Chinese fine arts luminaries to hit the spotlight at China Institute’s Blue Cloud Gala in New York

Chinese fine arts luminaries to hit the spotlight at China Institute’s Blue Cloud Gala in New York

Chinese fine arts will take pride of place at this year’s Blue Cloud Gala, an annual New York City event organised by the China Institute, the oldest US-based organisation dedicated to promoting US-China cultural ties, The South China Morning Post reports.

Liu Dan, among the most world-renowned living artists in China, is among four individuals to be honoured at the event on November 28. Known for an oeuvre that combines classical techniques of Chinese and Western painting, Liu is featured in collections of the British Museum in London, Musée Guimet in Paris, and the Brooklyn Museum in New York, among other prominent galleries.

Jillian Sackler, who founded the Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology at Peking University, where some of Liu’s works are displayed, will also be honoured for the international “cultural bridges” she has built. For example, a 1993 conference held at the museum was billed as “the first meeting of Eastern and Western archaeologists in decades”.

China Institute’s annual award “represents the traditional Chinese symbol of high virtue and status”, according to the organisation, which was founded in 1926.

Trustees of the organisation include bestselling author Julie Nixon Eisenhower, daughter of former US president Richard Nixon, who paved the way for the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.

Past Blue Cloud honorees include former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, former US ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, renowned pianist Lang Lang and legendary Chinese architect I.M. Pei.

While the China Institute has mixed diplomacy, business ties and culture, the fine arts have been a feature of its programming for decades, having started when Washington and Beijing were as distant ideologically as they ever had been.

As China’s Cultural Revolution was gathering momentum in 1966, the China Institute marked its 40th anniversary with the establishment of its first in-house art gallery, launched with an exhibition of Chinese art from private New York collections.

Connections in the realms of art and culture are more important than ever. Recent friction in the US-China relationship makes the lofty ideals of high art and culture easier to celebrate because they’re not as easily buffeted as other areas of engagement with more direct impact on the people of both countries, such as trade and investment.

The bilateral economic relationship has come under a broad attack from Washington. Against the backdrop of a tit-for-tat trade war started by US President Donald Trump in July, recriminations about China from his administration and lawmakers of both main parties are now an everyday occurrence.

For the first time since Nixon got US-China relations on track, Washington is demanding fundamental changes to Beijing’s major industrial policies.

Trump’s advisers and key lawmakers are pressuring Beijing to end rules that limit market access in China and force foreign companies operating there to transfer intellectual property to local partners. Meanwhile, new rules on foreign investment in the US have been passed to increase scrutiny on Chinese investors.

Beijing has so far offered greater access to certain industries such as financial services. It also has signalled no intention to alter central government policies, both fiscal and regulatory, meant to create indigenous tech industry giants capable of competing with existing global giants such as Apple and Qualcomm.

The result, as former policymakers including former US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson have been warning, may result in a complete undoing of the bilateral relationship, with dire consequences for people on both sides.

“I believe something of deeper significance is happening,” Paulson said last week in a speech delivered at the Asia Society, another member-based, non-profit think tank devoted to cross-cultural understanding.

“We may be moving beyond cyclical ups and downs,” said Paulson, who was a Blue Cloud honoree in 2005. “That is because we are now having to navigate our distinctions and differences at a moment of change, challenge and potentially even of crisis.

“Today, and against this backdrop, we must look warily at the prospect that what, until now, has been a healthy strategic competition, will tip into a full-blown cold war.”

Paulson’s comments reflect a common refrain among organisations working to improve Washington’s relationship with Beijing. An upcoming meeting between Trump and Xi on the sidelines of next week’s G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has not lifted the pessimism. Analysts expect, at most, a reprieve in the bilateral tensions during the meeting.

“The policies and actions of both of our governments are pulling us apart,” Stephen Orlins, president of the National Committee on US-China Relations, said in a keynote address at the organisation’s annual ball in New York last week. Orlins cited China’s market access rules and the inability of US media to operate in the country as examples.

“We must acknowledge that the atmosphere is dark and there are people on both sides of the Pacific that do not like what we do, distort our work, and disagree with our mission to educate people on both sides of the Pacific,” Orlins said.

Like the Asia Society and the National Committee, China Institute works to foster understanding between the two countries, but has been doing this work for much longer.

The organisation played a tangential role in the eventual resolution of the tensions that flared between Washington and the Qing dynasty court more than a century ago. China had demanded the return of money it had overpaid in a settlement with Washington over the loss of American lives and property during the Boxer Rebellion, a violent two-year uprising against foreigners in China that ended in 1901.

Instead of continuing to insist on the return of around US$17 million, China agreed with a US proposal to use the money to begin the Boxer Indemnity Scholarship programme to aid Chinese students coming to the US.

The China Institute was founded with some of the indemnity scholarship funds and in turn financed the American education of some of the more than 1,300 Chinese students who received grants during the programme’s lifetime.

“This is a challenging time for US-China relations,” said China Institute president James Heimowitz. “For the sake of global prosperity and stability, the two most important countries in the world are going to have to identify ways to move forward together.

“The Blue Cloud Gala, which honours visionaries who have contributed to cross-cultural understanding in arts, culture, business, and the humanities, celebrates China Institute’s vital bridge-building work.”

In addition to Liu and Sackler, John Long, founder and CEO of Highridge Partners, and Howard Milstein, president and CEO of New York Private Bank & Trust, will also receive Blue Cloud honours at China Institute’s ceremony.

Long and his family foundation established the University of California Irvine Long Institute, which focuses on “bridging common understanding between US and China in the areas of business, law and society”.

Investments in Georgian Poti Free Industrial Zone diversified by regional countries
Investments in Georgian Poti Free Industrial Zone diversified by regional countries
Big foreign IT companies entering Georgia's market
Big foreign IT companies entering Georgia's market
Georgia sees increase in tangerines export
Georgia sees increase in tangerines export
Loading Bars
Import of rice by Azerbaijan up
Baku Metro opens tender to buy tire connections
French parliament loses ability to be serious partner – Turkish Grand National Assembly
Investments in Georgian Poti Free Industrial Zone diversified by regional countries
Iran's next years budget unlikely to improve economy - Head of Parliament Plan and Budget Commission
Azerbaijan raises value of imports from Lithuania in 10M2020
Big foreign IT companies entering Georgia's market
Azerbaijan's Compulsory Insurance Bureau compensating bankrupted insurer's creditors
Georgia sees increase in tangerines export
Azerbaijan shows video footage from Yanshag village of Kalbajar district (VIDEO)
EDB, KazakhExport to jointly insure exports of insulated cars from Kazakhstan
Georgian Chamber of Commerce working on several projects to help SMEs
Azerbaijan's irrigation company to finance power supply of crop areas
Turkmenistan builts new mosque in Afghanistan's Akina town (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani, Latvian FMs exchange views on current situation in region
International organizations aim to finance road construction and repair in Georgia
Georgia sees increase in imports of dairy products
Azerbaijan unveils 10M2020 railway export operations
EDB to fund investment projects in priority sectors of Kazakhstan Development Bank
Azerbaijani FM receives Belarusian ambassador amid completion of his diplomatic mission (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry delivers diplomatic note to French ambassador
Global debt to hit $200 trillion - S&P Global
Turkmengas opens tender for purchase of general equipment
Ankara honors memory of Azerbaijan's martyrs (PHOTO)
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva: We will never forget Patriotic War martyrs (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan applies Lithuanian company's hotel management system project
“Ural Airlines” to take citizens of the Russian Federation out of Azerbaijan
Serbia to pay off loan received from Azerbaijan for road construction
Turkish export cargo to China to pass through Port of Baku
Uzbekistan Airways resumes flights to Kazakhstan’s Nur-Sultan
SOCAR Ukraine's aviation fuel imports for November
Surge in COVID-19 cases reported at Kazakhstan's Tengiz oil field
Turkish president supports Azerbaijani counterpart’s recommendation to France
SOCAR expands its activities in Ukraine
Iran – UK trade could improve by money transfer facilities
Turkey records more Uzbek companies in 10M2020
Budget of Georgia Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure to be highest
Rostelecom increases capacity of Uzbektelecom's access to Russian segment of Internet
Central Bank of Azerbaijan eyes to raise funds on Bloomberg trading platform
Azerbaijan was rooting for us – National gymnastics team member (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan ramps up goods exports via stationary transport
UAE’s activity on Turkmenistan’s exchange in November
Azerbaijan confirms 4,267 new COVID-19 cases, 2,566 recoveries
Kazakhstan Development Bank to co-op to promote EAEU integration
Karabakh to become ecotourism center of regional importance - Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Azerbaijan
Oil moves up towards $50/bbl after OPEC+ supply compromise
Number of COVID-19 infections in Russia increases by 27,403 in 24 hours
Turkish minister to get acquainted with construction progress of Kars logistics center
International law firms enter Georgian market
EU urges countries to keep COVID in check over festive season
Baku cathedral parishioners honor memory of martyrs of Azerbaijan's Patriotic War (PHOTO)
Bank of Israel intervenes in foreign exchange market
Turkey, Iran commemorating Azerbaijani martyrs of Patriotic War
Uzbekistan’s volume of media market up in 2021
Kazakhstan, Russia agree on steps to expand co-op in geology
Iran-Iraq Joint Trade Commission to be established soon
Karabakh can become leading IT Hub in South Caucasus, says Azerbaijani analyst
Kazakhstan to launch manufacturing of Russian anti-COVID vaccine before year-end
Ganja honors memory of martyrs of Azerbaijan's Patriotic War (PHOTO)
Substantial NATO-Georgia Package updated at meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs
Belonging of Nagorno-Karabakh region determined upon relevant UN Security Council’s resolutions - press secretary of Russian president
UNHCR reveals details of joint meeting with Turkmenistan to end statelessness
Kazakhstan ups trade with Turkey for 10M2020
EBRD reduces its equity stake in Georgian TBC Bank
TAP to hold market test to double capacity
Second Karabakh war - brightest page in national memory of Azerbaijan, says Russian cleric
Azerbaijan presents musical composition commemorating martyrs of Patriotic War (VIDEO)
Amnesty International unveils photo proof of Armenian-inflicted damage in liberated Kalbajar (PHOTO)
Iran to increase revenue by development of gas transmission
Energy Commission of Iranian Chamber of Commerce discusses oil revenue forecast
9 Azerbaijani gymnasts return from European Championships with medals - head coach
Ukraine to continue supporting Azerbaijan's territorial integrity
Mountain Jewish Community honors memory of martyrs of Azerbaijan’s Patriotic War (PHOTO)
UNHCR talks cooperation with Turkmenistan on fight against statelessness
ENI to support activities of center to develop oil&gas engineering in Kazakhstan
Beeline mobile operator working in Khankendi city - fake news, Russian web portal says
Azerbaijan Banks Association to develop digital payment ecosystem
Trade takes up largest share in total turnover of Georgian business sector
Uzbekistan considers production of Bentley electric vehicles
Iran's Minister of Petroleum discusses OPEC+ meetings
Kazakhstan more than doubles petroleum oil exports to Croatia
Caspian Drilling Company updates on Satti rig upgrade
Gold price in Azerbaijan up
Kazakhstan, Austria trade turnover down year-on-year
Turkmenistan exploring possibility of producing cement from local raw materials
Turkmenistan working to maintain technical condition of gas pipelines
OPEC+ decision: Oil glut could be hitting the market soon
Georgia hits record high COVID-19 daily cases
Azerbaijan Banks Association implementing new banking services project
Georgia plans to subsidize the interest on leasing for event companies
Georgian business sector shows downward trend in production
German industrial orders rise more than expected in October
Azerbaijan launches joint ATM network of commercial banks
Clients of closed banks in Azerbaijan continue receiving compensations
Kazakhstan doubles exports to Croatia despite COVID-19 pandemic
Any threats against Azerbaijan's territorial integrity must be averted, Erdogan tells Rouhani
Azerbaijan commemorates bright memory of martyrs with minute of silence (VIDEO)
President Ilham Aliyev, first lady Mehriban Aliyeva pay tribute to Azerbaijani martyrs (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Kazakhstan launches electricity production project in its Mangystau region
FAO supports innovation in Uzbekistan’s silk industry
All news