China-US / Chinese Community Leaders

Houston consulate marks Lunar New Year

By MAY ZHOU in Houston (China Daily USA) Updated: 2015-02-16 23:35

Houston consulate marks Lunar New Year

Chinese Consul Genreal Li Qiangmin in Houston addresses the more than 400 guests at a Chinese New Year reception on Feb 13. From left: Nicolas Papp, regional director of Office of the Foreign Mission of the US Department of State; Dawn Lin, representing Congressman Al Green. [Photo by MAY ZHOU / CHINA DAILY]

More than 400 people joined host Chinese Consul General in Houston Li Qiangmin to celebrate the Chinese New Year at reception on Feb 13.

While attendees were primarily comprised of Chinese people, Nicolas Papp, regional director of the Office of the Foreign Mission of the US Department of State, and representatives of local governmental officials were also there.

Papp surprised Li by presenting him a red envelop first, joking to the guests: “I know he’s very embarrassed about that.”

On behalf of President Obama and State Secretary John Kerry, Papp wished everyone peace, prosperity and good health. “We will continue to work together to deepen our relations with the Houston Chinese community and the Chinese Consulate General,” Papp said.

Li said he believe the coming year will be a splendid one for China-US relations with President Xi’s upcoming visit in September.

“In the past year, 158 Chinese-owned companies made $16 billion in investment in the southern US, the number of Chinese students reached over 80,000, and the Consulate General issued 91,000 visas with an increase rate of 7 percent. We expect an even better 2015,” said Li.

Zhang Yiqin, board chair of the Chinese Civic Center, thanked Li and the Consulate General for bringing various services to the community, said she appreciated the yearly CNY reception because it “provides the atmosphere of Spring Festival and makes us feel back at home”.

Chi-Mei Lin, executive director of the Chinese Community Center expressed her appreciation for the Chinese Consulate’s support in culture and education activities in the past year. “It’s with the support of the Consulate that we are able to take root overseas,” said Lin.

Qiao Fengxiang, president of the Houston chapter of the National Association of Chinese Americans (NACA), said that as an organization of over 30 years, NACA was involved in arranging Deng Xiaoping’s first visit to the US.

“The older generations of Chinese compatriots have always felt the warmth from our motherland,” said Qiao.

James Chen, Asia/Pacific director of the state's economic development and tourism division, Luo Ling, and Dawn Lin, representing respectively Texas Governor Gregg Abott, Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee, and Congressman Al Green, brought well wishes and congratulations on their bosses’ behalf. Local officials including Mayor Annise Parker sent greeting letters.


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