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Houston's Original Sister City Organization!

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Spring 2018 - In the News

Hermann Park Conservancy article on the Friendship Pavilion

Learn more about the history of the Friendship Pavilion and current restoration and preservation efforts, click here for the article from the Hermann Park Conservancy - Spring 2018 edition.

Spring 2018 - In the News

Southern Chinese Daily article on the Dr. Chao June 7th event

(click on image for article in PDF, English translation below).

​(Houston/Qin Hongyi reporting).

The Houston-Taipei Society hosted a dinner and lecture at the University of St. Thomas at 6:00 pm on Thursday, June 7th. Dr. Anne Shen Chao, Ph.D. Manager of the Houston Asian American Archives and Adjunct Lecturer in the Humanities at Rice University, was invited to introduce stories of the immigrant experience of Taiwanese Americans and discuss their struggles and achievements in the United States. Dr. Chao started the event pointing out the painful, unfair and severely ignored history of Chinese immigrants in the United States. As the Chinese immigrant story in the US has been largely ignored, it is difficult for people today to truly understand or realize how the Chinese have been persecuted in the past. However, despite the struggles, in the past few decades, hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese and Chinese have worked hard together in Houston to assimilate into mainstream society and achieve great success.

Dr. Chao cited such success stories such as Mr. Wei Li, chairman of the Southern News Group. The Southern News Group is a media company with 10 newspapers located in major U.S. cities as well as a full-service business printing company, an International Trade Center and International Television Station headquartered in Houston, Texas. Additionally, Dr. Chao cited Harris County Court at Law Judge Theresa Chang; Dr. Lin Chao Liang - a famous violinist, and Dr. He Ruiyan, his wife, and Li Zhaoqiong, head of the World University Construction, Tan Qiqing, deputy director of AIG Texas, and painter Hong Yu. Dr. Chao's underlying theme for the evening was to stress that the Taiwanese and Chinese have worked hard in the United States and have accomplished many achievements and contributed their talent to society. She believes the Taiwanese should continuing cooperating with each other in the future to create a better future. The event was co-sponsored by the Houston-Taipei Society, Dr. Hsu Linhui, Vice President of Rice University; and the International Research Instutite of St. Thomas University. Dr. Ye Yaoyuan, Assistant Professor of the Research Center, hosted the event. Additionally, Dr. Amy Coburn - current president of the Houston-Taipei Society; Peter Huang - former past President of the Houston-Taipei Society and representatives from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston including director Peter Chen; education department head Ms. Chou and the head of the administrative team, He Renjie were also in attedance. 

The largest ethnic group of Asian-Americans is now Chinese. The Americans of the United States first came to the United States as “coolies” and were treated like similarly to slaves from Africa. When the Chinese first came to the United States, they participated in the construction of the trans-continental railway and other difficult projects. From 1840 to 1870, European traffickers sold more than 700,000 Chinese workers from Xiamen and Hong Kong to the Southern US to work as "coolies". In the same period, about 2 million Chinese came to the United States and Canada during the gold rush.

The US Civil war in 1865 freed the black slaves of the South; while the 1868 Pu Anchen Treaty freed the Chinese immigrants. In 1868, California was heavily dependent on Chinese labor for the gold mines and construction of railways. In  In 1869, the transcontinental railway was completed. On January 10, 1870, 300 Chinese railway workers from San Francisco arrived in Galveston, Texas after taking a transcontinental railroad train. While some Chinese stopped in Galveston, the train took other Chinese railway works to the Mississippi river delta area and beyond. The Chinese immigrants went from building the railways to working in the "Cotton Belt". By 1890, there were 107,475 overseas Chinese in the United States, of whom 8,000 were on the East Coast, more than 6,440 were in New York, and more than 1,780 were in Pennsylvania. The construction of the southern Pacific railway across the continental United States brought more than 3,500 Chinese workers to Texas. The project began in the mid-1870s through the Mojave Desert in southern California, crossing through the then territories of Arizona and New Mexico, and in 1881 to El Paso at the western most point of the State of Texas.

In 1851, California had a population of 25,000 Chinese, and in 1870 the Chinese immigrant population in the US reached 63,000, of which 73% lived in California. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and other discriminatory laws prohibited Chinese from becoming US citizens. From 1854 to 1874, there were also laws prohibiting the Chinese from providing testimony against whites in court. This was in effect the equivalent of publicly declaring that Chinese can be arbitrarily abused without due process. When Chinese were robbed, injured and attacked, the law was not concerned. In fact, in 1871, a group of white criminals shot and hung 20 Chinese overnight in Los Angeles.

Due to other legal restrictions, the advancement of the Chinese in the United States was very difficult. For example, many industries prohibited the employment of the Chinese. Until 1920, more than 50% of Chinese employed in the United States were only working in laundry or the restaurant business. When the Chinese immigrants did try to open their own business, they were subject to special taxes and surcharges not levied against non-Chinese business owners. From 1901 to 1943, the Chinese began to migrate to Houston. In Houston, from 1895 to 1905, Chinese immigrants had 6 laundries, 5 restaurants, and 1 import and export company. Also in Houston, from 1905 to 1920, there were 2 laundries and 3 restaurants. In 1943, the US government finally repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act due to the efforts of Chinese Americans fighting alongside Americans against the Japanese. The repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act allowed Chinese immigrants to become citizens with quotas. After l965, the yearly immigration quota was capped at 17,000 from the Eastern Hemisphere and 12,000 from the Western Hemisphere. In 1976, the immigration quota for each country was set at 20,000 and only then was it possible for greater number of Chinese immigrants to settle in the United States.

After 1970, the population of Chinese immigrants in Houston increased rapidly. Houston now has hundreds of restaurants and a variety of financial, medical, industrial and commercial companies owned by Chinese immigrants. According to the latest statistics, among the Chinese immigrants in the United States, the immigrants from the People's Republic of China (mainland China) account for 59.5%, and 15.9% of immirants are from Taiwan. Immigrants of Chinese descent from Southeast Asian countries accounted for another 15.3% and 9.4% come from Hong Kong.

Migrants generally have higher quality in education and professional skills. With the exception of political refugees, most immigrants have generally higher education standards, and many of them have professional degrees. In particular, international students from other countries have a large proportion of their graduates stay in the United States to settle and join the ranks of regular immigrants. Many outstanding students from the third world came to the United States to pursue master's and doctoral degrees. After graduating, they stayed in the United States after being attracted to the United States for the superior living conditions and high income. For example, 80% of international students in India, the Philippines, China, and Taiwan 90% stay in the United States. In this way, the United States receives a group young talented citizens without paying for the social and educational expenses for grade school. This is an important foundation for the continuous development of science and technology in the United States. The results of the U.S. census show that Indian immigrants have 66% of university education, immigrants from mainland China and Taiwan account for 60%, and Filipino immigrants account for 42%. Higher education and job skills enable these educated people to engage in professional technical work such as doctors, lawyers, journalists, professors, and engineers.

​​J​une 7, 2018 (Thursday)

Dinner at Capacity - RSVP Closed

To join the waitlist, email:

Taiwanese Chinese Immigrant Experience in Houston: Stories from the Houston Asian American Archive

Dr. Anne Chao will discuss the Taiwanese immigrant experience in Texas. Dr. Chao is the Manager of the award-winning Houston Asian American Archive, and Adjunct Lecturer in Humanities at Rice University. She will discuss the legal, social, and economic challenges facing early Taiwanese immigrants and will feature families of Houston Taipei society members. 

Pay by Credit Card:

Use the PayPal button below and enter your total payment amount. (PayPal processes your credit card payment - you do not need a PayPal account):

Pay by Check: 
Please make checks payable to "Houston-Taipei Society" and mail to:
          Givens and Johnston, PLLC
          C/O: David Hsu
          950 Echo Lane, Suite 360

          Houston, Texas 77024

Map (event will be held in Building 29, parking available in Building 26)​

June 20, 2018 (Wednesday)

TECO-Sister Cities of Houston - Night at the Astros!
In celebration of the friendship between Taiwan and the Sister Cities of Houston, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) is organizing a night out with the Houston Astros!

More details:
-Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays
-Date: June 20th, 7:10 pm (please arrive before 6:30 pm)
-Location: Minute Maid Park
-Ticket cost: $31/ per ticket
-Seating: Zone 107
-RSVP deadline: April 30th, 5 PM

To reserve your tickets at this special discounted price: please contact Marcy Yu by email at: Lionheart201@gmail.com and include the following:

a. Your Name

b. # of tickets

Please send checks payable to TECO and mail to:

Attn: Marcy Yu

11 Greenway Plaza Suite 2006
Houston, TX 77046

Ticket pickup:
Astros will ship tickets to the TECO office. Please bring a valid ID to the TECO office to pick up your tickets between June 13-15 9m- 4:30 pm

If you need help picking up the tickets, please contact Amy Coburn

August 31, 2018 (Friday)
Ten Drum Art Percussion Group from Taiwan

Come see the Grammy nominated award winning drum group from Taiwan

Miller Outdoor Theatre, starts at 8:00 pm.

Want to support the maintenance of the Friendship Pavilion?Donations can be made directly to the Hermann Park Conservancy through their website here:

​HPC Donation Page

For the "Donation Category", be sure to select "Friendship Pavilion" from the drop down menu.  

Sent us an email so we can include you in our next newsletter! 
David Hsu:

Houston-Taipei Society