The China Society of Southern California

Fostering friendship, understanding and appreciation

between China and America since 1935


History and Aims


     We have one speaker program on the first Monday of each month except July, August and September. During these months we sometime schedule special events or simply take a hiatus. The topics of the presentations include art, history, current events, publications, and anything that may be of interest to members of China Society of Southern California. Our membership is open to the general public.


      Founded in 1935 as a non-profit cultural organization, and incorporated under the laws of the State of California, this Society is the oldest Sino-American organization of its kind in the United States. It was initiated on May 8, 1935, by a selected group of Chinese and American friends, who met together at the home of Dr. Yi-Seng Kiang, then Vice-Consul, later Consul-General of the Republic of China, under its first President, Mr. Peter SooHoo, it held its inaugural meeting on the evening of June 6, 1935, at the Soochow Cafe, then located opposite the historic Los Angeles Plaza, 504 North Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles, California, USA. We are a 501 (c) 3 organization since June 1, 1982.


      As stated in its CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS, which is available to all members in the form of a printed booklet, the aims of the Society are:


  1. To foster friendly relations between Chinese and Americans;
  2. To promote among Americans and Chinese a true understanding and appreciation of the history, culture, ideals, and customs of their respective countries;
  3. To provide Chinese and Americans with opportunities for mutual sharing of the beautiful and useful creations of their respective civilizations, including those in the realm of art, literature, philosophy, science, and religion;
  4. To co-operate with other organizations in sympathy with its aims and interest.


      Over the years the activities of the Society and its individual members have been keyed to these objectives. Some of our members--like Mrs. Peter SooHoo, who was the Society's Financial Secretary from the beginning until her death in 1973--have rendered service far above and beyond the call of duty. Only lack of space forbids the naming of many other loyal members and friends of the Society. Such a list would include past and present officers, members of committees, speakers, musicians, actors, and patrons, Nor have our members been remiss in donating money to worthy causes.


      Just as Chinese culture, in the broad sense, has not been confined to China alone, so our programs have been rich and varied, including many eminent speakers, artists, and entertainers. No member of our Society has been invited to speak more frequently or has received greater acclaim than Dr. Theodora Chen, Chairman of the Department of Asiatic Studies in the University of Southern California. Among others of eminence must been included, Pearl S. Buck, winner of the Nobel award in Literature; Mr. Chang Wen-ti, connoisseur and owner of priceless jade art objects; Mr. Chang Shu-chi, renowned painter and art teacher; Dr. Y.G. Chen, former President of the University of Nanking; and Dr. J. Leighton Stuart, former President of Yenching University and later United States Ambassador to the Republic of China. Among entertainers of note must be mentioned, Miss Sue Yong, actress and writer of original monologues; and the Red Gate Players, in two programs of Chinese Shadow Plays.


      As a result of events in East Asia during the last hundred years, traditional Chinese civilization has been subjected to the severest pressures it has ever undergone throughout its long history. And yet, despite the especially severe difficulties of the present situation, those of us who admire and respect Chinese culture feel confident that it will somehow survive and maintain its unique beauty and flavor and that the traditionally friendly ties between Americans and the Chinese people will endure to their mutual benefit.


      When one Chinese greets another whose knowledge and experience he respects, he greets him with the words, Ling Chiao--"What can I learn from you?" When we reflect that the educated people of China, Japan, and Indies have been studying our culture attentively for a hundred years, and consequently know far more about us that an6y comparable group of American knows about them, is it not time to ask, "What can we learn from you?" Said Confucius, "Virtue never dwells alone." It is bound to have neighbors.