Second-generation Chinese Americans can play a bigger role in boosting cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the United States and China, Deputy Mayor Liang Chao of Cupertino city in Silicon Valley said Tuesday.
The second-generation Chinese Americans know about China better than their peers from other ethnic groups because their parents often told them about history and culture of the country where their parents came from, Chao said.
These children are in a better position to bring together the American and Chinese people as they have a unique and special value of Chinese heritage inherited from their ancestors, Chao explained.
Chao's remarks were echoed by a group of elected Chinese American officials in several cities in the San Francisco Bay Area, who met Tuesday for a New Year event in San Mateo city, Northern California.
The elected local U.S. officials shared their experience in their involvement in American political life including their campaigns for public office, their efforts to speak out for the Chinese community, as well as their commitment to working for better China-U.S. relations with a host of overseas Chinese organizations and representatives of youngsters from overseas Chinese families.
Chao said she hoped the younger generation would become more integrated in the U.S. mainstream society and break the glass ceiling to seek a more ambitious political career, like in a higher-ranking office or even in Congress, when they grow up.
The more they are represented in U.S. politics, the more opportunities for them to have to enable a better U.S.-China relationship, Chao added.
Yang Shao, who was elected a council member of Fremont city in the San Francisco Bay Area in November last year, said that as an elected official representing Chinese Americans, he can work as a channel of communication that helps him share Chinese history and cultural backgrounds with other ethnic groups in the community, so that both sides can understand each other better.
"We can be a peace maker in that process," he said.
He noted that the current tension between China and the United States will impact all Chinese Americans, whether they came from Chinese mainland, Hong Kong or Taiwan.
Shao voiced the commitment to go lobbying with officials at state or federal level, with a hope that U.S. officials will work out a solution to end the tension with China in a peaceful way.