International Symposium on Global Chinese Philanthropy

An International Symposium on Global Chinese Philanthropy was held online via Zoom from 20 March 2021 to 21 March 2021.

The two-day symposium was hosted by Asia Pacific Center (APC) and UCLA International Institute, together with co-organiser Long U.S.-China Institute and UC Irvine (UCI), and co-sponsors Huamin Research Center, Rutgers University; Center for Chinese Entrepreneur Studies (CCES), Tsinghua University, China; Academy of Overseas Chinese Studies, Jinan University (JNU), China; Sociology Department, Zhejiang University (ZJU), China; Contemporary China Research Cluster, Faculty of Social Sciences, The University of Hong Kong (HKU); Chinese Heritage Centre, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore; and UTAR Tun Tan Cheng Lock Centre for Social and Policy Studies.

The symposium aimed to disseminate empirical knowledge to advance public awareness and understanding of philanthropy given by people of Chinese descent in the United States and around the world. It examined the role played by global Chinese philanthropy in the Chinese homeland, the greater Chinese diaspora, and countries of Chinese migrant resettlement around the world, with a particular focus on times of crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

  Cindy Fan delivering her welcome remark

The opening session was chaired by Assoc Prof Emily Baum

The symposium commenced with a welcome remark by UCLA Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement Cindy Fan, followed by a launch of China Nonprofit Review special issue on "Promoting Research on Global Chinese Philanthropy''. The symposium then continued with a presentation by President of the Committee of 100 Zhengyu Huang on the extraordinary contributions of Chinese Americans to American society and an interview with Chinese American philanthropist Shirley Wang.

The symposium featured research presentations by speakers from the United States, Asia, Europe and Africa who covered an array of issues related to Chinese and diasporic Chinese donors and their impacts, including the environment and goals of philanthropy in different regions, comparative philanthropy in China and Chinese diasporas, global Chinese entrepreneurship and philanthropy, and methodological issues such as research design, data collection and digital archives.

It also saw a roundtable discussion on “Future Research on Global Chinese Philanthropy”. The session was chaired and moderated by Marina Tan Harper, Senior Director for International Development of UC Davis. The panellists included UCLA Director of Asia Pacific Center Prof Min Zhou, UCI Long US-China Institute Director Assoc Prof Emily Baum, HKU Director of the Contemporary China Research Cluster Eric Fong, JNU Vice Dean of the School of International Studies/Academy of Overseas Chinese Studies Assoc Prof Dai Fan, NTU Chinese Heritage Centre Director Assoc Prof Cheun Hoe Yow,? Rutgers University’s Huamin Research Center Director Chien-Chung Huang, Tsinghua University Center for Chinese Entrepreneur Studies Deputy Director Lucy Xing, UTAR Tun Tan Cheng Lock Centre for Social and Policy Studies Assoc Prof Dr Chin Yee Mun and ZJU Department of Sociology Assoc Prof Qiang Ren.

Prof Min Zhou during the closing session

In her closing remarks, Prof Min Zhou said, “We have had an intellectually stimulating and successful two-day conference with four academic panels and a roundtable discussion. During the four academic panels, we have heard 17 research presentations by scholars from the United States, China, Malaysia, Africa and Europe.”

She added, “Some of the papers are completed and some are in progress. I am hoping that you will share your papers in our centre’s working paper series, which are posted on eScholarship. eScholarship is an open access publishing platform subsidised by the University of California and managed by the California Digital Library. Posting your paper in our working paper series does not negatively affect your future publication in journals or edited books, rather it will help to disseminate your research and yield greater impacts.”

“As global Chinese philanthropy is an emerging and exciting field, we hope that more scholars and higher education institutions in China, the United States, Asia, and elsewhere around the world will join forces to contribute to the further development of the field. We have work to do and this work is exciting,” she said. She thanked all the organisers, partners, staff and students for making the symposium a success.

Dr Chin was one of the panellists in the roundtable discussion of the symposium

Mr Kenneth Lee present UTAR teams findings