Former Minister of U.S. Department of Labor Elaine Lan Chao Visited Tsinghua University with Her Family

On 0ctober 22, 2015, former Minister of U.S. Department of Labor Elaine Lan Chao, and her father Dr. James S.C. Chao and sister Angela Chao came to visit Tsinghua University. President of Tsinghua University Qiu Yong, vice President Yang Bin met with them respectively. Officers from the International Office and Foundation, the party secretary of the School of Social Sciences Professor Shi Zhiqin, the American director of Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy Han Lei, and the director of Institute of Foreign Affairs attended the meeting.

President Qiu Yong welcomed the visitors and pointed out that Tsinghua University is the bridge connecting communications between Chinese and Western education. Then he introduced to the Zhao Family about the contribution of Tsinghua University to the communication of humanistic education for young people. He also expressed appreciation to the Zhao Family for their dedication to charity work as well as education development and wished that deeper cooperation and exchanges could be achieved in the future. Vice President Yang Bin introduced the achievements of Tsinghua University on global communication and cooperation and emphasized the partnership of Tsinghua University with Apple Inc., China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and so on. Former Minister Elaine Lan Chao expressed her appreciation to Tsinghua University for the warm reception and affirmed the contribution of Tsinghua University to the communications between Chinese and Western education. She also introduced her family’s devotion to charity work. Ms. Angela Chao expressed that her family has attached great importance to education. Dr. James S.C. Chao expressed his longings for Tsinghua University, and this journey has made his dreams come true. He could see the great Chinese dream in Tsinghua students. Both sides agreed that possible cooperation would be carried out on communication between the Chinese and American cultures, and the Chinese and American humanistic education in youth.

After the meeting, James S.C. Chao, Elaine Lan Chao, and Angela Chao gave a speech as a part of “Tsinghua Global Vision Lectures”. They discussed the topic of “The Importance of the communication between the Chinese and Western Humanistic Education” with Tsinghua students. The party secretary of the School of Social Sciences Shi Zhiqin and the American director of Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy Han Lei co-hosted the lecture.

Dr. James S.C. Chao expressed his expectations for Tsinghua students and suggested that they should be confident and work hard, and do their best to make the world a better place. Former Minister Elaine Lan Chao expressed her surprise of the great changes in China during the past decades and shared the contribution her family has made to the educational charities. Then she encouraged the students to work hard and strive for high goals by taking her parents’ story as an example. She put forward eight suggestions to help the students further understand America based on her own understanding and knowledge of the American culture. Ms. Angela Chao shared with the students her experience of growing up and emphasized the importance of family in the educational process. She said that her parents set a great example of the cultural bridge and communication between the East and West. They valued the Chinese culture very much, and respected their hometown and the traditional Chinese values. She pointed that the students should pay more attention to the traditional Chinese culture. The “globalization and localization” should be carried on simultaneously. She also wished that the students could demonstrate the Chinese culture to the whole world through the educational communication, and strive for the realization of Chinese dream.

After the speech, they discussed and exchanges opinions with the two hosts and the students about the China-U.S. cooperative partnership, China-U.S. culture and education, and life planning. Professor Shi Zhiqin presented souvenir medals of “Tsinghua Global Vision Lectures” to the three speakers on behalf of Tsinghua University.

The lecture was hosted by the International Office, the School of Social Sciences, and organized by Graduate Student Union, Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, Tsinghua University.

Dr. James S.C. Chao, Chinese-American, born in Shanghai, is the father of Former Minister of U.S. Department of Labor Elaine Lan Chao. He entered the Department of Transportation Engineering of Shanghai Jiaotong University in 1946, and went to study in the United States after graduation. He is now the chairman of Foremost Group.

Elaine Lan Chao, Chinese-American, born in Chinese Taipei, and her ancestral home is Jia Ding, Shanghai. She was appointed Secretary of Labor of the 24th U.S. Department of Labor by President George W. Bush on January11, 2001. She was not only the first Chinese American to be appointed to U.S. cabinet in U.S. history, but also the first Asian American woman. She visited Tsinghua University in 2008 and delivered a speech on “The U.S. and China in the 21st century”.

Angela Chao, Deputy Chairman of Foremost Group. She is the younger daughter of James S.C. Chao, and the sister of Elaine Lan Chao.