Jonathan Krane and Other Prominent Speakers Promote the 100,000 Strong Foundation to Chinese Business Leaders
NEW YORK April 16, 2015 – Jonathan Krane, Chief Executive Officer of KraneShares, a New York based China-focused exchange traded fund provider, spoke on Thursday before the Shanghai Jiaotong University Global CEOs delegation at the Asia Society. Utah State Senator Howard A. Stephenson and former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd joined him. The event was organized by the 100k Strong Foundation– a group that has been endorsed by both President Obama and Xi Jingping – the leader of China. The goal of the foundation is to increase Chinese language education in the United States and improve cultural understanding between the two nations.
Jonathan Krane, who serves on the advisory council for the 100,000 Strong Foundation, spoke about moving to China in 2004 to experience the country’s opening up first hand. He talked about founding a media and entertainment company in China before the 2008 Olympics and how his company grew rapidly to 200 employees across 5 cities. He said the key to his success in China was building trust, win-win relationships, and communication with his partners.
Mr. Krane also spoke about how increased investment between the U.S. and China has the potential to unite both societies. Mr. Krane concluded his speech by stating he believes the affiliation between the U.S. and China is the most important relationship of the 21st century. Further adding that non-profit organizations like the 100k Strong Foundation need support from smart, caring, like-minded business people from both countries to ensure the health of this relationship.
Jonathan Krane’s address was followed by a speech from Utah State Senator Howard A. Stephenson. Mr. Stephenson outlined a highly successful statewide program he initiated in Utah that brought Chinese-language immersion programs to public schools in the state. Through the program, native-speakers from China teach Utah elementary school students in Chinese for three hours a day. According to Mr. Stephenson’s data the program is getting outstanding results. The state of Utah, with just 1% of the U.S. population, now has 30% of the country’s population who speaks Chinese as a second language.
The final surprise speaker at the event was former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Mr. Rudd’s surprise entrance to the event was met with a flurry of camera shutters and exclamations by the Chinese delegation. He delivered his speech in perfectly fluent Mandarin that had the audience glued to his every word. Mr. Rudd emphasized the importance of learning the Chinese language for international relations and credited his 30 years of studying Mandarin with his ability to strengthen ties between Australia and China.
Mr. Rudd moved to New York City in 2014 to head up the Asia Society Policy Institute. He is also rumored to be seeking a position as the Secretary General of the United Nations.
The event succeeded in educating the delegation of prominent CEOs from China about the importance of non-profit organizations like the 100k Strong Foundation. There was an optimistic sentiment between both the American and Chinese attendees that the future of greater cultural exchange between the U.S. and China will be very bright.