New Year’s Message from the Armenian Community of China

January 15, 2015
Dear ChinaHays, As 2014 draws to a close, I would like to thank you all for your service and support to the Armenian Community of China in the past year. Our achievements would have been never possible without your dedication, hard work and enthusiasm. In the past year, we worked hard towards our ambitious goal of becoming the premier Armenian organization globally with best in class governance, transparency and accountability with a continuous focus on our core goals of bringing the community in China together and sharing with the world the history of Armenians in China. So how did it go? Here are some highlights from the past year:  
  • Community Level
 Events – we held dozens of events across China bringing together the community in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and  Hong Kong, including the first Armenian Mass in Mainland China in decades which took place on 14 December 2014 in Guangzhou. Professional Networking – 2 professional groups, the Armenians Students Association of China(which aims to connect the approximately 90 Armenian students studying in China every year) and theArmenians in Finance in Asia (which connects the 20 people strong Armenian financial community in Asia), were launched and have been very active. Academic Gatherings – the 1st Online Conference of Armenian Students and Researchers in Chinatook place on 30 November 2014 with great success bringing together the Armenian academic community in China to allow for better collaboration  and representation at the various academic gatherings across the country. Cultural Awareness– we supported a number of Armenian cultural events in China, including the visit to Guangdong in August 2014 of the 40 people strong State Youth Orchestra of Armenia. Education – Armenian languages are being now offered at the Beijing Foreign Studies University to Chinese students with more than a dozen Chinese students enrolled in the first year. We also continued  to push for the implementation of the Armenian Virtual College across Asia allowing for community members to attend Armenian classes regardless of their physical location.  
  • Global Level
 History – we partnered with the Gulbenkian Foundation to provide 2 fellowships to world class academics to research the old Armenian history in China. Khatchig Mouradian (Rutgers University) and Xi Yang (UCLA) visited China for research purposes and will come again this year to follow-up on some of the incredible discoveries they have made on our history in China with the aim to publish their findings by year end. In addition, community member Ruben Giney’s documentary “Armenian Journey Chronicles” exploring the old trading routes between China and Armenia has been winning numerous awards globally. Pan-Asia Collaboration –  the various Armenian communities across Asia are working closer together than ever before with the 1st Pan-Asian Armenian Gathering to take place in Bangkok on January 10 2014. The community also participated, along with many other dedicated individuals globally, in the efforts of preserving the Armenian heritage in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Singapore. The visit to Myanmar along with His Holiness Karekin II was of particular importance as it allowed us to save the Armenian Church of Yangon. Media –  we continue our global media push in order to create awareness and share with the world the Armenian history in China and Asia. For example, recent press stories including on the First Armenian Mass in Mainland China in decades ( were shared thousands of times and the BBC video on the efforts to save the Armenian Church in Myanmar( were seen by viewers from all around the world on tv and online.  
  • Internal
 Governance Ernst & Young have kindly accepted to act as our pro bono auditors and Bryan Cave LLPas our pro bono legal advisers, reinforcing our desire of building a world class organization with an emphasis on best-in-class governance and accountability.  Legal - The Armenian Community of Hong Kong and China Limited was officially incorporated on March 2014 as a Hong Kong company limited by guarantee. We are currently working with our legal advisers to apply for a tax exempt status with the HK Inland Revenue Department.   2015 will be a very important year for the community and your Executive Committee is continuing to focus on our core goals. In addition to some of the initiatives listed above, we will continue  the organization of cultural events for the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, a new digital push that will see us revamp our website and entire technological platform, elections which will be held online using a secured platform and the re-launch of our community newsletter.   Thank you once again for your dedication and support and looking forward to 2015!   Yours truly, Henri Arslanian President, Armenian Community of China
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