I am delighted to join you at the First Commencement of the Tianjin Conservatory of Music Juilliard Graduate School. Congratulations on your collective academic accomplishments! Congratulations to all of you as you start a new chapter in your life’s journey.
In the midst of a two-year-long pandemic, arriving at today’s important moment for the School and the students has been incredibly challenging and has required devotion and tremendous effort. I believe this unique experience has not only deepened your understanding that humankind shares a common destiny, but has also empowered you to deal with future difficulties and challenges with more resilience.
The Tianjin Conservatory of Music Juilliard Graduate School is a high-level China-US education joint-venture. It is dedicated to educating musical artists with international competence and has already made productive contributions to China-US people-to-people exchange. As the first cohort of graduates, you are talents nurtured by the China-US education exchange and will soon become artistic envoys promoting communication and understanding between China and the world. As you pack your bags and set off into the world, this experience is your most valuable asset.
Students, you live in an era that is full of changes and reinvention. You are faced with a world that continues to be complicated and uncertain. I truly hope you will remember each accomplishment you have achieved at the School. I hope that your experience here will equip you with optimism and vigour, that you will maintain independence and firmly strive to be “world artists,” combining a high artistic level with sound social responsibility. I expect you will be future leaders who will apply your craft to heart-to-heart communication among peoples crossing borders, and be active participants in promoting dialogue and exchange among civilizations throughout the world.
My colleagues and I at the Chinese Embassy in the United States will also continue to make unremitting efforts to promote China-US people-to-people exchange in the hope of re-energizing the friendship between peoples of China and the U.S.
Last but not least, I wholeheartedly wish you a brilliant future. I hope The Tianjin Conservatory of Music Juilliard Graduate School develops smoothly and continues to utilize art education as a bridge contributing to artistic exchanges throughout the world!
Good morning to everyone in Tianjin. I'm very, very sorry I couldn't be with you today, but thank you for this invitation. Because it's a special day for Tianjin Juilliard.
It's really an honour for me to congratulate all of you. The 33 members of the Tianjin Juilliard's first graduating class; that's quite a distinction.
You know, we call the graduation ceremony a commencement because obviously, it represents the beginning, the beginning for graduates to celebrate what you've accomplished, but also to go forward with a sense of purpose in a new beginning to your lives, to be the kind of bridge that you've been as students at Juilliard; and we’re so proud of the tradition of Juilliard from its alumni to its students; and starting today, you'll go forward and you'll represent this very respected institution here in China, in the United States, and around the world, because the famous Juilliard School is one of the great institutions of the United States of America.
As representatives of Tianjin Juilliard, you’ll now be the holders and caretakers of a very special mission and a special legacy. As graduates, you'll exemplify Tianjin Juilliard's core values as artists, as citizens. And you will nurture the next generation of musicians around the world in the United States and the People's Republic of China, across Asia, and across the world.
When President Biden and President Xi Jinping spoke by phone last September, President Biden made clear that it was very important for us all to keep channels of communication and openness between our two countries.
And what better way to do that than through culture and music? And the musical dialogue that Tianjin Juilliard promotes is one essential way for us to keep our two countries talking and singing and playing music together. Musical dialogue is a key element in the history of the diplomatic relationship between the United States and China, and that continues to the present day.
I know, just a few months ago, Tianjin Juilliard hosted a musical symposium in honor of the 50th anniversary of President Nixon's historic 1972 visit to Beijing and Shanghai. These types of musical exchanges and musical partnerships embodied by this inaugural group, your inaugural group of Tianjin Juilliard graduates will continue to contribute to the people to people connections that are frankly the lifeblood of the relationship between our two countries. And that relationship is going to be so important for the future. We're obviously at a difficult time in the relationship between the United States and China, and I certainly think as the American ambassador here, that it's going to be incumbent on all of us to try to maintain these connections. All of you have that opportunity now. I would say you have the responsibility to do that.
So we wish you well. We commend you on the distinction of this graduation, commend you for the fact that you are the 33 of you a living bridge between our two countries. And since music is just one of the great joys of all of our lives, and I'm a great music fan, particularly classical music. I wish you well in bringing that joy in your profession to the rest of the world. As well as to our two countries.
All the best for your graduation day. I am so sorry that the pandemic has prevented me from driving down the road to Tianjin today. I'll be with you next year if the pandemic gods permit that. And again, to you, to your families, to your professors; congratulations, everyone.