“This was an opportunity for me to really learn the language of diplomacy,” he said.
“And I learned a lot of lessons.
I learned to be respectful.
I got to understand people’s sensitivities.
And I learned how to use my own voice.”
Douglass, who served as ambassador to Taiwan and Vietnam during the height of the Cold War, said he believes the event was one of the biggest moments in his life.
The speech, delivered in Cantonese, was part of a series of events he hosted as ambassador between 2006 and 2016, the first of which was the 2016 Beijing Olympics.
The second one was the National People’s Congress in 2018.
In the speech, he called on China to abide by the UN Security Council’s resolutions that call on the country to adhere to the human rights of its citizens.
He also called for China to respect international law.
“We are a nation of laws, not of men,” he told the audience.
Diane Cheng, a Beijing resident and a member of the Beijing chapter of the Communist Party, said the speech was one she had been waiting for, but that it had been difficult to get through the course.””
The Chinese people deserve to have a voice.”
Diane Cheng, a Beijing resident and a member of the Beijing chapter of the Communist Party, said the speech was one she had been waiting for, but that it had been difficult to get through the course.
“It’s a very difficult speech for a Chinese citizen to give,” she said.
“When I heard that speech I thought I was going to be able to listen to it for free and read it for five minutes,” Cheng said.
Cheng is a longtime supporter of President Donald Trump, who has spoken in Mandarin and Chinese during his trip.
“For some reason, he doesn’t want to give the speech in Chinese, so he’s trying to do it in Chinese and Mandarin,” she added.
Cheng also was a fan of Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, but she is not a fan any more of his stance on China.
“I don’t like what he’s done,” Cheng added.
Douglas, who is fluent in Mandarin, said one of his biggest challenges as ambassador was trying to speak Mandarin with a foreign president.””
Trump has given the Chinese a bad name for the last four years.”
Douglas, who is fluent in Mandarin, said one of his biggest challenges as ambassador was trying to speak Mandarin with a foreign president.
“He has a lot more experience speaking Mandarin with Chinese leaders than I have,” he acknowledged.
Douglass was one the first Chinese-American elected to the US Senate, in 1994.
He later served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2005 to 2009 and served as a US ambassador to France from 2009 to 2016.
He said he had been working on the speech as a project since the end of the summer.
“The problem I have is I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he explained.
“This is a lot about China, a lot is going to go down.”