Although the Chinese American community has always strived to be good citizens, history has shown that they have not been treated fairly and need to let their Congressional leaders know that their service to our country needs to be recognized. Like many minorities, Chinese Americans overcame discrimination to serve their country bravely and honorably and we need to encourage the Congress to act favorably on this proposal to commemorate the service of these Chinese American veterans.
China Insight hopes that your summer has been an enjoyable and fulfilling one. It is good to reconnect with you after our summer hiatus to recharge ourselves.
This month, I am departing from my typical pronouncements and instead will focus on the article written by Bill Chen ( page 6) regarding the Congressional Gold Medal for WWII Chinese American Veterans. We strongly encourage you to read the article and to get actively involved in getting the proposed bills passed by Congress. As noted in the article, the genesis for the Gold Medal was initiated by the Chinese American Citizens Alliance (CACA), which can be tracked at their dedicated website https://caww2.org/. CACA is the lead organization spearheading this effort and as we go to press, will be discussing this effort at their 54th Biennial National Convention being held in Chicago, Aug. 30-Sept. 2.
China Insight normally does not undertake nor sponsor any kind of causes, but is making an exception since we feel this is a no-brainer, non-partisan recognition that has been earned by Chinese Americans who served gallantly in World War II, which Bill Chen so eloquently presented in his article. Although the Chinese American community has always strived to be good citizens, history has shown that they have not been treated fairly and need to let their Congressional leaders know that their service to our country needs to be recognized. Like many minorities, Chinese Americans overcame discrimination to serve their country bravely and honorably, and we need to encourage Congress to act favorably and swiftly on this proposal to commemorate the service of these Chinese American veterans.
To assist you in contacting our Congressional leaders, we have drafted a suggested letter (below) that can be sent to members of Congress (or use it as cover for a petition) to ask for their support of this legislation (Letter also can be downloaded from www.chinainsight.info.). Please feel free to revise the suggested letter to suit your own needs/style. But please make sure you sign it () before you send it.
In Minnesota, we have secured the support of Sen. Al Franken, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Representative Betty McCollum, and we still have a ways to go. To track the progress of the Congressional bills, we have listed the following websites:
Senate Bill 1050: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1050/cosponsors
While we hope all Minnesotans of Chinese American descent will do their part, our success will need the support of everyone throughout the country, so we are also including a website where you can contact your Congressional members of your state at:
We also encourage the leaders of all Chinese American organizations throughout the country to reach out to their members to get them involved in getting this legislation passed. These bills have been proposed, but need their Congressional representatives to vote their support.
While we expect the Chinese American community to lobby for this proposed legislation, we welcome participation from all Americans since a Congressional Gold Medal for WWII Chinese American Veterans would be appropriate in light of the racial unrest now being experienced in the country.
China Insight intends to use whatever resources it has available to get the Congressional Gold Medal approved. We will be reaching out to the newspapers and other media to publicize the effort. If you have any contacts or other suggestions, please contact me. It would also be extremely helpful if we can locate a living Chinese American WWII veteran so his/her story could be shared.
Our website, www.chinainsight.info, has been revamped so you can easily monitor the progress of this project.
As, always, thank you for your support and we hope you will get involved with the Congressional Gold Medal for WWII Chinese American Veterans initiative.
Gregory J. Hugh
The Minneapolis-based Chinese Heritage Foundation’s commission “Dream of the Red Chamber” by San Francisco Opera will be touring the People’s Republic of China this month. The tour will include two performances each in three Chinese cities:
Sept. 8 & 9 in Beijing’s Poly Theatre
Sept. 15 & 16 in Changsha. The two performances are part of the grand opening of the Meixihu International Culture and Arts Centre Grand Theatre, one of the last projects designed by the late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid
Sept. 22 & 23 in Wuhan’s Qintai Grand Theatre
The “Dream of the Red Chamber” performances will be conducted by Bright Sheng, marking the composer’s first time conducting his opera. In Beijing, Sheng will lead the Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra; in Changsha and Wuhan, he will be joined in the pit by the Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra. The Chorus of the State Opera of Dnipro, Ukraine, will sing at each performance. “Dream of the Red Chamber” will be presented in the original production by acclaimed Taiwanese director Stan Lai and Oscar-winning Chinese designer Tim Yip. Performances will be by the original world premiere cast members.
San Francisco Opera General Director Matthew Shilvock said, “Dream of the Red Chamber” had a profound impact in connecting San Francisco Opera to its broader Bay Area community ... I couldn’t be more proud that San Francisco Opera was the birthplace of a work that speaks so powerfully to such a broad audience.”
“Dream” played to capacity crowds at its world premiere at San Francisco Opera’s War Memorial Opera House last September 10 and at the 45th Hong Kong Arts Festival in March 2017. The San Francisco Chronicle hailed the opera’s “series of tautly constructed scenes that reveal the canniness of Sheng’s compositional strategy — in particular, his skill in crafting an operatic language that is a hybrid of Chinese and Western traditions.”
Adapted from Cao Xueqin’s lengthy 18th-century novel, the opera focuses on the illustrious Jia clan and the love triangle of Bao Yu, the young Jia heir, with two very different women: Dai Yu, his soulmate, and Bao Chai, a worldly beauty. The Jia family’s future and union between Bao Yu and Dai Yu are jeopardized when the emperor rejects Princess Jia as his favored concubine. Framed by a dreamlike prologue and epilogue,”Dream” relates the poetry and sadness of the original Chinese tale as a lush and lyrical 21st–century opera.
The opera first took root when Pearl Bergad, executive director of the Minneapolis-based Chinese Heritage Foundation, approached former San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley in 2013 about producing an opera based on the classic novel by the same name catering to non-Chinese speaking audiences. The tour performances will be sung in English with subtitles in both English and Chinese.
By Greg Hugh
Although only 17 years old, Andrew Moy has been performing in local theater since he was 8 years old. Moy is now starring in his 10th play at the Stages Theatre in Hopkins. “Shrek the Musical” is a rousing fairy tale adventure of an ogre-turned-unlikely-hero who galumphs onto the main stage. This Tony Award-winning musical is based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film. A wise-cracking donkey, a feisty princess, a short-tempered villain, a cookie with an attitude and dozens of fairy tale misfits stir up the kind of muddled mayhem that calls for a real hero. Fortunately, Shrek is on his way!
[Editor’s note: Vivian Wei Wu is a leading investigative reporter and new media studies scholar in China. Currently, she is the International Cooperation Director for Initium Media, a Hong Kong-based news, features and data journalism website and app. Prior to moving to New York City in August 2016 for a Political Science graduate program at the New School, Wu was the chief content director for China News at Initium Media in Beijing. Wu has more than 15 years of experience working in newspapers, magazines, TV and digital media. Among many other posts, she was editorial director at the celebrity magazine Portrait in China; media and legal reporter at the South China Morning Post Beijing Bureau for six years; and content supervisor at CCTV-6 for four years. She has won a great number of journalism awards in Hong Kong and Asia.
Wu has published hundreds of investigative reports, most notably reports on corruption, the crackdown on civil rights lawyers, food and drug safety, and environmental pollution. Because of her truthful reporting, she has been harassed by authorities on numerous occasions.
China Insight recently interviewed Wu via emails where she reflected on her career and her choice to be an investigative reporter, a highly dangerous profession in China.
The subject of Pat Hui’s recent annual art exhibit held at the studio she shares with her partner Paul Kwok at the Traffic Zone Gallery in Minneapolis, was “Su Shi, (Dong Po) 1037-1101,” Su was one of China’s most celebrated poet, essayist and calligrapher. “For the past 60 years, I have collected copies of the calligraphy scripts and copied his style of writing,” stated Hui. In the past 35 years, she has formed her own style of incorporating poetry, painting and calligraphy: The Three Perfections. All the works in Hui’s exhibition were organized to commemorate the 980th birth year of Su Shi, aka Su Dong Po. It features works such as the immortal works of the “Red Cliff” poem I and II, the Cold Food Festival script and many others.
According to multiple resources such as Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia, references used in this article, it has been documented that Su emerged as one of the most prominent poets in Chinese history amidst the political bickering of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). Su, also known as Su Dong Po, has since become renowned for his warm, detail-oriented poetry that has inspired Chinese through the ages.