You have been assigned as a Junior Ambassador to the Secretary of State in his special visit to the People’s Republic of China. Before you go, you’d like to do some research on the long history of relations between the two nations.
"The Hongs of Canton"
The U.S. and the People’s Republic of China have had a complex and sometimes challenging relationship over the past two hundred years. Many of the most important events that have strengthened diplomatic relations between the two countries have been remembered in the form of special commemorative objects.
This timeline and associated documents below, from the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Reception Rooms, highlight some of the most pivotal moments in this international relationship for your reference.
In 1784, after just becoming a nation, the U.S. sent its first trade mission to China. With the new possibility of trade, souvenirs commemorating this event were created and focused on the bustling port of Canton and the many hongs (the office, warehouse, and living spaces for foreign merchants) that lined the trade routes. These souvenirs were known as “hong bowls”.
Rare Chinese Export Porcelain Hong Punch Bowl, ca. 1780
A Hong Bowl for the 21st Century, 2008
In 2008, the U.S. opened a new Embassy in Beijing to better facilitate our evolving diplomacy after uncertain times in the second half of the twentieth century. The United States and China worked together to recreate this 200-year-old object to reflect our shared past and hopes for the future. The new hong bowl highlights the new embassy in its design and represents the great potential of Chinese and American joint diplomatic efforts.
In 2011 and 2012, Secretary of State Clinton welcomed the President of the People’s Republic of China, as well as the Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, to a U.S. State Luncheon and provided remarks in speeches found here.
You understand that the diplomatic relationships are built on a long history of events and communication between leaders.
Now, think about how you might assist the Secretary of State as a Junior Ambassador in a special diplomatic visit to the People’s Republic of China to meet with a group of fellow junior ambassadors in current day. The Secretary of State has mentioned to you that diplomacy in an art of people communicating, both verbally and non-verbally. The Secretary of State has asked you to consider either designing a bowl or other object to commemorate this special event, or to make remarks at the special event.
Decide which you will choose. Remember if you are designing a bowl/object, to include specific images that represent the Chinese and American diplomatic relationship. If you write a speech, you can submit audio, video or text. You might take a look at the remarks of the 2011 and 2012 luncheons and think about how you might change some change some of these remarks based on your audience of fellow students in China.
Share you work as Junior Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. If you chose to create an object, upload your design of that object, with a short description of why you chose each.