Saturday, October 2, 1999

Bronster urges
Chinese to build
Oahu consulate

By Mary Adamski


China's 50th anniversary of communist rule was celebrated in Honolulu with a nine-course banquet also commemorating the founding of the U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association 25 years ago.

Xu Shi Guo, China's deputy consul general in Los Angeles, joined about 250 local residents at festivities last night at Waikiki Lau Yee Chai restaurant.

"There are times when we will move apart, times when we will not see eye to eye, but isn't that what true friendship is all about?" said guest speaker Margery Bronster.

The former state attorney general earned a bachelor's degree in Chinese studies before entering law school.

Hawaii's cultural ties with China, its location and its beauty make it a logical choice as the site for the next consulate of China, Bronster said.

"I don't think we will just continue to be just an outpost," she said, and advised the crowd to urge leaders in Washington to make that happen.

"Hawaii's role in this special friendship has its strength in our long-term view of life," said Bronster, who applauded the Friendship Association for its leadership in knitting a relationship with China in the 1970s, a time when it was not a politically correct thing to do.

She drew applause and laughter with anecdotes of her early struggle in Chinese studies, which began in high school, and her trips to China, which included a six-week honeymoon with husband Mark Fukunaga.

After receiving her law degree, Bronster joined a New York law firm, Sherman and Sterling, which represented Chinese clients, including Occidental Petroleum and the Bank of China.

"Whether it was with the early business dealings I had or the many personal friendships that I made, it is something that has been an important part of my life," Bronster said.

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