The ICAS Bulletin
Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.
His Excellency ZHAOXING LI
Ambassador of the People's Republic of China
to the United States
to speak on
Hub for Humanity and Peace in the New Century
ICAS Spring Symposium & ICAS Dinner
Humanity, Economy and Technology
May 1, 2000 Monday
University of Pennsylvania
We are pleased to share with you that His Excellency Zhaoxing Li, Ambassador
of the People's Republic of China to the United States will deliver a keynote
speech, "China: Hub for Humanity and Peace in the New Century", at
the ICAS Spring Symposium & ICAS Liberty Award Dinner
on May 1, 2000. Other keynote speakers include: Robert
Cook-Deegan, David Farber, Lawrence R Klein, Jerome J Shestack, C Sarah Soh,
and William Wolman.
Ambassador Zhaoxing Li was born in Shangdong Province, the hometown of
Confucius. He graduated with honors from the prestigious Beijing University
with a major in Western Languages and Literature. Later he obtained his MA at
Beijing Foreign Studies University, formerly known as Beijing Foreign Languages
Institute, a cradle of Chinese diplomats.
As a senior diplomat, the Ambassador began his diplomatic career in Africa.
During the 1970's, he spent seven years in Kenya. In the 1980's, he was assigned
as First Secretary and charge d'affaires a.i. of the Chinese Embassy in the
Kingdom of Lesotho. He laid a firm foundation for the relations between the
two countries during the two years when he was charged with the responsibility
of establishing the Chinese Embassy there. From 1990 to 1993, he visited 33
African and Middle East countries when he was the assistant foreign minister
in charge of that region.
Ambassador Li is also an expert on multilateral affairs. From 1993 to 1995,
he was the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations. As the representative of
Chin --one of the permanent members of the Security Council, Ambassador Li
played a unique and important role in the world's most important international
organization by helping maintain the world peace, and prevent and mediate in
regional conflicts. During these two years, Ambassador Li built a profound
friendship with then Ambassador Madeline Albright as colleagues. He had twice
assumed the role of the Chairman of the Security Council. He directly
participated in the re-democratization of Haiti, and was involved in many
rounds of negotiations with the then Haitian president. Representing China,
he had delivered around 300 key speeches on crucial issues concerning Iraq,
Somalia, Burundi, Rwanda, Cyprus, and Central Asia, as well as issues on arms
control, climatic change and human rights. In the conference room of the
Security Council, the "Li Bell" named after Ambassador Li is still
in use to remind people of being punctual at meetings.
From May 1995 to March 1998, Ambassador Li was serving as the vice foreign
minister in charge of the China-U.S. relations, the United Nations and
international legal affairs. He personally experienced the ups and downs of
the Sino-U.S. relations from 1995 to 1997. During that period, he had led
delegations to the United States many times for political consultations with
the U.S. government, and attended the four summit meetings between President
Zemin Jiang and President Clinton in the last four years. He ahs been a
witness of the process in which Sino-U.S. relations have evolved from a low
point to the current steady improvement and development.
Ambassador Li's U.N. background also brought him many titles and responsibilities.
He had been the Deputy Director of the China Organizing Committee and the Deputy Head
of the Chinese delegation to the Fourth United Nations Conference on Women.
As the only male leading official representing China at this conference, he had
played a very positive and unique role in organizing and convening this most
widely represented conference in the U.N. history. Ambassador Li had also
been the Deputy Head of the Chinese delegation to the 48th and 49th
U.N. General Assembly, and the consultant to the 50th, 51st
and 52nd General Assemblies. Ambassador Li had also been a leading
member representing at the First Asian-European Meeting, three times at APEC's
Ministerial Meeting. Ambassador Li had assumed leading roles as vice
chairman in the China Committees of more than ten international organizations,
such as UNESCO, the Framework Convention of Climate Change, the International
Convention of Anti-Desertification, the Chemical Weapon Ban Treaty, the South
Pole Committee, and the International Environmental Cooperation Committee.
He had also been the Deputy Director of the Organizing Committee of the World
Gardening Exposition, and the member of the National Anti-Drug Committee.
In his leading posts, Ambassador Li had represented China in many presidential
inaugurations as the special envoy of the Chinese government in countries
such as Argentina and Ecuador, and led Chinese delegations to visit 101
countries in five continents.
Ambassador Li was also a nationally renowned spokesman of the foreign ministry.
From 1985 to 1990, he had been the ministry's spokesman while concurrently serving
as Deputy Director General and later Director General of the Information Department.
Even today, there are still many Chinese calling him Spokesman. He has
a lot of journalists friends, and is always willing and happy to meet journalists.
Ambassador Li is also a literature enthusiast. During his college years, he
was an adorer of Shakespeare. If he had not chosen foreign service as his
life-time profession, he could have well become an expert in Shakespeare. He
is now the honorary chairman of the Chinese Shakespeare Society, and the guest
professor of Beijing University and Nankai University. Ambassador Li is also
a scholar of good literary attainments. His first essay appeared in literature
journals in Shanghai when he was only a teenager. The most widely read
newspaper, the People's Daily, published his articles in as early as
1960's, and he has since been writing poems and essays for many Chinese
newspapers and journals. His writings include many articles on human rights,
and literary comments on the artistic styles of the American writer Mark Twain,
the British writer Fielding, and the Russian writer Turgeniev.
Sang Joo Kim / signed
Sr. Fellow & Executive Vice President