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Sheila Melvin - Discussant for Panel 5: Chinese and a Black President, Blacks and China

Sheila Melvin discussed the fifth panel of the conference Through Tinted Lenses? How Chinese and Americans See Each Other, hosted by the USC U.S.-China Institute.

November 10, 2013

About the Speaker

Sheila Melvin is a regular contributor to the International Herald Tribune and Caixin, though her work has appeared in many other publications. She writes principally on the arts in China. Her books include Rhapsody in Red: How Western Classical Music Became Chinese, a co-authored work which was short-listed for the Saroyan Prize in 2005 and The Little Red Book of China Business. Melvin is now working on a book that explores China's quest to become a cultural superpower.


This video is also available on the USCI YouTube Channel.

Through Tinted Lenses? How Chinese and Americans See Each Other

What do Americans and Chinese "know" about each other and how do they know it? What images do they have of each other's society and state? Where do these images come from? Why do some endure and others change? How do images vary with age and other factors? How do these perceptions affect the decisions and actions of governments, businesses, civic groups, and individuals?

On November 1-2, 2013, leading academics gathered with pollsters, journalists, diplomats, and entertainment industry practitioners to explore these questions and questions and others at a conference hosted by the USC U.S.-China Institute.

Polls suggest that a slight majority of Americans believe that the values of Chinese and Americans are so different that cooperation to address international problems is impossible. Most Chinese feel the U.S. is working to constrain China's continued rise. Americans and Chinese have increasingly negative impressions of each other's countries. Yet, we are visiting each other's countries more than ever before, becoming ever more intertwined, and are working cooperatively in many different ways to address pressing social, economic, and environmental issues. At the conference we examined how these exchanges affect perceptions along with the even more powerful role played by new and old media, popular entertainment, and political discourse.