July 28, 2023

Volume 3, Issue 15 

Dear Friends,

With record breaking heat waves across the U.S. this summer, climate cooperation among countries is in the news and in the forefront of our minds as we again congratulate the 1990 Institute Prize winners of this year’s China Focus Essay Contest, held in collaboration with our partners. Please join us for a webinar on July 31 with UC San Diego Professor Michael Davidson and all of the top essay contest winners as they discuss the challenges and opportunities in U.S.-China collaboration on climate change.

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month and we have links to mental health resources in our Spotlight section below. Please also scroll down to find a link to our tribute to Bruce Lee, marking 50 years of his legacy and impact.

And if you love our resources and content, please donate to help us continue, and please share this newsletter with your friends and family and encourage them to subscribe.


Join us for a fireside chat with Professor Michael Davidson from UC San Diego and the China Focus Essay Contest winners on July 31 as they discuss the challenges and opportunities in U.S.-China collaboration on climate change.


How can we beat the heat and choose climate cooperation?

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

This month has been hot! July 3 made history as earth’s hottest day on record, only to have that record broken the very next day. We hid from the heat during the Fourth of July weekend, which was compounded by the Canadian wildfires blowing smoke over Michigan, with our air conditioner and two air filters running. 

My daughter quipped that this summer will likely be one of the coolest summers for the rest of our lives.

However, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry’s three-day visit to China shows that climate change is no joke. Kerry said that his hope was to rebuild trust, establish stability, and begin to create a new definition of cooperation and capacity to resolve differences. He emphasized science over politics and ideology. Kerry said that both the U.S. and China agreed that climate change was urgent and that they should abide by the global commitment to keep global temperatures from rising beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial temperatures

China has not yet issued a formal statement. Chinese President Xi Jinping said at another event that China’s climate commitments are unswerving, “But the path, method, pace, and intensity to achieve this goal should and must be determined by ourselves, and will never be influenced by others.”

More talks are planned before COP28, the next U.N. climate summit in November. 

"Further engagements should help unlock more ambition in reducing coal consumption, cutting methane emissions, and beating a path towards a stronger outcome at COP28," said Li Shuo, senior climate adviser for Greenpeace in Beijing.

“It’s best if we work together on climate cooperation,” said 1990 Institute Executive Director Susana Liu-Hedberg. “All nation states should be involved. The two countries with the highest emissions, the U.S. and China, must cooperate and work on solutions together.”

July is also National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and a new report by the CDC shows that Asian American children are the least likely to receive mental health help.

“Mental health struggles have been a growing issue for decades, and during July, we recognize the many challenges that are unique to underserved and minority communities across the United States,” said CAPAC First Vice Chair Rep. Grace Meng in a statement. “One of the persistent barriers to care for the AANHPI [Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander] community is finding clinicians who speak their language and understand their culture. That is why I introduced the bipartisan Mental Health Workforce and Language Access Act, a bill that would increase language access for mental health services at community health centers. I remain committed to removing the stigmas associated with mental illness and eliminating disparities in mental health care.”



Bruce Lee’s impact and legacy have continued for 50 years. Learn more about his life on New Asian American Voices and in our video, “The Master of Influence with Si-Fu Bruce Lee.”


Curated News

Bay Area Restaurants Are Embracing the Century-Old Chinese Tile Game Mahjong | Eater  Bay Area restaurants including Baba’s House, Boichik Bagels, and Mamahuhu are hosting mahjong gatherings. 1990 Institute’s new video, “Beyond the Tiles: Making Connections Through Mahjong,” explores the history of mahjong and how the game acts as a unifying force among diverse groups today. 

This year's Gerber Baby is a military kid from a first generation family | NBC News  Maddie Mendoza's parents both have roots in the Philippines, and her dad has served in the U.S. military for 16 years.

No longer suffering in silence: Asian Americans denied tech leadership roles go to court | USA Today  Asian Americans in the tech industry are breaking their silence and going public with charges of discrimination and retaliation.

Asian American advocates slam DeSantis for land law that they say 'will legalize Asian hate’ | NBC News  “People will have a reason – legally they have a law backing them up – to hate," one critic said. Judge hears arguments on Florida law restricting Chinese land ownership while opponents gathered outside.

U.S. companies’ diversity efforts are legal, Democratic AGs say | NBC News  The Democratic officials said the GOP attorneys general were wrong to suggest that the Supreme Court decision striking down affirmative action in higher education has any impact on employers' diversity efforts.

Why Kissinger Went to China – Again | Politico  A visit from the former diplomat who helped normalize relations in the 1970s comes amid efforts to improve U.S.-China ties. 

Explainer: What is the state of China’s food-security drive, and what must be done to feed its people? | South China Morning Post  Climate change and supply-chain upheavals have also forced a rethink on how best to ensure that critical grains remain abundant.

China is drilling some of the world’s deepest holes in hunt for natural resources | CNN  Drilling deep allows scientists to learn more about how the Earth was formed, but there are also strong commercial incentives – tapping into potentially lucrative energy reserves buried deep below.

Blinken says U.S. is ‘working to put some stability’ into relationship with China | CNN  U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the U.S. is attempting to strengthen “lines of communication” with China to avoid conflict between the two superpowers.

China is sending zebrafish to the Tiangong space station | Space  The experiments using the fish will aid research into mitigating bone loss in astronauts.

Chinese and U.S. ag officials could meet in person next month | Politico  The U.S. has invited Chinese and Russian officials to a key food security meeting amid fallout from Russia leaving the Black Sea grain deal.

Bruce Lee’s daughter explains what people misunderstand about the icon’s legacy | NBC News  Shannon Lee emphasized that her father challenged Western stereotypes around Asian masculinity not only because of his physical strength but more importantly through his emotional vulnerability.


What does “de-risk” mean in terms of the U.S.-China relationship and what are the implications? Registration is open for the U.S. Heartland China Association’s August 15 webinar on this topic.



  • REGISTER FOR A WEBINAR ON JULY 31 WITH THE WINNERS OF THE 2023 CHINA FOCUS ESSAY CONTEST  – The 1990 Institute, along with our partners for the 2023 annual essay contest – the 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego, the Fudan-UC Center, the Carter Center, and China Focus magazine – invite you to “Climate Change: Can the U.S. and China Work Together?” The contest winners will discuss their winning essays and issues surrounding climate cooperation between the U.S. and China. The essayists, 1990 Institute Prize winners Katerina Yang and Ann-Alice Tichá from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies along with the Jimmy Carter Prize winner Graham Wilmot Revare from the University of Kansas, will be joined by UC San Diego Professor Michael Davidson. Register now for this fireside chat on Monday, July 31 at 4 pm PT / 7 pm ET.
  • REMEMBERING BRUCE LEE AND HIS LEGACY – We are honored to remember Bruce Lee and to mark 50 years of his legacy and lasting impact since his sudden death on July 20, 1973. He was a trailblazing film star, martial arts icon, popular philosopher, and a strong advocate for racial equality. Taken altogether, he was a true master of influence. Considered the most influential martial artist ever, Bruce carved his own path and became known for bridging the gap between East and West. His philosophy is as timeless as his martial arts and continues to inspire people all over the world. Could his biggest impact be helping us see all the ways we have to be true to ourselves and make a difference? Be like water, flow along with us, and celebrate Bruce’s life by understanding his continuing legacy in our educational video called “The Master of Influence: With Si-Fu Bruce Lee.
  • OBSERVANCE OF NATIONAL MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH IN JULY – This month, Denise Zheng, 1990 Institute’s Teachers Forum Coordinator, participated in a 10-day Vipassana Meditation course on the technique of seeing things as they are. For Denise, a social psychologist in training studying for her PhD at Virginia Commonwealth University, this experience reinforced that meditation is a scientific and practical method to understand ourselves. She said, “In those 10 days, I felt the most present that I have ever experienced. Your mind usually wants to be anywhere but the present, even though this is the only moment you live in. Through the hours of sitting, I discovered how we have the most powerful and simple tool within ourselves for liberation from cycles of cravings and aversions by observing sensations within our bodies with equanimity. Beyond individual liberation, it always comes down to recognizing our interconnectedness and shared humanity.” Learn more about Vipassana Meditation, which is one of a variety of meditation programs and courses. The 1990 Institute encourages and supports mental health awareness and care and recognizes that systems of inequality contribute to individuals' mental health. We would like to uplift these resources: Asian Health Services, Asian American Therapist Directory, and Asian American Psychological Association’s AAPI LBGTQ Resources.
    Today, the U.S. and China confront growing tensions in their relationship. These tensions have reached a sufficient level for policymakers and government officials to argue in favor of “de-risk” – or the termination of the mutually beneficial economic relationship to contain China’s growth, particularly in high-tech and global leadership. The U.S. now faces a major policy challenge to surrender to pressure to end or limit the U.S.-China economic relationship or to remain along the current path, continue to secure substantial economic benefits ,and possibly mitigate future conflict through continued shared interest. Registration is open for a webinar on August 15 at 4 pm PT / 7 pm ET on the various issues related to the possible decoupling of the U.S.-China relationship as the two nations enter a period of intense competition.

Dim Sum - A Little Bit of Heart


1990 Institute
P.O. Box 383  | San Francisco, California 94104



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