Thursday, November 12, 2020 | 7:00 PM EST - 8:00 PM EST

Zoom Webinar | Raymond Chang, Lucas Sin, Janet Yang

Starting with ping-pong diplomacy in 1971, cultural diplomacy has played a pivotal role in facilitating mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and China. This event will gather leading cultural figures to discuss how, despite sometimes turbulent political and economic relations, food and film continue to reveal our shared humanity and connect us through culture.

On November 12, 2020, the National Committee held a discussion with Raymond Chang (Major League Baseball China), Lucas Sin (junzi kitchen), and Janet Yang (Janet Yang Productions) on the importance, challenges, and future of cross-cultural learning between the United States and China. NCUSCR Public Intellectuals Program fellow Alison Friedman (Performing Arts of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority) moderated the event.

Raymond Chang is the baseball operations manager for Major League Baseball (MLB) China, responsible for overseeing MLB China development centers. He is featured in the documentary The Great China Baseball Hunt, which describes his quest to cultivate young Chinese baseball players into the MLB stars of the future.  As a former professional baseball player, he signed with the San Diego Padres in 2005 and went on to play professionally for twelve years with five different MLB organizations:  the Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, and Cincinnati Reds. Raymond participated in three different World Baseball Classics in 2009, 2013, and 2017, playing for the Chinese National Team, which he was eligible to do as a U.S. citizen as both of his parents were born in China.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, he graduated from Rockhurst University with a degree in international business. He is co-owner of the Gold Glove Baseball Academy in Kansas City.
Chef Lucas Sin, Eater Young Guns Class of 2019 and Forbes 30 under 30, opened his first restaurant when he was 16, in an abandoned newspaper factory in his hometown of Hong Kong. Despite spending his Yale undergraduate years in the cognitive science and English departments, Mr. Sin devoted his weekends to running restaurants out of his dorm, known as Y Pop-up.
Prior to joining junzi’s founding team and opening junzi kitchen, a growing fast-casual mini-chain of home-style Chinese cooking, Mr. Sin cooked at Modernist Cuisine in Seattle, Kikunoi Honten in Kyoto, and Michelin-starred kitchens in Hong Kong and New York. Beyond junzi’s daily menu, he curates a collaborative tasting menu exploring the narrative of Chinese culinary history in relation to other cultures of the world, which he calls Chef’s Study. Throughout the coronavirus crisis, Mr. Sin and the team transformed Chef’s Study into a three-course delivery dinner called Distance Dining, served every Friday with a side of Instagram Live.
Janet Yang, president of Janet Yang Productions, is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning Hollywood producer with deep roots in China. She is on the board of governors of the Motion Picture Academy and was recently elected to an officer position chairing the membership and governance committee.
Ms. Yang came to prominence through her collaboration with Steven Spielberg on “Empire of the Sun” (Warner Bros). That was followed by a long partnership with multiple Academy Award-winner Oliver Stone during which she served as executive producer on the iconic “The Joy Luck Club” (Disney), and as a producer on the Golden Globe-winning “The People vs. Larry Flynt” (Columbia Pictures).
She is a co-founder of Gold House, a non-profit collective of influential Asian cultural leaders; a long-standing member of the Committee of 100, an organization of prominent Chinese-Americans; an advisory board member of Asia Society Southern California where she is chair of its annual signature “U.S.-Asia Entertainment Summit:” an advisory board member of CAPE, the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment; and a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Ms. Yang was recently granted a presidential fellowship at Loyola Marymount University, and she has taught producing at the Sundance Institute. She received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.
Alison M. Friedman joined the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) in October 2017 as artistic director of performing arts. She leads the dance, theatre, xiqu, music and outdoor festival, and learning and participation teams of the performing arts division to ensure WKCDA’s performing arts programs are conceptualized, curated, and implemented, and to realize the Authority’s vision to be a regional and global leader in the performing arts.
Ms. Friedman was a board member of the International Society for the Performing Arts (2013 – 2018), one of the largest international alliances of performing arts leaders. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Ms. Friedman founded the cultural exchange organization Ping Pong Productions (PPP) in 2010 after studying as a Fulbright scholar in the department of history at Peking University and the Beijing Dance Academy from 2002 to 2003. Prior to establishing PPP, Ms. Friedman held producer and general manager positions at dance and music institutions, including the Beijing Modern Dance Company, and composer and conductor roles at Tan Dun’s production and management company.

Related Materials

Raymond Chang:

The Great China Baseball Hunt” preview of a documentary featuring Raymond Chang

Chang’s Playing Career Set for Final Act with China” article featuring Raymond Chang in MLB News

Field of Dreams: MLB Makes Pitch for Chinese Star” article featuring Raymond Chang in Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Lucas Sin:

For an NYC Chef Who’s Still Working, Home Cooking is More Vital Than Ever” article featuring Lucas Sin in Eater

Pieces of China (Episode 7): Chef Lucas Sin of Junzi Kitchen on the Chinese Clay Pot” interview featuring Lucas Sin in China Institute’s ‘Pieces of China’ video series

Chinese Cuisine in the United States with Chef Lucas Sin” interview featuring Lucas Sin for the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations

Hong Kong Chef Brings Contemporary Chinese food to America” video featuring Lucas Sin in SCMP

A Chinese Chef’s Tasting-Menu Deliveries, with a Side of Instagram Live” article featuring Lucas Sin in The New Yorker

In This Dinner Series, Chinese Food is at Home Worldwide” article featuring Lucas Sin in the New York Times

Janet Yang:

Full Frame: China and Hollywood with Janet Yang (part 1)” interview featuring Janet Yang in CGTN America

Full Frame: China and Hollywood with Janet Yang (part 2)” interview featuring Janet Yang in CGTN America

Q&A: Janet Yang on Asian Representation in Hollywood and How COVID-19 Will Change the Future of Film ” interview featuring Janet Yang in SupChina

U.S.-China Summit: Janet Yang Optimistic Despite Industry, Political Woes” article featuring Janet Yang in Variety

Alison Friedman:

China’s Diversifying Arts Funding Responds to Demand at Home and Abroad” article by Alison Friedman in China-U.S. Focus

Local Talent should be the Best Direction” article featuring Alison Friedman in SCMP

High Table Talk with Ms. Alison Friedman” speech featuring Alison Friedman in High Table Talk

Other CHINA Town Hall 2020 Events

CHINA Town Hall: Ray Dalio
Tuesday, November 10, 7:00 p.m. EST
with Ray Dalio

CHINA Town Hall: U.S. Perspectives in Chinese
Monday, November 16, 8:00 a.m. EST
with Robert Daly, June Mei, and Matt Sheehan

CHINA Town Hall: Economics & Trade
Tuesday, November 17, 7:00 p.m. EST
with Amy Celico, Huang Yiping, and Andy Rothman

CHINA Town Hall: Health & Climate
Wednesday, November 18, 7:00 p.m. EST
with Margaret Hamburg, Ryan Hass, and Angel Hsu