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Black Tie  International Magazine China 1
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www.blacktiechina.com:
Dr. Weijian Shan
Dr. Weijian Shan

Dr. Weijian Shan- Chinese Crusader
with a Dream to Catch

单伟建:
一个追梦者的美国之旅
​​​ ​​​作者 Blair Zhou 华尔街传媒

Weijian Shan’s memoir “Out of the Gobi”

has taken the United States by storm. Highly praised by both major media like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and general readers alike, Dr. Shan’s autobiographical saga of his life as an exile in the Gobi Desert and subsequent rise to become one of the
 most successful financiers in China has been called
“the book that will change your view on China.”

After an intensive round of media interviews and book talks in London and then New York, Dr. Shan ended his whirlwind tour with a crowded event sponsored by the highly regarded National Committee on US-China Relations.  The event at the CBS Television headquarters in mid-town Manhattan was co-hosted by Dorsey & Whitney, a prestigious global law firm. Dr. Shan was introduced by Stephen Orlins, the National Committee’s president and a close friend of the author’s. Mr. Orlins, who used to be  also managing director of Carlyle Asia, described Shan’s book as “a history of the last 60 years of China, personalized.”

Shan began his talk commenting on the very unexpected, but overwhelming response his book has created,i n the U.S., topping Amazon’s best seller list for four consecutive weeks and continuing as one of the biggest selling books of the this year.

  Dr.Shan, Chairman and CEO of PAG, one of Asia’s largest independent alternative investment management groups, then kept his audience rapt with attention for more than another hour and a half, recounting the horrific experiences he endured during his six years of hard labor in the Gobi desert as a one of  16 million teenagers, including the infamous Red Guards, who were sent to the remote and poorest provinces to be ‘re-educated by peasants”. [Please note I wasn’t a Red Guard myself]. The trauma inflicted on Shan and his contemporaries was often unspeakable. Their education was cut short and their lives disrupted, if not destroyed. Most were consigned to poverty and menial jobs ever after the Cultural Revolution had ended. Shan works on a state farm in the Gobi, where he dug ditches, harvested potatoes, practiced medicine as a barefoot doctor with not much  training whatsoever, and made bricks out of with mud and ox dung, taking his audience through a world remarkably suggestive of the harsh conditions Charles Dickens described in his classic novel, Great Expectations. Like a Dickens character, Weijian Shan’s suffering proved only to make him stronger. With his natural ability as a storyteller, Shan spoke with the clarity of the world renowned investment banker he has become, articulating his every word with feeling, evoking powerful images through minute details.  His delivery was that of a pleasant cross between passion and presentation and he kept his audience hanging on to his every word, engaged, awed, and overwhelmed.

Shan recounted much of his early life, when he was a young 12-year old city scamp living in old Beijing, running around with local gangs and getting into mischief, as the full impact of Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution began to unfold. Shan was at first an enthusiastic volunteer and longed to be part of this great cultural awakening. He was assigned to the Gobi Desert and with a few friends he relished the importance of his new job, planting crops in the frozen sands of the tundra where temperatures often dropped to minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit at night and the only available source of water was solid ice. For more than seven years, Shan was “stationed” in the Gobi, but he felt as though he had been banished. His family back in Beijing had been torn apart during the Cultural Revolution. His mother and sister were sent to two different provinces, although his aging father and much younger brother were allowed to remain in sadly reduced circumstances in Beijing. Shan himself, however, gained strength and innovation as an ill-fed, overworked teenager but was reduced to taking serious risks to find food—chickens he and his confederates occasionally had to steal from local peasants to keep from starving to death. He recounted thinking on one such outing that if he were to drop dead right there and then, it was more than likely no one would ever find his body and he would have been turned into a speck of dust and become part of the sand under his feet. It was there, in that barren and desolate landscape in the middle of nowhere, that Shan was fortunate enough to meet a pilot from the China Aviation Service who had been exiled to the Gobi and told to raise pigs. Meeting this older individual, who had flown around the world, became Shan’s close friend and mentor, but also planted the seeds of Shan’s dream of someday going abroad. Another friend possessed a crude a camera which they used to record conditions in the Gobi. Upon Mao’s death, Shan was able to learn English and become one of the first Chinese ever to come to America where he would receive a formal education (despite the fact that he had, essentially, no secondary education and had taught himself mathematics by candlelight while in the Gobi, as noted by Janet Yellen, the former chair of the Fed and his doctorate advisor who wrote a touching foreword for the book. Coming to America had abruptly changed the course of Shan’s life and provided him with a stunning Hollywood persona: a Chinese crusader out of Gobi, chasing his dream and determined to make that dream come true, at any cost!

Over the next forty years, Shan never dared to stop, or even slow down. Enrolled at UC Berkeley, he obtained both his Master of Arts and also, amazingly, his Doctor of Philosophy degrees and then in the 1980’s, became a management professor at the famous Wharton School where President Donald Trump learned finance. The economic boom of the 1990soffered Shan the opportunity to become a legendary financier in the making. He was recruited by the legendary David Bonderman’s Texas Pacific Group (TPG) where Shan helped make billions of dollars for TPG’s clients. His finance career then took him to first to Asia and eventually back to China, this time not to plant crops, but to harvest gold. Shan became one of the first private equity investors in China, the first to buy control of a state-owned bank (which is now worth US$30billion) and one of the first to acquire other SOEs which strengthened his relationships with Beijing and made Shan and his investors immense returns.

Among the crowd present at this last event for Shan in the United States were many members of the media, artists who were interested in the theme of China and Gobi, fellow Chinese writers, and many young American and Chinese investment bankers who dream of become the
next Weijian Shan one day soon.

Just for the record, however, Shan ended his talk with a brief overview of market trends in China’s historic economic revolution. Just 50 years ago, he pointed out, the average yearly salary in China was less than $150. Shan himself made $10 a year during his time in Gobi. China’s growth was largely driven by investments and exports to mainly western markets. Even just 10 years ago, consumption represented only about 35% of GDP, compared with more than 70% for the United States. By 2018, however, these statistics have seen a radical reverse, with consumption representing more than50% of China’s GDP  while export accounts for only19%, down from 36% from its peak. Over the past three decades, China has been gradually shifting to a more liberal market with private sectors today accounting for more than60% of China’s GDP. Shan believes this trajectory isn’t changing and that China’s future lies in a market economy, similar to most western countries.

Shan ended his talk by recounting the significant and very different life coming to the U.S. and then returning to China has given him.  His life today could not be more removed from the lives his old friends he lived and worked with in the Gobi. His entire generation, Shan says, is a lost generation, youths forced into the countryside to grow crops in impossible conditions and robbed not only of any education, but in so many cases, of any hope of ever improving their lot in life. Many of his friends today live in poverty and are unable to find work or earn a living .. Ashe spoke these words, however, Shan’s tone softened, not of a world renowned investment banker, but an individual who has no fake sympathy, no judgement, just the matter of fact recounting of his own miraculous good fortune.

For Shan, the Cultural Revolution was an example of what happens when a government has absolute control. It is a time of chaos where everyone, from peasants to the highest government officials, can suffer and an entire generation can not only become “lost”, but can also turn against one another. To survive such a period can and was a daily struggle. For Shan, the Cultural Revolution serves as a cautionary tale against government owning everything and mandating all aspects of a person’s life, including who should live and who should die.

When asked Shan if he had a specific group of people, a target audience, he wanted his book’s message to reach? His response suggests his book is not just a vanity project written for his own benefit. Shan said he started writing this book when his children were young, that in his household, instead of telling his children fairytales, he would tell them about his time in the Gobi and his kids were more enthralled than they would ever be since this was the life their father had actually led. Shan began writing this book 27 years ago but it wasn’t until 2017 that he decided to make finishing this book his New Year’s resolution. He wrote this book, Shan says, for his children, and other children of the “lost generation” to know of this most horrific period in Chinese history and appreciate what they have, and even more importantly, appreciate the world they now live in. Shan has passed the torch of a dreamer on to the next generation of crusaders, which includes me, a millennium member whose parents shared Shan’s experience out of China to America and who, like Shan, have made their own lives another Hollywood story.

Dr. Weijian Shan
www.blacktiechina.com:
Dr. Weijian Shan: Out of the Gobi
 

单伟建:一个追梦者的美国之旅

作者 Blair Zhou 华尔街传媒

单伟建先生的回忆录《走出戈壁》风靡美国,受到《纽约时报》《华尔街日报》《今日美国》等主要媒体及广大读者的高度赞扬。单博士的传奇自传记录了他如何从流亡戈壁到成为中国最成功的金融家之一,本书被誉为一本将改变你对中国看法的书

在伦敦和纽约举办了一轮紧锣密鼓的媒体采访和见面会后,单博士旋风般旅程的最后一场,在曼哈顿中城的CBS总部举行,由美中关系全国委员会和著名的全球律师事务所DorseyWhitney共同主办。美中关系全国委员会主席、同时也是单博士的好友,斯蒂芬·奥林斯(Stephen Orlins)先生向大家正式介绍了单博士,奥林斯先生本人也曾经是凯雷亚洲区董事的总经理,他将单博士的新书描述为一段中国过去60年的历史,私人订制

单先生说,他的书在美国引起了非常意想不到的反响,连续四周位列亚马逊的畅销书榜,并继续成为最畅销的书之一。单伟建先生也是亚洲最大的独立另类投资管理集团之一太盟投资集团(PAG)的董事长兼首席执行官。随后,现场观众细心聆听了他超过一个半小时的演讲,讲述他作为毛泽东时代的“知识青年”,在戈壁沙漠长达六年的艰苦劳动的经历。当时有1600万青少年被遣往各省接受贫下中农再教育,单伟建及其同时代人所遭受的创伤往往难以形容。那时候,他们所受的教育被中断,他们的生活即便没有被彻底摧毁,也被完全扰乱。文化大革命结束后,他的同代人老三届,大多数都只能从事低薪和卑微的工作。单伟建在戈壁滩上的一个生产兵团工作,在那里他挖沟、收获土豆、作为赤脚医生从事医学工作(尽管没有受过多少培训),并用黏土牛粪制作砖头。单先生在戈壁滩的经历与查尔斯·狄更斯的经典小说《远大前程》中提到的严酷生存条件相似,但也像狄更斯笔下的故事,艰难困苦只让书中的主人公变得更强大。单是一个天生擅长讲故事的人,娓娓道来,每一句话都充满感情,通过微小的细节唤起听众心中强烈的画面感。他的讲述是激情与表达之间的愉快交融,他让听众沉浸在他说的每一句话中,感同身受,内心充满敬畏和感动。

单伟建回忆起他早年的生活,当时他只是一个12岁的城市小学生,住在老北京城,随处乱窜,目睹红卫兵派系的争斗和闹事。毛主席发动的文化大革命影响到了所有人。单伟建起初很兴奋,渴望成为这种伟大的文化觉醒的一分子。他被分配到戈壁沙漠,和几个朋友一起认识到了新工作的重要性,在苔原的冰沙中种植庄稼,温度经常降到零下10华氏度以下,唯一可以饮用的是凿冰取水。在七年的时间里,单伟建驻扎在戈壁,也可以说被放逐了。他远在北京的家人在文化大革命期间被迫分开,尽管他年迈的父亲和弟弟被允许留在北京,他的母亲和姐姐被送往两个不同的省份。他本人作为一个常年吃不饱又过度劳累的苦力,沦落到不得不冒险从当地农民手中偷鸡以免饿死。他讲述了一次在戈壁中偷食时萌生的一个念头:如果此次就死在了这里,那么很可能没有人能找到他的尸体,他会变成一粒灰尘,成为脚下沙丘的一部分。也是就在那里,在一片荒芜的土地上,单伟建幸运地遇到了一位被流放到戈壁养猪的原中国航空局的飞行员。这位曾在世界各地飞行的老人,成为了他的亲密朋友和人生导师,这位长者也为单将来出国的梦想埋下了梦幻的种子。单的一位朋友有一台简单的相机,拍摄记录下来戈壁的日子的点滴。毛泽东去世后,中国开放,单伟建有幸能够离开戈壁,学习英语,成为第一批来美国求学的中国留学生,尽管他没有接受过中学教育,不得不在戈壁自学数学。美国前联储的主席耶伦博士是单伟建的博士导师,她为单的书的撰写前言,其中提到单是加州贝克利唯一一个从未读过正式数学课的博士生,他至此以前的数学都是在煤油灯下自学的。美国改变了单伟建的人生进程,帮助他成为了一个令人惊叹的好莱坞式的传奇人物:一个从戈壁出来的中国骑士,不惜任何代价地去追逐和实现人生梦想!

在接下来的四十年里,单伟建从不敢停下奋斗的脚步或放慢速度。他就读于加州大学伯克利分校(UC Berkeley),不仅获得了文学硕士学位,还获得了哲学博士学位,然后在20世纪80年代成为了著名的沃顿商学院(Wharton School)的经济管理学教授,特朗普总统(Donald Trump)曾在该校学习金融。20世纪90年代的经济繁荣,成就了单伟建从教授转变为传奇金融家的机会。他被华尔街了不起的人物大卫邦德曼(David Bonderman)的德克萨斯太平洋集团(Texas Pacific GroupTPG)聘用,在那里,单先生帮助TPG的客户赚了数十亿美元。金融生涯让单伟建去到经济崛起的亚洲,最终回到中国,这次不是种庄稼,而是收获黄金。单成为中国第一批私人股本投资者之一,也是第一批收购国有银行控制权(目前价值300亿美元)和其他国有企业的投资人。这些投资活动带来多方共赢。

出席此次单伟建博士美国活动的嘉宾当中,有许多媒体人、对中国和戈壁主题感兴趣的艺术家和作家,以及许多梦想着不久后能成为下一个单伟建的、来自中国和美国的年轻投资银行家们。

在演讲尾声,单伟建博士简要概述了中国历史性经济革命的市场趋势。他指出,50年前,中国的人均年收入还不到150美元。在戈壁期间,他自己每年只有10美元的收入。中国的过去增长主要是投资和出口驱动的。即便是10年前,消费只占有中国GDP35%左右,而美国消费占GDP的比重超过70%。然而,到2018年,这些统计数据发生了根本性的逆转,中国的消费占GDP的比例超过50%,而出口从10几年前的占GDP比例36%峰值已经降至仅19%左右。在过去三十年中,中国已经逐渐转向更自由的市场,如今私营经济占中国GDP60%以上。他认为,这一发展轨迹并未发生变化。与大多数西方国家类似,中国的未来在于市场经济。

演讲最后,单伟建提到了他来到美国后又返回中国所经历的非常不同的生活,这让他感触良多。他说,他今天的生活离不开一起在戈壁生活和工作的老朋友们。他们整整一代人都是失落的一代,年轻人被迫去到农村,在不可能的条件下种植庄稼,他们不仅被剥夺了受教育的机会,在许多情况下,也被剥夺了任何改善生活的希望。那些在戈壁同甘共苦的朋友们,有的生活贫困,找不到薪酬好工作和谋生之路,只能领取低保。当他提到这些时,他的语气变得柔和,那一刻他不是一个世界知名的投资银行家,而是一个没有虚假同情心、不评判别人的平凡人,只是如实地讲述自己神奇又幸运的命运。

对单伟建来说,文化大革命是政府拥有绝对控制权的一个例子。那是一个混乱无序的时期,从农民到政府最高官员,每人都遭受一样的苦难,一整代人不仅失落,而且人人自危。要在那样一个时期生存,每天都是艰难的斗争。对单先生来说,文化大革命是一个警示,警告政府不能拥有一切,不能主宰每一个国民生活的方方面面,包括谁应该活着,谁应该死去。

记者提问,单先生是否想把书中信息传达给一个特定的群体,一个目标受众?单回答说他的书不是为了个人利益而写的一个虚荣的项目。他说,在他的孩子们小的时候,他就开始写这本书。在家里,他不会给孩子们讲童话故事,而是讲述他在戈壁的经历,他的孩子为此更为着迷,因为这是父亲真正经历过的生活。单伟建27年前就开始写这本书,但直到2017年,他才决定把这本书作为2018年的新年愿望完成并出版。他说,他写这本书,是为了让他的孩子们和其他失落的一代的孩子们,了解中国历史上最可怕的一段时期,从而更珍惜他们拥有的一切,珍惜他们今天生活的世界。

单伟建博士是一位梦想家,也许《走出戈壁》,就是他的一个梦想传递——把他的梦想传递给下一代的追梦者们,其中包括我,一个千禧一代的青年。我的父母80年代走出中国来到美国求学求生的故事,和单伟建先生的故事一样激动人心,他们的人生过往,编织成中美美好时期的好莱坞故事,激励我们下一辈走好父母开拓的路!

 

 

 

 

 

Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/Blacktiemagazine.com

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Save the Date

 John and Amy Phelan.  Photo by:  Capehart

The Ireland Funds
30th Emerald Isle
Palm Beach
Diner Dance
Palm Beach, FL
February 13, 2020

Details

 

Brooke USA Sunset Polo & White Party

Brooke USA’s Sunset Polo™
 & White Party
 is the Soiree of the Season

Wellington, FL
March 20, 2020

Details

 
 

 Mentoring The Next Generation For Success
 

jason ma

 

Jason Ma, CEO, ThreeEQ, Inc
 

Featured Foundation

Waggle


Waggle Foundation details
 

Nightlife with Rose Billings

gerard mc keon

Gerard Mc Keon

World Award for
SDG Achievement,
SDG #17 Partnerships



Details
 

 

Libbie Mugrabi.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/Blacktiemagazine.com

 

Libbie Mugrabi
Best Birthday Ever!




Details
 

 

Black Tie China

 
#chianphilanthropy

Domestic Chinese giving in 2017, $23.4 Billion
Details

 

lang Lang

Lang Lang the World-Renowned Pianist
Marries his Beloved, Gina Alice
 Details

Black Tie Sustainable Investment

jeff bezos

Help
Jeff Bezos
Spend
 $80,000,000,000
On Philanthropy


Details
Impact Investment

Black Tie Philippines

Gerard Mc Keon and Laica Herrera.  Photo by:  GMK/Blacktiemagazine.com

5th Annual Belgium
Cheese & Beer Night
at Manila Polo Club
Black Tie
Philippines



Details

Black Tie Philippines
 

 
Celebrity Philanthropy News

Ellen Scarborough  and Chuck Scarborough.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/Blacktie,agazine.com


Ellen
& Chuck Scarborough

The Evelyn Alexander
Wildlife Rescue Center's
Get Wild Benefit 2019

Details

Celebrity Philanthropy News

 

Jean Shafiroff and Sir Paul Mc cartney.  Photo by:  patrick McMullan

Jean Shafiroff
Sir Paul McCartney


The Jewish Board Gala
Raises Over $3.3 Million

 

Details

Celebrity Philanthropy News

 

UNWFPA’s Treasurer Michal Grayevsky, UN Women’s Resource Mobilization and Advocacy Manager Vesna Jaric, UNWFPA’s President Barbara Winston


UN Women for Peace
Association,
donates $50K
 to the United Nations Trust
 Fund to End Violence
 Against Women


Details

Society News

 

Meera Gandhi.  Photo Courtesy of the giving back foundation

The Central Park
Conservancy
2019 Hat Party



Details
Society News

 
gerard mc keon

United Nations Correspondents Association
The 23rd Annual UNCA Awards
Details
 

Martin Pepa, Winner.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/Blacktiemagazine.com


 

 

Polo Hamptons 2019



Details

Celebrity Philanthropy News

 

Al Pacino. Photo by:  Michael Simon/startraksphoto.com

Al Pacino

The American Icon
Awards Gala
Beverly Hills, CA


Details

Celebrity Philanthropy News

 

Joseph Coselli and Miss Aubrienne Krysiewicz-Bell.  Photo by: Rose Billings/Blacktiemagazine.com

The 64th
 International
Debutante Ball




Details

Celebrity Philanthropy News

 

Greg Schriefer and Honoree Clive Davis. Photo by:  Rose Billings/Blacktiemagazine.com

Clive Davis

Fifth Annual
Eight Over Eighty
Benefit Gala

 

Details

Celebrity Philanthropy News

 

His Eminence, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York.   Photo by:  Julie Robinson

42nd Annual Inner-City
Scholarship Fund
 Friends Gala
Raises Over $1 Million


Details

Society News

 

Global CeylonTea Party

Permanent Mission
 of Sri Lanka
 to the United Nation
s

Global Ceylon Tea Party
in Celebration of the
150th Anniversary of
Ceylon Tea


Details

Society News

 

Taye Diggs presented the Spirit of Entertainment Award to Nancy O’Dell, co-anchor of Entertainment Tonight

Nancy O'Dell
Taye Diggs
Associates for Breast
 and  Prostrate Cancer
Studies
Annual
Talk of the Town Gala
Beverley Hills, CA

Details

Celebrity Philanthropy News

 

the ocean conference

The Ocean Conference

Our oceans, our future:
partnering for the
implementation of
 Sustainable Development
 Goal 14

United Nations
NYC

Details
Society News

 

ecosoc 2017

ECOSOC   
“Partnerships for
promoting opportunities,
increased prosperity
 and sustainable development
 for all”


Details
Society News

 
 

Kathryn and Leo Vecellio



 
The 62nd Annual
Palm Beach Heart Ball
Raises Over $1 Million




Details

Palm Beach Society

 

 Silvia Frieser (Co-Chair) (Executive Director) Michael Peenik (Co-Chair).  Photo by:  Rose Billings/Blacktiemagazine.com



 The 62nd
Viennese Opera Ball
 




Details

Society News

 

Lois Pope and Dr. Robin Ganzert. Photos by CAPEHART

LIFE's 23rd Annual
"Lady in Red" Gala
Raises More Than
 $1.2 Million

 

Details

Palm Beach Society

 

 Deborra-Lee Furness, Leadership Award Recipient and Cate Blanchett, Presenter.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/Blacktiemagazine.com

Deborra-Lee Furness
 Cate Blanchett

UN Women for Peace
 Association
Annual
Awards Luncheon

Details
Celebrity Philanthropy News

 

Crown Prince Alexander, Joyce Brooks


Crown Prince Alexander
 Joyce Brooks



Details
 


Society News

 

From left: Dr. Steven J. Corwin, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian, Jessica M. Bibiliowicz, chairman of Weill Cornell Medicine's Board of Overseers, Frank A. Bennack, Jr., chairman of NewYork-Presbyterian's Board of Trustees, and Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi, interim dean of Weill Cornell Medicine, during the annual Cabaret benefit dinner on Nov. 9 at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers. The event raised $3.5 million to support the institutions' ongoing work in patient care, biomedical research and medical education..  Photo by:  Studio Brooke

NewYork-Presbyterian
 Weill Cornell Medicine
Annual Cabaret Benefit
 Dinner
Raises $3,5 Million

Details

Society News

 

T. Denny Sanford

T. Denny Sanford
 $100 million Gift
Launches
Sanford Stem Cell
Clinical Center


Details

Society News
 

 

Nancy Grand, Stephen Grand

Nancy &Stephen Grand
commit $50 million
to the
Weizmann Institute
of Science


Details

Society News
 

 

Marc Anthony, Carlos Slim, Petra Nemcova

Marc Anthony
Carlos Slim
Petra Nemcova

Happy
 Hearts Fund
Gala

Details

 Celebrity Philanthropy News

 

Israel's 65th birthday

Israel's
65th
 Anniversary
 $1,216,124,000.00
Birthday gift

Details

Philanthropy Giving
Donate.bz
 

 

Black Tie International Realty

amayan beach, palawan, philippines

 Amayan, Beach,
 Palawan,
 Philippines

348 acres
$5.25 million

Details
International Realty

 

Philanthropy Giving

 
2017 US Charitable Giving
Sets New Record $477.55 Billion

Details

 

Global Sustainability News

 

Cortés Desalination and Tidal Electric Generation Project

 Cortés
Desalination
and Tidal Electric
 Generation Project


Details
Impact Investments

 

sustainable development goals

United Nations 
17
  Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's)

 

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