The University of Macau (UM) conferred the title of Doctor of Social Sciences honoris causa upon the 41st President of the United States, Mr. George Herbert Walker Bush, at Texas A&M University (TAMU) in the US, on 21 April 2009 at 1:30 p.m., in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the Sino-American relations. The conferral ceremony was officiated by Dr. Tse Chi Wai, Chair of the University Council of UM, and attended by Mr. Wong Chong Fat, Treasurer of the University Council, Prof. Wei Zhao, Rector, Dr. Lai Iat Long, Vice Rector, and Pang Chap Chong, Registrar.
When delivering the citation, Prof. Wei Zhao praised Mr. Bush for being a well-known pioneer in the normalization of the Sino-American relations. The former US president was the Chief of the US Liaison Office in the People’s Republic of China from 1974 to 1975, being the first US official representative to China. In his efforts to promote Sino-American relations, Mr. Bush paid frequent visits to China, made various reiterations of the “One China” policy and encouraged a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues. He played a significant role in the normalization of the Sino-American relations and helped the bilateral relationship between China and the US to reach a new height. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of China-US diplomatic relations, and the relations between the two countries has undergone several changes in the past 30 years. Under the joint effort of China and the US, new prospects have been developed over time, and today, this relations is bearing fruits. The exceptional achievements that Mr. Bush has made for this great cause will continue to be of benefit to the people of the two countries, bringing positive effect for world peace, stability and continuous development.
On the ceremony, Mr. Bush was conferred the doctoral hood and medal, and the certificate of the Doctor of Social Sciences honoris causa, by Dr. Tse Chi Wai, Mr. Wong Chong Fat and Prof. Wei Zhao. In his address, Mr. Bush said this title was a tremendous honour for him, and expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the delegation of UM for coming a long way to award him this honourable degree. He said that Sino-American ties are the most important bilateral relations in the world and the US should continue to foster the friendly relations with China. The ceremony was attended by Ms. Qiao Hong, Chinese Consul General in Houston, Mr. Chen Guangda, Deputy Consul General, and more than one hundred guests and students. Following the ceremony, Mr. Bush participated in a seminar with the students of TAMU.
Prior to serving as the 41st President of the US, Mr. Bush had undertaken a series of political positions, including US congressman from Texas, Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chief of the US Liaison Office in the People’s Republic of China, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Vice President of the US in the administration of Ronald Reagan.
The measures that President Bush took during his term in office have played a critical role in resolving some of the most daunting conflicts of our time. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of East and West Germany, the end of the Cold War and the drastic changes in the political scene in Eastern Europe, the US and Russia declared on a new strategic partnership. Mutual agreement was reached on arms reduction, which included the lessening of nuclear weapons, as well as the destruction and prohibition of chemical weapons production. The two countries signed arm reduction treaties START-I and START-II, the first treaties ever signed on nuclear weapons control since the advent of the nuclear age. With the end of the Cold War, the Bush administration was confronted with new challenges. Mr. Bush marshaled a 30-nation alliance to block Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, sending a signal of a possible collective security in the post-Cold War period.
The Bush Administration initiated reforms in domestic governance such as education, home ownership and environmental protection. The Americans with Disabilities Act laid groundwork for aiding the disadvantaged; the amendment of the Clean Air Act was recognized as the most contributive environmental legislation ever passed. Mr. and Mrs. Bush now reside in Houston, Texas, and serve on the board of visitors of M.D. Anderson Hospital.
1) Rector of UM Prof. Wei Zhao (1st from left) giving a citation
2) UM conferred honorary doctorate upon former US president George H. W. Bush (2nd from right)