Truth Is My Sword Volume I - Collected Speeches in the Public Arena

by Bo Hi Pak

All-China Photographic Exhibition

July 6, 1992

In the following speech, Dr. Pak introduces an exhibit of photography from China, the fruit of long years of contact with Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. These remarks were given by Dr. Pak at the opening reception of the All-China Photographic Exhibition, July 6, 1992, in the Galleria at Lafayette Centre in Washington, D.C. The delegation leader was Mr. Yang Shaoming, son of the President of the People's Republic of China.

Ambassador Zhu Qizhen and Mrs. Zhu, Mr. Yang Shaoming and his distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of the sponsors of this exhibit-Panda Motors (China) Corporation, the Summit Council for World Peace, and the World Media Association-I welcome you to the official opening of the All-China Photographic Exhibition.

Tonight we are gathered to witness the very best that the People's Republic of China has to offer in the photographic arts. This collection of photos, which is now in the second city of its premier U.S.A. tour, will bring much that is culturally enriching to all Americans.

China is important to everyone, not only because they are one-quarter of the world's population, but also because their recorded history predates nearly all others. We have all learned from your great culture. In the classroom of civilization, China is the world's first professor.

In addition, this tour is historic as well because it represents the first time that all of China-including the Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao-have gone abroad together for the higher purpose of serving as ambassadors of culture and peace.

You are coming as a healing force, both within your own nation and for the world. All of you ladies and gentlemen present tonight are witnesses to the dawn of a new future of goodwill.

Many of our guests in the Chinese delegation are visiting the United States for the first time. This is especially gratifying for those of us who love and appreciate the immense beauty and great variety of America, because, when we have first-time visitors, we have an opportunity to rediscover our own country through their fresh vision by sharing the joy of their experience.

And when those fresh new eyes are the eyes of some of the most talented photographers in the world, well, the result is splendid indeed and most satisfying for those whose pleasure it is to be their hosts and companions.

It is said that a person's eyes are a window through which we may view his soul. So, likewise, does a photographic exhibit of this quality offer Americans a window into the soul of the Chinese people.

For this special honor we must offer our thanks to Mr. Yang Shaoming for bringing this delegation together, for organizing all his talented colleagues and making it happen. Mr. Yang, we are in your debt. Let us show him our sincere appreciation with our applause.

Mr. Yang is the best person to bring such an event as this together because he is, foremost, a truly great and recognized artist. One of the finest photographers anywhere in the world, he is uniquely qualified and commands the respect necessary to gather together the very best photographers of China.

At this time, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Ambassador and Mrs. Zhu, Minister Zhao and Cultural Counselor Sun, and the truly dedicated and capable embassy staff who have worked so diligently alongside the sponsoring hosts in America to secure the success of this event.

Ambassador Zhu has brought to his post exactly the right touch that is needed at this sensitive time. His diplomatic temperament, his experience, and his personal style of calm firmness and great charm make him exactly the right emissary to help navigate the great ship of China through the uncharted waters of today's political climate.

As long as Ambassador Zhu is on duty, I feel secure that relations between China and the U.S. have the best possible chance for success that we could ever hope for. Let us offer our warm and sincere applause to Ambassador Zhu.

The delegation's visit here has been brief, but I think we can agree that it has been enjoyable and productive. Our dear guests, you are leaving Washington tomorrow so you will not be able to personally receive the words of praise and congratulations from the many visitors who will see this exhibit over the course of the next week. But this exhibit will go a long way toward cementing relations between the U.S. and the Chinese people.

You can be assured that your artistic efforts are appreciated and that they are advancing the cause of international harmony on so many different levels.

Thank you very much.

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