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Talking Points, April 23 - May 7, 2008

The U.S.-China Institute's weekly e-newsletter
April 23, 2008

USC U.S.-China Institute

Talking Points
April 23 - May 7, 2008


On Monday, U.S. Ambassador Clark T. Randt, Jr. delivered the 2008 Herbert G. Klein Lecture at USC. Amb. Randt has served in Beijing since 2001. He began by noting that China’s emergence on the world stage is one of the most significant events we are ever likely to witness and that
“Most Americans are well aware that China has and will continue to have a tremendous impact on our lives in the coming century on the prices we pay, how we deal with the common threats we face, and even with respect to the very air that we breathe.”
Amb. Randt went on to address a wide range of issues, beginning with concerns about human rights and the unrest in Tibet and moving on to Taiwan, trade, intellectual property, energy security, climate change, counter-terrorism, and efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. He asserted that China has come a huge distance in recent decades, building a vibrant economy. Most Chinese enjoy greater personal freedom than ever before. Amb. Randt argued that while the U.S. has great differences with China, the U.S. has successfully worked with the Chinese government in important areas. He credited the unprecedented level of contact between top American and Chinese leaders. Beyond this, the ambassador celebrated the increasing people to people contact that exists, taking particular pride in 56,000 education-related visas issued to Chinese in 2007.
The ambassador concluded,
“Each of you, even if you have never set foot in China has a stake in the success of this important relationship… The way we deal with China today is going to impact our world and the world our children and grandchildren will someday inherit for better or for worse and for many decades to come.”
Amb. Randt’s full talk is available via streaming video at our website:
The Olympic Torch Relay continues to draw crowds and debate. Protests are expected at the next stops in Australia and Japan. There won’t be protests when the torch reaches Pyongyang, North Korea on April 28. Chinese media have recently reminded readers and viewers that protests are part of most international events. They point to demonstrations at G-8 and World Trade Organization meetings. Many Chinese see the protests as detracting from efforts to celebrate the first Olympics hosted by China. The US-China Today website features an interactive torch relay map, see it at
Popular demonstrations loomed large this week. In at least twelve Chinese cities, there were demonstrations targeting the French discount retailer Carrefour. Here in Los Angeles, thousands assembled outside CNN’s offices in Hollywood and Atlanta to protest the network’s coverage of unrest in Tibet and statements made by a CNN commentator. At universities across the United States, students and others are vigorously debating historical and contemporary issues. At USC, for example, Khen Rinpoche Geshe Kachen Lobsang Tsetan, a Tibetan monk from the exile community, spoke to an overflow audience last night. Today, the USC Chinese Students and Scholars Association organized a “Go Olympics! Go China” information display at the center of the campus.
You can learn about events such as Amb. Randt’s talk, the presentation on Tibet, and more in the calendar section of the U.S.-China Institute website: We’re pleased to be currently highlighting “Chinese Cinema at 100: Art, Politics, and Commerce.” The conference opens tomorrow and runs through Saturday, April 26. It is sponsored by the USC East Asian Studies Center and School of Cinematic Arts. It features presentations by filmmakers, film executives, and film scholars. Chinese and American efforts to penetrate each others markets are among the topics to be examined. Three films, Blind Shaft (盲井), The Banquet (夜宴), and The Assembly (集结号). Li Yang and Feng Xiaogang, the directors of these films, will attend and take questions.
Please remember that the resources section of our website includes a wide variety of materials, including testimony presented to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the situation in Tibet. Please also forward Talking Points to friends and colleagues. We look forward to hearing from you and from them. Write to us at
Best wishes,
The USC U.S.-China Institute


USC Events

04/23/2008: Go 2008 Olympics! Go China!
Alumni Park
USC University Park Campus
USC-CSSA is hosting an event to support the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Come to the Alumni Park in front of Doheny Library on Wednesday, April 23rd, 10:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m. to encounter one of CSSA's biggest events this year.

04/24-04/26/2008: Chinese Cinema at 100: Art, Politics and Commerce
Cost: Free
Time: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
The conference will address not only aesthetics of Chinese film, but also examine commerce and politics.

04/24/2008: Blind Shaft
USC Location LUCAS 108, Los Angeles, CA
Cost: Free
RSVP to:
Time: 7:00PM - 9:00PM
A 2003 film about a pair of brutal con artists operating in the illegal coal mines of present-day northern China.  
04/26/2008: The Banquet
USC Norris Cinema Theater , Los Angeles, CA
Cost: Free
RSVP to:
Time: 3:00PM - 5:00PM
A 2006 Chinese wuxia-drama film based on a loose adaption of William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet.  
04/26/2008: The Assembly
USC Norris Cinema Theater , Los Angeles, CA
Cost: Free
RSVP to:
Time: 6:30PM - 8:30PM
A 2007 Chinese war-drama film directed by Feng Xiaogang. 

California Events

04/23/2008: New Movements from China: Contemporary Art Turns Official
UCLA, 10383 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Cost: Free
Time: 2:00PM - 3:30PM
Meiqin Wang will explore the shifting institutional context and representation of Chinese official art since the late 1990s. 

04/24/2008: "Prepare for War": Civil Defense, Population Dispersal, and Tianjin's Cultural Revolution

UCLA 10383 Bunche Hall, LA, CA 90095
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Jeremy Brown gives a talk on the effects that the Cold War as well as the Cultural Revolution had on the residents of Tianjin.
04/26/2008: Contemporary China Confronts the International Arena: Influence, Image, and Instrumentalities
UC Irvine
Time: 10:30am-4:30pm
Cost: Free
A day long conference presented by the University of California, Irvine. 

04/26/2008: Wandering Spirits: Chinese Dream Lore & Interpretation
Culver City-Foshay Lodge No. 467
9635 Venice Blvd, Culver City
$10 General Admisson, $8 Museum members, students & seniors
UCLA professor Richard Strassberg will speak on his new translation and study of Chen Shiyuan's encyclopedia of dreams.

04/24/2008- 04/27/2008: Critical Han Studies Symposium & Workshop
Stanford University
Han is a colossal category of identity that encompasses ninety-four percent of the population of mainland China, making it the largest ethnic group on earth. Like other immense categories of identity, whether national, racial, ethnic, or otherwise, Han is beset by a host of linguistic, cultural, political, and historical inconsistencies that call into question its status as a coherent community. Despite this, however, Han has managed to fly below the radar of Critical Race Theory and largely above that of History, Ethnic Studies, and Anthropology. The symposium seeks to bridge this expansive divide, and to bring this fascinating area of research to the attention of a broader, international, and interdisciplinary community of scholars.

04/27/2008: To Live
Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library
318 S. Ramona Ave.
Monterey Park, Ca. 91754
Time: 2:00PM - 4:00PM
An epic story about a family during China's tumultuous times from the 1940's to the 1960's.

04/30/2008: The Rising Tide
UCLA, Public Policy Building 1234
Time: 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
A documentary screening of The Rising Tide, featuring some of China's most talented emerging artists.
04/30/2008: The Lyrical in Epic Time: Jiang Wenye's Music and Poetry
UCLA 10383 Bunche Hall
Time: 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
A talk by Professor David Der-wei Wang about Jiang Wenye's literary works and music. 

05/02/2008: The Rising Individual and Changing Moral Practice in Contemporary China
UCLA 6275 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Phone: (310) 825-8683
This conference will explore the issue of individualism in China after market reforms. 
05/06/2008: Chinese Furniture and Architecture

Friends' Hall
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108
Time: 7:30PM - 9:30PM
Dr. Sarah Handler examines the unique characteristics of Chinese furniture and architecture. 

North America Events: 

04/23/2008: The Crisis in Tibet: Finding a Path to Peace
419 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Time: 2:30PM
A hearing before the committee on foreign relations. 

04/24/2008: China Colloquium Series: From Beijing to Shanghai and back Again-A Cultural Historian Looks at China's Changing Urban Scene

Location TBA
Cost: Free
Phone: 203-432-3426
Jeffrey Wasserstrom, professor of history at UC Irvine will speak at the China Colloquium on China's changing society. 
04/24/2008: Films of Fury Screening: The Emperor and His Brother
Henry R. Luce Hall Auditorium, Room 101
34 Hillhouse Avenue , New Haven, Conneticut 06511
Cost: Free
Phone: 203-432-3426
James Milward will introduce and discuss the film The Emperor and His Brother. 
04/24/2008: Printing Democracy: Taiwan's Tang-wai Opposition Journals
Gelman Library, Room 207
The George Washington University
2:30-4:30 PM
A special exhibit premier on Tang-wai's opposition journals and a roundtable discussion.

04/25/2008: Fourth Annual China Symposium: Defining Chinese Modernity: Information, Economy, and Environment

School of International and Public Affairs, Altschul Auditorium
Columbia University, Morningside Heights Campus 420 West 118th Street, New York, New York 10027
Cost: Free
Phone: 212-854-2592
This year's annual China symposium will have a panel discussion exploring the impacts of a growing economy on the Chinese society.


01/23/2008 - 05/15/2008: Cycle of Life: Awakening - Works by Asian Women Artists
IEAS Gallery
2223 Fulton Street 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA
An exhibition featuring the art works of Asian women artist.

04/03/2008 - 05/18/2008: Visualizing Revolution: Propaganda Posters from the People's Republic of China, 1949-1989

Nelson Gallery, Art Building University of California, Davis
Formal Opening on April 10, 6 - 8 pm
Katharine Burnett and Yang Peiming, Guest Curators
The exhibition will feature propaganda art from 1949-1989 from the collection of the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center of Mr. Yang Peiming.

03/06/2008 - 07/27/2008: Chinaman's Chance: Views of the Chinese American Experience

Pacific Asia Museum
46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena , CA 91101
Cost: $7 for adults, $5 for students/seniors
While the experience of being of Chinese heritage and living in America is unique to each individual, this exhibition will investigate the similarities and dissimilarities of these experiences.

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USC U.S. – China Institute
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FIG 202
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1262
Tel: 213-821-4382
Fax: 213-821-2382
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