About Us > Penn & China > News
About 2009-10 Board 2010-11 Board Penn & China Club Records News
2009 Election
Amy Gutman Hoopes Wampler Jon Huntsman Evans A. Gutmann 12-2009
Alumni Relations 03-10 A. Gutmann 03-2010 Amb. Huntsman 03-09-2010
A. Gutmann 11-2010 A. Gutmann, V. Price 02-2011 Amy Gutmann 09-2011 CLINTON
Andy
We are happy to provide Ambassador Huntsman*s speech at the embassy as well as photos from this exciting and special evening.

Remarks by Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.
U.S. Ambassador to the People*s Republic of China
Reception for the University of Pennsylvania
U.S. Embassy, Beijing, China
March 9, 2010

AMBASSADOR HUNTSMAN: (In Chinese) We welcome our Chinese friends to the U.S. Embassy tonight. This is a very big, lively place. I*d like to welcome all Penn friends. Regardless of where you are from, tonight this is your home.

(In English) We welcome everybody tonight. We*ve got so many friends, new and old, in the crowd. Welcome to the U.S. Embassy. This is probably the finest that the United States has, this building, second only to what we have in Baghdad, far away in terms of size. [Laughter.] I like to say that*s big for all the wrong reasons; this is big for all the right reasons. [Applause.]

I want to thank Susan. Susan Stevenson, who was just up here, is a proud Penn alum. She is the spokesperson for the Embassy. So when you have a Penn person who regularly puts his foot in his mouth, it takes a really good Penn person basically to take it out and to correct the record, and Susan does that brilliantly.

We have so many special people here tonight. And we*re all here to see Dr. Amy Gutmann. You know, we had the President of the United States right here a few months ago, and we had a pretty good crowd. Yesterday, I had Colin Powell here. He had a pretty good crowd. Tonight, Amy Gutmann, we have a record crowd for Dr. Gutmann. [Applause.]

But I*m particularly delighted that my Dad*s here, who just flew in and walked in. He*s never been here before. In fact, he*s never been able to visit his family living in China. This is a first for him. So not only are we giving him a little bit of Embassy hospitality and family hospitality, but he gets to see and feel the Penn hospitality as well. I hope you give him a big hand because he*s done so much#. [Applause.]

Let me just say this before we bring Amy up, because I know she*s the one that you really want to hear from. And I know how proud Penn is because of all of its firsts, and we have some wonderful deans here from Business, Law and Dentistry. I wish I could say that I were the first to serve in this position from Penn, but I*m not. We had a guy here who I pointed out to Amy earlier. His name was Thomas Gates, and he took the place of George Bush, Sr., who served here as Ambassador back in the 1970s. Thomas Gates was Secretary of Defense in the United States from 1959 to 1961. Then he came here to serve as Ambassador in 1975. Class of Penn of 1928. Susan didn*t know that, but I*m telling her now. More importantly, and to our great President who was here, Thomas Gates, Jr.*s Dad was Thomas Gates, Sr., the President of the University of Pennsylvania. The first President, 1930-1944. So this position I think exudes a little bit of spirit for the University of Pennsylvania.

But I*m going to take you back even further to the beginning of the U.S.-China relationship, and it*s an interesting little twist and turn here. You*ll have to bear with me for a second, but there was another Penn alum by the name of William Henry Harrison 每 he was a student in the 1790*s at Penn. He was the ninth President of the United States. He*d been an Ambassador himself before that, and even a Senator. On Inauguration Day in 1845, he spoke way too long, which I*m not going to do tonight. In fact, he spoke 1800 words of an inaugural speech. (Even Daniel Webster, his good friend, couldn*t edit it down to size.) And he died 32 days later from pneumonia because he spoke too long on the steps of the Capitol. Another great Penn alum.

But more importantly, his Vice President 每 a guy by the name of John Tyler 每 became the 10th President of the United States, thereby creating a great debate about succession in the Constitution and resulted in -- it must have been the 25th Amendment, those of you who are Constitutional scholars 每 the 25th Amendment sorting it all out for the United States. John Tyler becomes President, and the two issues of the day back in 1845 are (1) what to do about the Republic of Texas, so he brought Texas into the United States. Issue #2 is what to do about China, because the British had negotiated the Treaty of Nanjing after the end of the Opium War, which gave the British access to five major ports in China. And the United States couldn*t compete. So John Tyler, having been named to his position by a Penn man, appointed the first U.S. Ambassador to China 每 a guy by the name of Caleb Cushing 每 who negotiated the Treaty of Wangsha, which allowed the United States to finally reach parity with the United Kingdom in terms of access to China.

I think back to the first Ambassador to China and now the person who*s serving here now 每 lucky enough to serve now 每 and I say, Penn has played a pretty central role all along, right from the very, very beginning.

Rest assured that this is a country that is on the move, and all of you know that who are deeply invested, either with China as a home or China as a business destination. And the U.S.-China relationship 每 you know, some would say it*s a little sweet and sour sometimes. But I would tell you that it*s a lot more sweet than sour, even though some would argue the point today.

But let me just tell you in conclusion the most important thing we all could be doing, because Penn has its roots here going all the way back to 1915, when the first Penn Club was in Shanghai. And ever since then you*ve built up some great relationships, all the 12 schools on campus, with 36 institutions of higher learning here in China. The most important investment we make in the U.S.-China relationship is in people. We never talk about that part. We talk about Taiwan, we talk about Tibet, we talk about Iran, we talk about North Korea. We talk about energy efficiency, we talk about security in the Asia Pacific region. We don*t talk enough about people going back and forth.

And the greatest investment that is being made in the U.S.-China relationship is being made by Amy Gutmann and the deans that are here investing in people. Because when someone has the chance to go to Penn, like you have, you come here to China and you never forget that experience. It lasts with you forever. And if there*s one thing that*s going to change the nature of the U.S.-China relationship and therefore the world longer term, it*s going to be all of us investing in exactly what we*re here to celebrate tonight.

So Amy, on behalf of Susan and Erica Thomas who*s here, who*s another Penn grad, and -- where*s Prashant? -- Prashant back here, another Penn grad. And I don*t know if President Xu Xinming is still here, the President of Shandong University which is close to the home of Confucius.

It is now my great honor and privilege, speaking of philosophers, to give you Dr. Amy Gutmann. She needs no introduction. It*s a little like introducing Colin Powell yesterday. He doesn*t need an introduction; everyone knows who he is. Suffice it to say she*s a dynamo and she has put Penn on the map. It*s an honor to have her in China the next few days. She*s going to leave a legacy like few people ever could. Please give a big hand to Dr. Amy Gutmann.