In April this year, the Florida Chapter of the ACUA held a grand inaugural celebration, which was a milestone in the development and construction of the chapter of the ACUA. The early development of the Florida Chapter will support and encourage young people to engage more in social activities as an important purpose. It is hoped that there will be Chinese legislators and education committee members in Florida, and the youth association of the Florida chapter has also begun to prepare for it.
On June 6, Alex, a reporter from the Meihua Times, interviewed Mr. Lin Qichun, co-chairman of the ACUA and president of the Florida Chapter. The dialogue talked about the development of Chinese careers, cultural exchanges between the United States and China, multicultural communities, and Buddhist chapters.
Interview with Mr. Lin Qichun:
Q: What was your early immigration experience like?
A: My ancestral home is Fuqing City, Fujian Province. I graduated from Yuanzai School in my hometown. This is a school dedicated to the local government by Lin Shaoliang, a famous overseas Chinese. Subsequently, in 1990, when I was 18 years old, I settled in Shenzhen, so Shenzhen was my second hometown. I had good memories there. Everyone witnessed the miracle of reform and opening up and rapid economic development.
Fujian people have an immigrant tradition of working overseas. I went abroad in 1998, moved to New York, and started a family and worked for eight years. During this period, I worked in supermarkets and restaurants, and invested in restaurants, working as hard as countless Chinese immigrants. At that time, the Chinese in New York experienced the honeymoon period between the United States and China, and countless memorable events such as 9/11.
Later, I transferred to Florida for development. In 2008, I established the Florida Trading Company, and my dedicated operation has been developed until now.
Q: What services have you done to the Chinese community?
A: Chinese travelers in the United States often attach great importance to nostalgia, and our belief is often that “development depends on mutual help”. Therefore, the more Chinese gather in various parts of the United States, the more township associations there will be.
In order to serve the Chinese in the local community and give back to the society, I have also experienced the hard work of Chinese overseas, which makes me feel that they need a foothold that can help the villagers, so I called on everyone to establish the Fuzhou Fujian Hometown Federation. The conference has been strongly supported by fellow villagers. Over the years, they have played a role in the active participation and contribution of local Chinese, and have also done good things such as inviting consulates to Florida to apply for passports for overseas Chinese. In addition, every president and director of our session is enthusiastic and donates scholarships every year to the second-generation teenagers of villagers.
Q: It is commented that there are many fellow villagers and Chinese associations across the United States. What do you think of the relationship between Chinese communities?
A: With the increase of the number of Chinese immigrants, the increase in the number of Chinese associations is an inevitable phenomenon. The establishment of the community will start with a good vision. However, due to too many associations, there are a lot of internal consumption, which is also a real drawback. I think it is a very important solution to develop a partnership between communities.
In this regard, I think that the first is that we can’t “establish an association for the purpose of establishing an association.” Second, each community should have its own purpose and vision, and subsequent leadership should not forget the fundamental conference habits. For example, the purpose of the hometown association is to “help the fellow villagers”; the purpose of the chamber of commerce is to develop Chinese commerce, etc.; and the purpose of the association is to play a liaison role in external relations by representing the interests of multiple fellow villagers.
I am now the president of the Florida Chapter of the ACUA. In addition, I have participated in meetings such as the Foshan Chinese Hometown Association, the Florida Chinese Food Alliance, etc. These associations have done a lot of practical things, such as donating money to the Sichuan earthquake, promoting Chinese food culture, dealing with local governments, and donating masks to the United States and China. Therefore, I think the joint cooperation and complementary development of associations is the most important.
Q: During the founding ceremony of the Florida Chapter, many municipal officials were invited to the banquet. What is the purpose of the Chapter to do so?
A: I think the United States is an immigrant country, and immigrants of all ethnic groups have equal relations. Nevertheless, we should also realize that the more we interact with politics and make more demands, our interests can be paid more attention to. I think Chinese communities need to brush up on the sense of existence in mainstream society, but “sense of existence” is the weakness of Chinese associations.
During these years, I have been invited to participate in presidential banquets; every year’s “Presidential Day” is invited by the local government to communicate with governors and legislators. However, we still need to continue to work hard, especially for young people with better English.
Q: What do you think of the U.S.-China relations?
A: Every Chinese in the United States pays great attention to the friendly development of U.S.-China relations, which is closely related to the interests of all overseas compatriots. All Chinese communities also look forward to the good development of relations between the two countries. I believe that associations everywhere need to do more cultural exchanges among the people and work hard to form a joint force to help the friendly development of the two countries.
Q: How do you want the Florida chapter to develop in the future? What is the idea of the “Florida Chapter Youth Association”?
A: In April this year, the Florida of the ACUA held a grand inaugural celebration. I would like to thank the guests who came from afar that day, as well as all my friends who supported the development of our Chinese cause in Florida. At the same time, I would also like to thank Ms. Meng Zhaowen, a Chinese congressman, for her congratulatory letter of encouragement and support.
In the preparatory stage of the Florida Chapter, Chairman Jason Lam of the ACUA deeply introduced the conference development concept of the ACUA to the members of the preparatory group, and shared the purpose of the Federation of “building consensus, cooperating hand in hand, integrating into the mainstream, and safeguarding rights and interests”, so that the Florida Chapter and the Association formed a firm cooperative relationship.
In addition, the Florida Chapter will support, cultivate and encourage the second generation of China as the most important task. We hope that the second generation of China can actively participate in politics and politics and integrate into the mainstream, so that young people will have a greater sense of social responsibility and mission. Therefore, we have decided to explore the establishment of a youth association of the Florida Chapter, with young people as the protagonists of the conference affairs and make decent social activities, which will be strongly supported by the leaders of our Florida Chapter.
I hope that the young people of the branches of the ACUA can interact, visit each other, exchange and learn, unite and cooperate to complete the conference projects in the summer vacations and important holidays in the future, so as to improve children’s broad vision and sense of cooperation.