Rochester New York Heralds the Joint Origins of National Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Hon. Ruby Moy, First Asian American Pacific Islander professional working in the White House, as former Chief of Staff to Congressman Frank Horton from Rochester NY, Hon. Norman Mineta, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and founder of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus CAPAC and Mary Ho, China Millennium Council President at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. recount their historical efforts to proudly establish legislation and Presidential proclamation designating the month of May as Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

May 26, 2015 Washington DC – Thirty eight years ago, Representatives Frank Horton from Rochester NY (R-NY) and Norman Mineta (D-CA) introduced House Resolution 540 (Pacific/Asian Heritage Week) in Congress to proclaim the first ten days of May as Pacific/Asian Heritage Week now known as Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. May was denoted to commemorate the first Japanese immigrant to the U.S., and also to mark the anniversary of the completion of the trans-continental railroad, the majority of the tracks laid by Chinese workers. Subsequently President Jimmy Carter signed the Joint Resolution on October 5, 1978. In 1992, President Bush signed legislation into law designating the month of May as we know now as Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Law HR-5572 originally introduced by Horton and Mineta, was unanimously approved by both the House of Representatives and Senate during the 102nd Congress.

During the first ever White House Summit on AAPIs, U.S. Surgeon Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy M.D. was installed as the new co-chair of WHIAAPI. President Obama proclaims, “The rich heritage of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders spans the world and the depths of America’s history. Generation after generation, Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders have forged a proud legacy that reflects the spirit of our Nation. During AAPI Heritage Month, we honor the perseverance of those who courageously reached for their hopes and dreams in a new land, and we celebrate the important impact the AAPI community has made to our Nation’s progress…As we commemorate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we pay tribute to all those in the AAPI community who have striven for a brighter future for the next generation. Together, let us recommit to embracing the diversity that enriches our Nation and to ensuring all our people have an equal chance to succeed in the country we love.”

U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy M.D. Keynote Speaker at 21st Annual APAICS Awards Gala

Mary Ho, China Millennium Council President & U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy M.D. and newly appointed Co-Chair of the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders at the 21st Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies APAICS Annual Gala Awards Dinner celebrating Asian Pacific Heritage Month in Washington, D.C.

May 18, 2015 Washington DC – Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy M.D., M.B.A. was confirmed as the 19th U.S. Surgeon General on December 15, 2014. Dr. Murthy oversees the operations of the U.S. Public Health Services USPHS Commissioned Corps, comprised of over 6,800 uniformed health officers who serve in global locations to promote, protect and advance the health and safety of our nation. Moreover, Dr. Murthy’s announcement during the first ever White House Summit on AAPIs as Co-Chair of the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders WHIAAPI stressed the importance of connecting and mobilizing the AAPI community for collaborative goals.”We need to learn from communities across the country to make sure we’re lifting up all communities together,” Murthy remarked.

Dr. Murthy is the son of immigrants from India and discovered a love for the art of healing early in his childhood while spending time in his father’s medical clinic in Miami, Florida. He has devoted himself to improving public health through service, clinical care, research, education and entrepreneurship. Caring for patients he considers the greatest honor in his life and served thousands of patients and trained hundreds of residents and medical students as a clinician-educator.

Dr. Murthy has over two decades of perspective improving health in communities across the country and the world. He co-founded Swasthya, a community health partnership in rural India to train women to be health providers and educators. Moreover, he co-founded VISIONS, an HIV AIDS education program in India and the U.S.

Seen as a progressive leader who can use 21st century approaches and technology to modernize the role of Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy focuses efforts on building cross-sector community partnerships to resolve health issues including obesity and tobacco-related disease, reduce the stigma related to mental illness, improve vaccination rates and promote preventative health strategies. Dr. Murthy strongly believes our American nation’s greatest strength comes from its peoples. Improving the health of our peoples means strengthening our communities and our country. Unite Learn Prosper!

Konrad Ng, Director of the Asian Pacific American Center at the Smithsonian Institution, Mary Ho, China Millennium Council President and Monica Pham, Esq., U.S. House of Representatives Senior Policy Advisor celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month and the White House Summit on Asian American Pacific Islanders in Washington, D.C.

 

U.S. Dept. of Labor Deputy Secretary Christopher Lu Keynote Speaker at National ACE Conference & Awards Ceremony

China Millennium Council President Mary Ho, U.S. Dept of Labor Deputy Secretary Christopher Lu and Asian Chamber of Commerce Houston President Linda Toyota at the 2015 National ACE Conference & Awards Ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington D.C. emphasized the Value of Collaborations of Unite Learn & Prosper.

U.S. Department of Labor Deputy Secretary Christopher Lu stated emphatically the Value of Collaborations during his keynote opening remarks at the Asian Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship 2015 National ACE Conference & Awards Ceremony held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. Honorable Christopher Lu serves as the Chief Operating Officer of a 17,000 employee organization that strives to create greater opportunities for all Americans. Earlier Lu served as the White House Cabinet Secretary and Assistant to the President. As one of the highest ranking Asian Americans in the Obama Administration, Lu was also the Co-Chair of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

National ACE brings together the leadership and insights of business owners, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders and government officials from across the country. Unite Learn & Prosper theme showcased the issue of invisibility among the AAPI community in all industry sectors including higher education, business and workforce labor areas. Establishing a pipeline with fair access to opportunities critical to ensure inclusion and success of AAPI community. Latest findings on the Asian American Pacific Islanders AAPI business and consumer communities were shared by Nielsen, CNBC and ACE leadership team. Highlights included remarks by Honorable Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration; Ken Niumatalolo, Head Football Coach at the U.S. Naval Academy; and Dominic Chu, Markets Reporter for CNBC and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration graduate.

Sach Takayasu, CEO & President of National ACE, Mary Ho, China Millennium Council President, Ken Niumatalolo, Head Football Coach U.S. Naval Academy, Linda Toyota, President Asian Chamber of Commerce Houston and Betty Lo, Vice President of Community Alliances & Consumer Engagement at Nielsen.

Pulitzer Prize Award Winning Journalist José Antonio Vargas states, “Our Equalities are Tied to Each Other” #EmergingUS #DefineAmerican

China Millennium Council President Mary Ho, Pulitzer Prize Award Winning Journalist José Antonio Vargas and ROC the film Entrepreneur Tom Crane at the University of Rochester Diversity Conference Discuss Social Equity, Inclusion and Diversity for a Modern America #EmergingUS #DefineAmerican

BHG Beijing Hualian Group Investment Holding Co., LTD. Chairman Ji Xiao An Visits Wegmans Food Market USA Headquarters

Beijing Hualian Group BHG Chairman Ji Xiao An and China Millennium Council President Mary Ho Discuss the Importance of Global Innovation in the Ever-Evolving Consumer Retail Marketplace and Business Enterprise Development at the Wegmans Food Market Flagship Store in Pittsford, New York, USA

Wegmans Food Market flagship store in Pittsford New York recently launched a series of healthy home-style Chinese foods in collaboration with China’s leading hypermarket retail enterprise, the Beijing Hualian Group Investment Holding Co., LTD. BHG Chairman Ji Xiao An and his innovation team led by Frank Ji oversaw the development and training of Chinese culinary dishes for the chefs at Wegmans. Ready to eat foods emphasize authentic, nutritious and tasty dishes including Shiitake Mushroom Congée, Sichuan Style Dandan Noodles and Chinese Barbequed Pork. Catering to the ever-growing international palate of Wegman’s customers, their newly renovated Asian foods pantry now stock a wide variety of fresh Chinese youchoy and bokchoy greens, Daikon icicle radishes and select varieties of bulk long-grain and short grain rice.

BHG Beijing Hualian Group Investment Holding Co.,Ltd. is a leading multinational global enterprise as one of the 15 largest retail enterprises supported by the China Ministry of Commerce including primary membership in the International Association of Department Stores (IADS), and two publicly listed companies and several holding companies. BHG Group’s business is focused on hypermarkets, supermarkets, department stores and commercial properties. BHG is established in more than 80 hypermarkets in 35 key cities and 23 provinces across China and the Pacific Rim countries. The Beijing Hualian Group values customers first and foremost. Their core business principles include integrity in all relationships — with employees, customers, suppliers and cooperating partners. “We seek to maintain and grow our company’s high recognition and reputation, and made “Beijing Hualian” a prestigious brand in the country” and now earmarked as a prestige global brand.

China is now the fastest growing global economy, ranked second only to the U.S. as the world’s largest economy. The new visa accord established between U.S and China will enhance trade, investment, and business ties by facilitating travel and ease access to both economies.  Extended validity visas for students and exchange visitors will foster the bonds between U.S. and China and facilitate travel for outstanding students from around the world who attend U.S. institutions of higher education.  As a result of this arrangement, the U.S. hopes to welcome a growing share of eligible Chinese travelers, inject billions in the U.S. economy and create demand to support hundreds of thousands of additional U.S. jobs. Global growth of outbound travel from China represents an unprecedented opportunity to foster job creation across the country. China is the fastest growing outbound tourism market in the world, and Chinese visitors have accounted for 20 percent of the growth in overseas travel to the U.S. As incomes in China continue to rise, the number of Chinese citizens able to afford international travel and tourism is projected to more than double over the next few years, reaching the hundreds of millions.  Close to 7.3 million Chinese are projected to travel to the U.S. by 2021, contributing nearly $85 billion a year to the economy and supporting 440,000 jobs.

 

U.S. and China Establish Reciprocal Visa Validity Agreements to Strengthen Economic, Educational and Cultural Collaborations

China's leading retail business conglomerate the BHG Beijing Hualian Hypermarket Delegation Visits Wegman's Iconic American Flagship Pittsford Store and are welcomed by Mary Ho, President of the China Millennium Council, H. Oliver Hamlin IV, Greater Rochester Asian American Pacific Islander Leadership Delegate and Larry Damore, Senior Vice President of Wegmans Food Markets headquartered in Upstate Rochester, New York.

U.S. President Obama traveled to China and met with China President Xi Jinping to effect a reciprocal visa validity arrangement to broaden and fortify economic and people-to-people ties. Both countries mutually agreed to increase the validity of short-term tourist and business visas issued to each other’s citizens from one to ten years – the longest validity possible under U.S. law – and increase the validity of student and exchange visas from one to five years.  The U.S began issuing visas in accordance with the new reciprocal agreement on November 12, 2014. The visa accord will enhance trade, investment, and business ties by facilitating travel and ease access to both economies.  Extended validity visas for students and exchange visitors will foster the bonds between U.S. and China and facilitate travel for outstanding students from around the world who attend U.S. institutions of higher education.  As a result of this arrangement, the U.S. hopes to welcome a growing share of eligible Chinese travelers, inject billions in the U.S. economy and create demand to support hundreds of thousands of additional U.S. jobs.

Welcoming a Growing Share of Chinese Travelers

  • China is the fastest-growing outbound tourism market in the world, and in 2013, 1.8 million Chinese travelers visited the U.S., contributing $21.1 billion to the U.S. economy and supporting more than 109,000 American jobs
  • Chinese travelers consistently rank the United States as their most-desired travel destination, yet less than 2 percent of total Chinese travelers come to the U.S.
  • Chinese travelers cite ease of visa policies as the second most important factor in deciding where to travel, behind only cost
  • A competitive visa policy will help U.S. meet projections that suggest as many as 7.3 million Chinese travelers will come to the U.S. by 2021, contributing nearly $85 billion a year to the economy and supporting up to 440,000 U.S. jobs

Strengthening Bonds Between Chinese and American Students

  • 28 percent of all foreign students and exchange visitors in the U.S. originate from China
  • Chinese students in the U.S. spent $8 billion in 2013, an increase of nearly 24 percent over the previous year
  • Visa accord will allow American and Chinese students to more easily travel back and forth, making foreign study a more attractive option, increasing opportunities for people-to-people ties, and boosting mutual understanding

Extending Visa Validity to Increase the Number of Chinese Travelers Coming to the U.S. and Support American Jobs. In order to support America’s most important and largest services export – tourism.  Chinese travelers persistently rank the U.S. as their top desired travel destination, but only slightly more than 1.8 percent of total outbound travelers go to the U.S.  Chinese travelers cite ease of visa policies as the second most important factor in deciding where to travel, behind only cost.  A competitive visa policy is needed to secure the U.S. as the chosen destination for millions of Chinese travelers

Global growth of outbound travel from China represents an unprecedented opportunity to foster job creation across the country.  China is the fastest growing outbound tourism market in the world, and Chinese visitors have accounted for 20 percent of the growth in overseas travel to the U.S. since 2008.  In 2013, 1.8 million Chinese travelers visited the U.S., contributing $21.1 billion to the American economy and supporting more than 109,000 U.S. jobs.  As incomes in China continue to rise, the number of Chinese citizens able to afford international travel and tourism is projected to more than double over the next few years, reaching the hundreds of millions.  Close to 7.3 million Chinese are projected to travel to the U.S. by 2021, contributing nearly $85 billion a year to the economy and supporting 440,000 jobs.

Increasing business travel will support the U.S. President’s goal of increasing exports. Increasing visa validity for U.S. citizens traveling to China makes it easier to respond to market and commercial opportunities in China, helping to boost U.S. exports, foster increased trade ties, and improve commercial linkages between U.S. and Chinese firms.  In the near term, extending visa validity for Chinese business travelers will also help meet the President’s Select USA goal of boosting inward investment into the United States as the U.S. travel and tourism industry commits to making upfront investments in new hotels and other infrastructure in anticipation of a rise in Chinese inbound travel.