On April 30 2011 at 1:30 pm, the Canadian Association of Beijing United Chinese Community Association convened at the Office of the Hunan Association of Canada. Joining them were the Canadian Association of Guangxi, Sichuan Canada Association, Canadian Association of Fujian, Heilongjiang Association of Canada, Canadian Association of Liaoning Province, Qilu Association of Canada, Shaanxi Association of Canada, Jiangxi Association of Canada, the Association of Liaoning, Xinjiang Association, Canadian Association Fuzhou Association, Association of Heilongjiang, Gansu Association Chinese professionals Association of Canada, Toronto community and culture Center, the Chinese community Advisory service (China consultative office), Canada entrepreneurs Association, Mississauga Xintiandi elderly Chinese Association and other service agencies, Consul General of Toronto Hall and overseas Chinese Deputy Consul Wu Dong-mei.

President of the Canadian Association of Hunan Tan Geng presided. He said: “Today’s forum has three main objectives. The recent murder of the Chinese student Liu has shocked and saddened the Chinese community. With a vision for the future and expectations to come to Canada to study, this sudden misfortune makes the healing process for her parents difficult. The Beijing Association has been assisting the family with Liu’s funeral. Each Association is gathered here to care for and help, and to reflect on the love of each Association for the Chinese community.”

This murder has spawned a lot of thought among the Chinese about the safety of Canada and the function of the Chinese community. In the past few years, several similar incidents have occurred. Our Chinese communities are here for support/guidance, analysis of the situation and resources. We hope to have a clear idea and concrete measures to prevent and respond to such incidents. The Association has a unique function and role, especially in dealing with such incidents. They will each use their own unique advantages. For people in a foreign land, nostalgia has a great impact on them. Our Association as a grass-roots, non-profit organizations will take on the responsibility to help the overseas Chinese deal with their homesickness through strong communal support and encouragement. In this way, the role of each Association is not underestimated but irreplaceable. However, each Association in dealing with such incidents in the past have often appeared to be inadequate.

The Association’s best efforts would be to provide assistance and call on fellow social resources. The second purpose of the symposium is to want to discuss among each Association and Chinese service providers the possibility of establishing a sound mechanism for emergency response and mutual assistance. Common approaches to come up with specific measures to prevent, reduce and effectively respond to such emergencies. The Association should develop and grow new ideas. All members of the Association have the same purpose, duties and activities. The cooperation between the various Associations jointly provides a broad space for change. A third purpose of the forum is to discuss the joint Association. Each Single Association is invariably weak, but a consortium of a dozen or even dozens of Associations pools together strength. We are seeking social resources to carry out large-scale activities to more effectively improve the services and experiences of our newcomers.

Vice president of Beijing Association Chen Xian introduced the plan to help deal with this tragic event. Chen Xian said that after learning about the event, his grief is indescribable as a father. It is nearly unimaginable that a daughter sent abroad after six months could encounter such tragedy. On the day the Students and Scholars Association at York University gathered, Hua counsel of the General Consulate and other agencies helped the Liu family in the funeral process. His biggest hope is that we stand up together to call on the Chinese government, to call on the government of Canada and to appeal to the civil community to pay attention to the safety of students and their physical and mental health. We should come up with some way to help these loved ones far away from their students studying abroad. Above co-operation between the various Chinese agencies, the Internet is a very important tool: it helps students and new migrants promote safety awareness and how to set up an emergency response.

Wu Dong-mei, Deputy Consul General and Director, said the meeting was very timely and meaningful. Each year, the Chinese Consulate deals with all kinds of hundreds of cases of which more than 20 major cases can be seen. The Beijing Institute at the University of York Students’ Union and other civil society groups were given practical help. But the issue of how to “nip it in the bud” is what we need to further explore. The Association of overseas Chinese provinces in the country are very active when it comes to organization. However, when overseas Chinese face times of difficulty, the Association should be the first one to offer help. The Association is also an important bridge to promote Canadian economic and cultural exchanges. These cultural, economic and trade exchanges in Canada have played an invaluable role. The Association organized a platform to create synergy, establish emergency relief and set up a volunteer information base. These are necessary and feasible duties. As China’s governmental institutions abroad, each fellow will see the substance of ideas come to fruition.

Association Chairman Fangqi Gang Guangxi, Sichuan Association President Jiang Zhicheng, Jiangxi Association Chairman Luo Jin-ho, Chairman of the Association of Liaoning in the first three persons and representatives of professional associations, Vice President of the Association of Xinjiang Dan Parry, Ismail, Jilin Association Vice President and President of the Association of Mississauga Xintiandi old Feng Baofeng, Fujian Association President Wang Qingguan, President of the Association of Heilongjiang Ma Hui, Vice President of Qilu Association William Sun, Gansu Association President Zhao Jian, Li Shaanxi Association Vice long, Fuzhou Association of Canada Association President Lin Aimin, Executive Director of the Toronto community and culture Center Zhong Xinsheng, Zhang Guohua entrepreneurs Association representatives all expressed their support for the establishment of the Federation of Chinese Association. This is an integration of forces to establish assistance mechanisms between the various groups to effectively help newcomers “out of the woods.” Chinese newcomers’ understanding of Canadian laws and regulations will be improved. Self-protection programs will be effectively carried out. Students will be guided to interact with various groups and between organizations and joint activities. Counseling centers for Chinese families indicated that they will work closely with each newcomer and do their utmost to help new immigrants and foreign students adapt to the new environment. Toronto Police Detective Miao Yan Jian, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Investment Sun Xiaoming on behalf of Feng Shui investment, Jilin University Alumni Association and head of digital community who are concerned about the safety of the students also attended the forum.

The meeting concluded. We reached a consensus: each Association has always needed to be realistic, the next step is the establishment of the Preparatory Committee to come up with the practical operation of the program. I believe that the establishment of the Federation of the Chinese Association is just around the corner.

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