Wei Family

John Wei(卫高荣) | Our Family | Business


My personal experience & vision between the U.S. and China over the past 30 years

The North Carolina Chinese Scholars Exchange Association (NCCSEA) invited Mr. John Wei, who is a distinguished speaker, a famous overseas Chinese in North America, and the Chairman of the Chinese American Economic & Cultural Association (CAECA) for a special presentation on July 10, 2016 in Room 217, Perkins Library at Duke University.

Mr. Wei was awarded with a scholarship by Pennsylvania State University (PSU) in 1978 and thus he moved from Taiwan to the United States in that year. He graduated with a MA degree of mathematics and computer science degree from PSU in 1980. In 1984, he worked for the IBM first as a senior engineer in software development and then as a systems engineer at the IBM China Headquarters in Beijing. He was one of the first computer engineers in the China computer science market. In 1990, he co-founded the North Carolina Chinese Chamber of Commerce and served as the vice-chairman of the Triangle Area Chinese American Society (TACAS, 1992). Between 2001 and 2013, he served as the director of the North Carolina Rate Bureau, one of two directors appointed by the state governor. He then worked at Duke Power, the Human Resources Headquarters of N.C. state government and N.C. First Citizens Bank (1992-present). In 2006, He co-founded the North Carolina China Center and served as the principle of North Carolina’s first Chinese language school (Raleigh Chinese Language School). In September 2015, Mr. Wei was invited as a distinguished guest to participate in the parade in Beijing, China to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Chinese victory against Japan’s invasion.

The title of Mr. Wei’s talk was “A reflection over the three decade U.S.-China Relationship.” During his presentation, he offered many illustrations to vividly portray his thirty year life, his changing occupations, and his work to promote US-China relations, while he has lived in the United States. His talk integrated his thirty years of life into a concrete, informative, and enthralling presentation. Many photos he showed to the audience were first publicized. Of course, Mr. Wei’s presentation enabled his audience to experience his personal history, to learn his attractive stories, and to appreciate his amazing achievements. Indeed, all those who listened to his talk were profoundly touched and moved.

Mr. Wei prizes family values and cherishes family harmony. Henceforth, he started his presentation with his own family life thirty years ago. Just like his own long poem claims, “Wei and his wife had the courage to endure the long journey to the United States at the age of thirty. The couple have lived in the United States for forty years since then and now have a filial son and a nice daughter-in-law, a wonderful daughter and a polite son-in-law, along with four lovely grandchildren.” Mr. Wei graduated from National Taiwan Normal University and became a math teacher for a while in Taiwan. Unfortunately, during his college years, he suffered a serious injury from a scientific experiment when he did a research project. With his wife’s encouragement, Mr. Wei decided to embark on a new odyssey to the United States. Over the past four decades, the Wei family in the United States has taken root with three prosperous generations scattering throughout the United States. This very year, Mr. Wei is a proud grandfather of two lovely grandsons and two beautiful granddaughters. Whenever he mentions his family, his face is beamed with joy and contentment. During his presentation, Mr. Wei also shared a heartwarming story of his old friend, Mr. Meng Li, who now serves as the president of the CAECA. Mr. Li’s mother has recently received a special greeting card from U.S. President Barack Obama to congratulate her on her 80th birthday in June 2016. After his talk, Mr. Wei also shared with the audiences his family portraits and cheerfully accepted the audience’s sincere blessings.

Mr. Wei loves America, which was the reason why he brought his family to “the New World” – the United States. However, he never forgets his identity as an ethnic Chinese. More importantly, he knows that the status of overseas Chinese can be improved if his motherland can emerge as a prosperous and modernized nation. He not only pays attention to his own personal advancement, but also is committed to the welfare of the people around him. In particular, he is dedicated to the benefits of his fellow overseas Chinese. He has devoted himself to the U.S.-China cultural exchanges. In his long poem, he wrote that “Cultural diplomacy is my mission to which I helped establish Chinese language schools and Chinese commerce chamber. With a warm heart, I assisted to forge a sister relationship between Taiwan and North Carolina.” “I was merry to receive the award as a citizen diplomat for which I indeed have promoted U.S.-China relations.” Mr. Wei developed friendship with a number of American elite statesmen with whom he promotes economic and cultural inflows between the United States and China. He was a co-founder of the Raleigh Chinese School with which he always advises those new immigrants to teach their young children, mostly the second generation in the United States, not to forget their mother’s tongue. Also, Mr. Wei cherishes the special peaceful tie between the two sides across the Taiwan Straits. His efforts to forge the sister city tie has earned him the honorable title of “citizen diplomat.” Mr. Wei has done so much, which cannot be simply recorded in his poem. From his talk and from other sources, we can find that Mr. Wei tried to fight against the political bias against the Chinese, to promote American-Chinese participation in U.S. politics, to boost Chinese-American influence, and to help his fellow Chinese solve existing problems. Because of all his endeavors are done across the party line, Mr. Wei has established an honorable image among his fellow Chinese-Americans in North Carolina, and thus he has earned a glorious nickname as “the Chinese mayor.”

Up to now, the diligent overseas Chinese, under the leadership of so many elites including Mr. John Wei, have created their own superb history in the fertile soil of North Carolina and the United States. During his talk, Mr. Wei also revealed his two private hobbies: stocks and real estate. Wei said, “We were proud of America yesterday yet America takes pride in us today.” According to Mr. Wei, this inspirational motto was his long-term vision but now it has turned to be a reality. Facing the future, Mr. Wei hopes that the United States and China should initiate a new peaceful and cooperative journey, just like the small boat navigating in a lake while carrying the three generations of the Wei family in a photo he displayed to the audience. Although he now is a senior citizen, Mr. Wei promises that he will continue to work with high-spirit and to contribute more to the bilateral relationship between the two great countries.

The audiences at his presentation were all excited and absorbed. In fact, the whole hall was fully packed with audience from many different cities in North Carolina. After his talk, a lot of the audience asked relevant questions about the issues such as the biggest driving force in contemporary U.S.-China relations, the biggest obstacle to this bilateral tie, the ways of promoting bilateral relationship, and issues about American democracy and political freedom. Of course, some even asked if it is the appropriate time now for the Chinese to invest in real estate in North Carolina. Mr. Wei answered all those questions with satisfactory remarks, as he has deeply touched the audience by using his personal inspiring experience.