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Talking Points, February 13-27, 2008

The USC U.S.-China Institute's weekly newsletter.
February 13, 2008

USC U.S.-China Institute

Talking Points
February 13-27, 2008

How useful has the study of imperial China’s foreign relations been to those studying or framing US policies toward China? Could such studies be made more useful for policy analysts and policy makers? These are two of the questions that will be examined at a USC symposium this Sunday (Feb. 17) afternoon. Some of the country’s top historians and political scientists will be sharing their thoughts. Details are below and in the calendar section of our website.

Also on the event horizon is the opening next week of the Huntington’s new Chinese Garden, Liu Fang Yuan 流方园 (Feb. 23). At USC, there will be Susan Shirk’s discussion of how domestic politics influence China’s foreign policy (Feb. 26), Jean Oi’s look at the politics of China’s corporate restructuring (March 5), and Donald Tang’s look at how China is investing its $1.5 trillion foreign exchange holdings (March 6). In April, we will be hosting presentations by the World Bank’s new chief economist Justin Yifu Lin (April 8) and by America’s longest serving representative to China, Ambassador Clark T. Randt, Jr. (April 21). Ambassador Randt will deliver this year’s Herbert G. Klein Lecture. (Video and text of last year’s Klein lecture, by Former Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy is available here.)
As Beijing’s official 2008 Olympics website tells us, there are just 176 days before the festivities begin. And the flow of Olympics-related news is intensifying. On Sunday, the British Olympic Association said British athletes would need to sign a pledge not to make politically sensitive remarks or gestures during the Games. An outcry ensued and the Association backed down. Yesterday, Beijing authorities asserted that all athletes were expected to adhere to the Olympic Charter which bans demonstrations or political propaganda at any Olympic site. Over the weekend, China’s government signaled its determination to address growing pollution and other concerns by appointing Xi Jinping (considered the heir apparent for the Communist Party’s top position in 2012) to oversee all Olympics preparations. (Click here to read a US-China Today article about the pollution threat.) Yesterday, film director Steven Spielberg announced that he was formally withdrawing as an artistic advisor for the Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies. He explained that he’d never signed a contract sent to him by the Chinese authorities more than a year ago and he was withdrawing because he feels the Chinese have not used their influence with the Sudanese government to improve conditions for those in Sudan’s Darfur region. After Spielberg’s announcement, a spokesperson at China’s Washington embassy said, "As the Darfur issue is neither an internal issue of China, nor is it caused by China, it is completely unreasonable, irresponsible and unfair for certain organizations and individuals to link the two as one." Some Western observers also criticized the move, arguing that participating and talking is the best way to seek improvement in key issues. British Culture Secretary Andy Burnham said, “Our position is always one of constructive engagement, working to improve the situation in the country and raise issues around the world and that’s what we will … continue to do.”

Please visit the US-China Today magazine website. Our student-driven publication offers articles on a variety of topics, including China’s space ambitions. USC faculty and graduate student researchers are reminded that research and conference travel grants are available. Please go to the announcements section of our website ( for additional information. 

Best wishes,
The USC U.S.-China Institute

USC Events

02/13/2008: Informational Session: Beijing Summer Program 2008
USC VKC 111, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Time: 2:00PM - 3:00PM
The Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures offers a second informational session for students interested in learning Chinese in China during summer 2008.

02/17/2008: History and China’s Foreign Relations: The Achievements and Contradictions of American Scholarship
USC Doheny Library Intellectual Commons Room
Cost: Free
Time: 1:30PM - 4:30PM
This USCI symposium brings together historians, political scientists, and policy analysts to discuss whether or not studies of the past help to illuminate the China's foreign affairs in the present. 

02/26/2008: China – Fragile Superpower
USC University Club
Address: Banquet Room, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Time: 12:30PM - 2:00PM
UCSD political scientist and USC U.S.-China Institute Board of Scholars member Susan L. Shirk will speak on US-China relations.

California Events

02/13/2008: The Criminalization of Adultery in 20th Century China

Hahn 101
333 North College Way, Claremont, CA 91711
Cost: Free
Time: 4:15PM - 5:30PM
Lecture by Lisa Tran, CSU Fullerton. 

02/14/2008: Chinese Independent Documentary Series: Using
2534 Melnitz Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Cost: Free
Phone: 310-825-8683
Time: 7:00PM - 10:00PM
Presented by the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies and the REEL CHINA Documentary Biennial. 
02/15/2008: "Inequality in China: Findings from the China Household Income Project"

IEAS Conference Room, 2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Terry Sicular of the University of Western Ontario discusses income inequality in China.
02/20/2008: Prospects for Taiwan-PRC Peace Under New Leaders

Hahn 101
333 North College Way, Claremont, CA 91711
Cost: Free
4:15PM - 5:30PM
Lecture by former U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, Raymond Burghardt.

02/23/2008: Liu Fang Yuan, the Garding of Flowing Fragrance, opens

Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108
Phone: 626-405-2261
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

North America Events: 

02/14/2008: Fear in Three Keys: Revisiting China's Boxer Crisis of 1899-1901

211 Dickinson Princeton University Princeton, New Jersey 08544
Time: 4:30PM - 6:30PM
UC Irvine's Jeffrey Wasserstrom speaks at Princeton.

02/18/2008: The Rise of China and its Implications

Robertson Hall, Bowl 16 Princeton University Princeton, New Jersey 08544
Cost: Free
Time: 4:30PM - 6:30PM
Princeton University hosts Georgia Tech's Wang Fei-Ling.  

02/19/2008: Elite Politics and Inflation in China: Past and Present
Lindner Family Commons, The Elliott School of International Affairs, 6th Floor, 1957 E Street, NW
Cost: Free
Time: 12:30PM - 1:45PM
Northwestern University's Victor C. Shih will speak as part of Sigur Center's lecture series on Sub-national Asia.


11/10/2007 - 02/17/2008: Everyday Luxury: Chinese Silks of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)

Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1130 State Street , Santa Barbara, CA 93101
The exhibition features a collection of Chinese costumes and textiles from the last three hundred years.


02/02/2008 - 03/29/2008: Shaolin: Temple of Zen
Otis College of Art and Design
9045 Lincoln Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90045
An exhibition and publication that documents the exceptionally private warrior monks of the 1500 year old Shaolin Temple in the Henan province of China, renowned for its association with Zen Buddhism and martial arts.


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 artists.


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USC U.S. – China Institute
3535 S. Figueroa St.
FIG 202
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1262
Tel: 213-821-4382
Fax: 213-821-2382
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