You are here

Talking Points, April 9 - 23, 2008

The USC U.S.-China Institute's weekly e-newsletter
April 9, 2008

USC U.S.-China Institute

Talking Points
April 9 - April 23, 2008

Why are some countries rich and others poor? How can poor countries become rich? Justin Yifu Lin, newly appointed Chief Economist of the World Bank, took on these questions in a USC presentation yesterday. The Peking University professor and member of the U.S.-China Institute board of scholars spoke to an overflow crowd of more than 150 people. He argued that economic growth in developing countries requires pragmatic rather than ideologically-driven government policies and continuous technological innovation. Countries have limited endowments, but by taking fullest advantage of their comparative advantages to accumulate capital, import technology, and to utilize these for continued growth.

Lin pointed to Deng Xiaoping’s (1904-97) pragmatic and gradual economic reforms in China as evidence for his approach. Deng’s incremental policies mobilized the nation’s abundant labor, partially opened the country to foreign capital and technology, and focused on building export-oriented light industry. Lin’s presentation drew on his Marshall Lectures. A link to those lectures is available at the end of our article on Lin’s appointment: In 2007, the Bank made nearly $25 billion in development-oriented loans. Lin will lead a team of 200 researchers providing analysis to guide Bank operations and the advice given Bank clients.


On Monday, April 21, America’s ambassador to China, Clark T. Randt, Jr., will deliver the 2008 Herbert G. Klein Lecture. President George Bush appointed Randt to this key position in 2001, shortly following a difficult episode in U.S.-China relations, the collision of a U.S. Navy plane and a Chinese jet fighter. The ambassador worked to mend ties, to address trade frictions, to secure compliance with World Trade Organization standards, and to foster cooperation on a wide range of critical issues including battling terrorism, halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, protecting the environment, and defending intellectual property rights. During Randt’s tenure, China has undergone a leadership transition. That leadership is facing enormous problems, including unrest in and near Tibet. Some worry that those domestic challenges could affect China’s foreign relations. Amb. Randt will assess the current state of U.S.-China ties. Details about the talk are below. Please rsvp to

Film is an important part of U.S.-China cultural and commercial exchange. On April 24-26, the USC East Asian Studies and School of Cinematic Arts present “Chinese Cinema at 100: Art, Politics, and Commerce.” This conference 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 (). Li Yang and Feng Xiaogang, the directors of these films, will attend and take questions. Details about this conference and other compelling events are below and in the calendar section of the USCI website.

NBC paid $894 million for the right to broadcast the Beijing Olympic Games in the U.S. McDonald's and other multinational firms paid heavily to be official “Worldwide Olympic Partners” for the Beijing Games. These companies know the Olympics are the preeminent global media event and they value the chance to tell the billions of people who will follow the Games about their products and services. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that those opposing Chinese government policies or practices would seize upon the Games as an unprecedented opportunity to share their message with a global audience. This is already happening. Over the past few days, determined and sometimes remarkably enterprising individuals and groups have interrupted or staged demonstrations alongside the first legs of the Olympic torch relay. These actions have kept attention focused on Tibet and other issues and partially account for the results obtained this weekend by the Zogby polling firm. On Tuesday, Zogby reported that 70% of the 7,121 likely American voters it surveyed feel that China should not have been awarded the Games. A similarly large majority, however, opposes a U.S. boycott of the Games.

Earlier today, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s office confirmed that he would not attend the Olympics opening ceremony. As with another declared no-show, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Brown had not previously committed to attending. French President Nicolai Sarkozy’s attendance at the opening ceremony is now conditioned upon the Chinese government’s willingness to open a dialogue with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. Despite calls from some members of Congress and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to boycott the opening ceremony, U.S. President Bush still plans to attend. Today, though, he said the Chinese government should begin talks with the Dalai Lama. He also promised to speak out for religious freedom. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is now in China and spoke Wednesday at Peking University. Rudd speaks fluent Mandarin and told students and others that Australia recognizes Chinese sovereignty over Tibet, but Australians and others are concerned over human rights problems there. Qiangba Puncog, chair of Tibet’s government, was among the officials criticizing Rudd’s remarks. Qiangba was quoted as saying, "Australia, or other countries, should have better appreciation and understanding of the fact that people in Tibet are now enjoying democracy and have wonderful human rights protection, and those remarks are totally unfounded.”

You can follow these and other developments in the daily update and voices sections of US-China Today

Please 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

04/09/2008: Chinese Thinking on the Future of International Relations
Cost: Free
Time: 12:30PM - 2:00PM
The Center for International Studies presents a talk with USC U.S.-China Institute Executive Committee member Dan Lynch as part of the Director's Workshop Series.

04/21/2008: Herbert G. Klein Lecture
USC Davidson Conference Center, Embassy Room
Cost: Free
Time: 10:30AM - 11:30AM
Clark T. Randt, Jr., is the longest serving United States Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.

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.

California Events

04/09/2008: Fighting for the Seats: Gender Quota and State Feminism in South Korea and Taiwan

UCLA 10383 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Cost: Free
Time: 3:00PM - 4:30PM
UCLA hosts a talk with Chang-Ling Huang from National Taiwan University.

04/09/2008: The Eye Having to Have Looked at Enough Examples to Really See . . .

UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Cost: Free
Time: 3:30PM - 5:00PM
Dr. Ni will discuss decoding the iconography of some frequently seen décor on Chinese pictorial representations.  

04/09/2008: The Internet Revolution in China

UC Berkeley, 150 University Hall
Cost: The series is open to the public for a fee of $10 per lecture, Campus community with a Cal ID, CAA members with a membership card, and OLLI members are free
Time: 6:00PM - 7:30PM
UC Berkeley's Xiao Qiang speaks as part of the lecture series on "The Emerging Narrative of China." 

04/10/2008: Visualizing Revolution: Propaganda Posters from the People's Republic of China, 1949-1989

Nelson Gallery, Art Building University of California, Davis
Formal Opening: 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. 

04/10/2008: Chinese Voices
IEAS Conference Room
2223 Fulton Street 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 4pm
An hour-long screening of video vignettes followed by a question and answer session with digital journalists. 

04/10/2008: The Rise of Guanxi in China's Transitional Economy

UCLA, 243 Royce Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Cost: Free
Time: 4:30PM - 6:00PM
Sociologist Yanjie Bian proposes a theoretical model in which the role of guanxi is a function of institutional uncertainty and market competition. 

04/12/2008: Symposium-Visualizing Revolution: Propaganda Posters from the PRC
UC Davis, Art Building, Nelson Gallery
Cost: Free

04/17-04/19/2008: The Committee of 100's 17th Annual Conference
Beverly Hilton Hotel, Los Angeles, CA
Cost: Varies: please visit Committee of 100 website.
A forum for the discussion of issues pertaining to U.S.-China relations and Asian American progress.

04/19/2008: Symposium on Literati Buddhism in Middle-Period China
UC Berkeley, IEAS Conference Room, 2223 Fulton Street 6th Floor
Cost: Free
Time: 9:00AM - 4:00PM
This one day conference seeks to examine the intersection between elite culture and Buddhism in the Tang, Song, and Yuan dynasties.

04/22/2008: The Nuts and Bolts of Social Science Research in China
UC Berkeley, IEAS Conference Room, 2223 Fulton Street 6th Floor
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM
This panel discussion and Q&A session is for graduate students on the practicalities of research in China.

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. 


North America Events:

04/09/2008: Does China Have an Energy Diplomacy?: Reflections on China's Energy Security and its Impact on Foreign Policy

Lindner Family Commons, The Elliott School of International Affairs, 6th Floor
1957 E Street, NW
Cost: Free
Time: 12:30PM - 2:00PM
The Sigur Center for Asian Studies hosts Linda Jakobson as part of the lecture series on transnational Asia. 


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.


Please invite others to subscribe to USCI’s free email newsletter for regular updates on events and programs. We will not share names or email addresses with any other entity. Sign Up.

We provide information about China-related events as a community service. If you would like your event considered for inclusion in the USCI calendar, please click here to submit event details.


USC U.S. – China Institute
3535 S. Figueroa St.
FIG 202
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1262
Tel: 213-821-4382
Fax: 213-821-2382
You have received this e-mail because you have subscribed to receive updates from USCI. If you feel this message has reached you in error or you no longer wish to receive our updates, please click, unsubscribe, and enter "Remove" in the subject line.