chee Hwa. The U.S.-China relationship remains the most important bilateral relationship in the world. It is also becoming the most consequential global issue for the world. A peaceful sustainable co-existence of US and China matters to us all.

That is why our mission at CUSEF is not to serve one side or the other, but to serve the China-U.S. relationship. In doing so, we are advancing the well-being of humanity and the sustainability of our planet.

Today, amidst global uncertainty and an increasingly complex China-U.S. relationship, our work is more important now than ever before.

Only through continued communication can our two countries co-exist peacefully and work together to overcome the many challenges facing our world.

At CUSEF, we are doing our part by going bigger, wider, and deeper than we ever have. We are doubling down on our work to build trust, facilitate exchanges, and advance dialogue and understanding.

We aim to be a convener of dialogue, and a platform for the exchange of important ideas and views—particularly, different and diverse views.

As the bilateral relationship is a truly global issue, we must engage not just representatives from both countries, but people from around the world.

And there is no better place for diverse, global perspectives than Hong Kong, a uniquely international city. Hong Kong is not only the founding home of CUSEF, and where we launched the Forum in 2019, it is also a long-standing convener of international cultures, businesses, and ideas. We are excited to take advantage of our position here and leverage Hong Kong’s commitment to international exchange and collaboration.

As we embark on our renewed commitment at CUSEF, I am particularly proud of the very talented professional team under the leadership of our new president, James Chau. In fact, I met and spoke with the whole team right here last night. Their passion and energy gave me tremendous inspiration and motivation. I see in them the spirit and dedication of C.H. Tung. While there is no single person who can achieve what C.H. did for CUSEF, together we will take our work to a new level.

As C.H. said in the video you saw, every day of his life he has worked to make the world a better place, even if he has to crawl. When we leave this gathering a few days from now, let us all follow in his footsteps and commit to doing everything we can to make his vision for a peaceful and prosperous world a reality.

On that note, I am now proud to introduce to you CUSEF’s President, James Chau,
Please join me in warmly welcoming James to the stage.