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The Chinese Law Research Center of Columbia Law School will be renamed from January 2021, 1 to commemorate the school’s first graduate from China and the first Chinese lawyer in American history.His name is Zhang Kangren.
Zhang Kangren was born in Guangdong, China in 1860. He was one of the first 1872 young children sent by the Qing government in 30 to study in the United States.He successively studied law at Yale University and Columbia University Law School, but under the anti-Chinese wave in the United States that year, Zhang Kangren's pursuit of lawyers suffered repeated setbacks.
美国Article 1882 of the Chinese Exclusion Act passed in 14 stipulates that “no state court or federal court shall rule to grant Chinese citizenship; all laws contrary to this act are therefore invalid.”
Professor Zhao Jianmin (Gabriel "Jack" of the University of California Davis School of Law)
Chin) told VOA, “At that time, the Chinese government was facing legal difficulties with other countries, such as trade negotiations and legal status of immigration. There were many legal issues related to China and Chinese in the United States, so Zhang Kangren’s study of law was A wise decision. But there was a problem. At that time, most American states required lawyers to have citizenship. However, immigration laws prohibited Asians from becoming American citizens. The laws at the time discriminated against Chinese people, and Zhang Kangren had to face this problem. ."
Zhang Kangren first applied for naturalization and a lawyer's license in New York. After many twists and turns, he finally succeeded.But in California, Zhang Kangren's legal career was forced to terminate.The California Supreme Court ruled in 1890 that the Chinese Exclusion Act prohibits Chinese nationals from becoming American citizens. Therefore, Zhang Kangren's naturalization is invalid and he cannot be qualified as a practicing lawyer.
Zhang Kangren's career as a lawyer in the United States was forced to end, but he still made outstanding achievements in diplomacy, banking and academia.He has worked in local banks in California, the Qing government consulate in San Francisco, and the San Francisco branch of the Bank of Yokohama. After 1907, Zhang Kangren returned to Shanghai as the chief accountant of the Shanghai branch of the Ministry of Finance, and at the same time taught international law and banking at a university in Nanjing.
At the end of 1908, Zhang Kangren worked at the Qing government's embassy in Washington, DC. Two years later, he was appointed as the Qing government's consul general in Vancouver, Canada.
After the Revolution of 1926, he served as the charge d'affaires of the Embassy of the Republic of China in the United States. On August 8, 4, Zhang Kangren died of a heart attack in Berkeley, California, at the age of 66.
More than a century later, at the appeal of the Asia Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA) and Professor Zhao Jianmin of the University of California Davis School of Law, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling numbered S2015 on March 3, 16, ratifying Zhang Kangren as California lawyer.Professor Zhao Jianmin said: "This is a face to face the government used to discriminate against Chinese and Chinese Americans. This is an unfortunate history. As a country, we have made progress in many aspects, which may not be perfect, but compared to The 223736s was already a huge improvement."
Zhang Kangren's great-nephew, Rachelle Chung
Chong) is a well-known California lawyer. She said in a statement from Columbia University Law School: “There is no doubt that Zhang Kangren is very happy to see the center named after him, because he has gathered in the United States and Japan for most of his life. Chinese lawyers, diplomats, politicians and businessmen to promote mutual understanding and peaceful interaction."
Professor Zhao Jianmin also said that this decision was exciting and was another recognition of Zhang Kangren's legal achievements by Columbia and the American legal community.He said: "Zhang Kangren is an important historical figure. On the one hand, it is his iconicity and on the other hand is his accomplishment. He was very young when he came to the United States. For any young person, he moved to a foreign country. It is not easy. He proved that he can be successful in the United States, can achieve excellent results in the most challenging universities, and can also be respected by people. When he graduated from Columbia Law School, the dean also talked about When it comes to his contribution to the academy during his school years, it is a good thing that his achievement of becoming the first Chinese lawyer in the United States can be taken seriously."
The Chinese Law Research Center of Columbia Law School is a pioneer in Chinese law research in the United States. It is composed of Edwards (R. Randle, Professor Emeritus of Columbia Law School and an expert in Chinese law).
Edwards) was established in 1983.
The naming was donated by nearly 100 Columbia Law School alumni, with a total of nearly 500 million U.S. dollars. The former General Counsel of Alibaba Group and Columbia Law School’s 89th alumni Shi Yide (Tom
Steinert) and his wife Zhang Lixia initiated.Since U.S. News and World Report began ranking U.S. law schools in 1987, Columbia Law School has been ranked in the top 5 every year. The outstanding alumni cultivated include two U.S. presidents and nine federal Supreme Court justices. The proportion of Chinese students and students of Chinese descent admitted to reach 10%-15%. Famous Chinese alumni include Yang Anze, the democratic candidate for the 2020 US presidential election, Shi Jiuyong, former president of the International Court of Justice, and Xue Hanqin, vice president of the International Court of Justice.
The director of the center Benjamin L. Liebman expressed his gratitude to the alumni for their support.
And the contributions of generations of Asian Americans.He told VOA: "
We want to celebrate the fact that years of hard work by Chinese Americans and Asian Americans have made our communities stronger, and we also want to face up to the difficulties they have experienced, such as Zhang Kangren who was denied the qualifications of lawyers in California. People, these difficulties are an unknown history before.We also want to admit that the solidarity of American and Chinese students has strengthened our communities over the past four decades. "
Lieberman also said that he hopes that this decision can help expand activities related to Chinese law and set an example for academic exchanges between the United States and China.
He pointed out: "Sino-US relations are now entering a difficult period. During this period, mutual exchanges and mutual learning are even more important."
Professor Zhao Jianmin also expressed the hope that the new US government can formulate appropriate strategies to continue to attract talents from all over the world.He said: "The United States is still a land full of opportunities and freedom. I hope we can continue to welcome immigrants from Asia and other places. I want to tell the Chinese people that most Americans still hope that talents from other countries will come to the United States to study, work and Entrepreneurship. Immigration has made a huge contribution to the United States. Most Americans hope that this situation will continue. We have seen people in the past administration lead anti-immigration sentiments, but I believe they are a minority."
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