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Talking Points, February 18 - March 4, 2009

The USC U.S.-China Institute weekly e-newsletter
February 19, 2009











USC U.S.-China Institute Weekly Newsletter

Talking Points
February 18 - March 4, 2009

She graduated from Wellesley College and her husband served as the nation’s leader. Thoughtful and extremely well-spoken, she served in the legislature for a few years, and subsequently became an effective representative to foreign governments. She did much to garner support for her nation in a time of crisis. Soong Mayling (Song Meiling) was such a political and diplomatic force that Time magazine named Chiang Kai-shek and her “husband and wife of the year” in 1937. An important political figure for decades, Madame Chiang was born in the 19th century and died in the 21st. She was the first Chinese to address both houses of the U.S. Congress and spoke in Los Angeles and elsewhere to raise awareness and marshal support for China. Please join us at noon Thursday for a presentation by Laura Tyson Li, author of a remarkable new biography of Soong. Details are below and at the calendar section of the USC U.S.-China Institute website.

Time, 1937

Time, 1943

Another Wellesley graduate will arrive in China on Friday. Among the expected outcomes of Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s visit is a resumption of U.S.-China military talks which were postponed after the outgoing Bush administration approved the sale of arms valued at $6.5 billion to Taiwan. Clinton’s visit, however, will focus on how the two nations are addressing the economic downturn, what more can be done to halt the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, and on potential areas of cooperation on climate change and disease eradication. Clinton’s East Asia trip, her first international trip as Secretary, signals the importance the Obama administration accords to relations with our largest overseas trade partners. U.S.-East Asia trade has exceeded U.S.-European trade since 1974, but this is the first time since the 1960s that a U.S. chief diplomat’s first trip was to Asia. The trip also signals Clinton’s intention to have the State Department play a larger role in U.S.-China relations than it did the after Henry Paulson became Treasury Secretary in 2006.

Clinton will meet Chinese President Hu Jintao and other leaders during her time in Beijing. Hu is himself just back from visiting four African nations. Africa is an important destination for Chinese investments and has become a vital trade partner, supplying raw materials (especially oil) and purchasing manufactured goods and services. China’s trade with Africa grew by 45% in 2008. Two other top Chinese leaders, Vice President Xi Jinping and Vice Premier Hui Liangyu, are in Latin America. China has become Latin America’s third largest trade partner. The Chinese government says trade grew by 40% in 2008 and is now ten times larger than it was in 2000. Venezuela, for example, has become China’s fourth largest foreign oil supplier. China built and last October launched Venezuela’s first communications satellite and will be providing planes and other military technology.


The text of Sec. Clinton’s Feb. 13 speech on U.S.-East Asia ties is one of the resources available in the documents section of our website. Other resources at the site include a catalog of available fellowships, calls for papers, and our “average day” feature. Our recent documentary on U.S.-China relations has already been viewed by tens of thousands of viewers at our website and at YouTube (complete, segments). Video presentations by former officials and scholars on regional stability, security, economic, and environmental issues are also available. USC faculty and students are reminded that March 6 is the deadline to submit research proposals for summer 2009 and 2009-2010. Details are in the announcements section of our website.

Our web calendar and this newsletter is the most comprehensive listing of China-related talks, conferences, and exhibitions in North America. Please share it with others and encourage them to subscribe at

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


02/19/2009: Siren or Stateswoman: Reconsidering the Ambiguous Legacy of Madame Chiang Kai-shek in US-China Relations
USC, University Club Banquet Room, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 1:30PM
Laura Tyson Li will talk about her acclaimed book, "Madame Chiang Kai-shek: China's Eternal First Lady," the first English-language biography of one of the world's most influential, colorful, and controversial women in modern history.


02/18/2009: From Book to Buildings: Book Talk & Signing with Architect Neville Mars
Morono Kiang Gallery, Downtown Los Angeles
Cost: Admission is free – please RSVP by Friday, February 13, 2009
Time: 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Morono Kiang Gallery presents a special program with Beijing-based Dutch architect Neville Mars to discuss his new book THE CHINESE DREAM – a society under construction.  

02/19/2009: Rise of the Market and the Reach of the State
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall
616 Serra St., 3rd floor
Stanford, CA 94305
Time: 12:00PM - 1:15PM
Cost: Free
This talk is part of the Stanford China Program Winter 2009 China Seminar Series entitled "30 Years of Reform and Opening in China: How Far from the Cage?"  
02/20/2009: The Cultural Politics of the Brushstroke
IEAS Conference Room, 2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor
Time: 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Cost: Free
Martin Powers of the University of Michigan presents a talk on the shifting cultural politics of the brushstroke over four centuries. 

02/23/2009: Technologies of Asian Development : Japanese Engineers in Wartime China and Manchuria (1937-1945)
UCLA Faculty Center Hacienda Room Los Angeles, CA 90095
Time: 3:00PM - 5:00PM
Cost: Free
Colloquium with Aaron Moore, History, UCLA Terasaki Postdoctoral Fellow. 

02/27/2009: 2009 Hixon-Riggs Forum on Science, Technology and Society
Harcey Mudd College, Beckman Auditorium
Cost: Free
9:00AM - 5:30PM
The 2009 Hixon-Riggs Forum on Science, Technology and Society will focus on science and technology in the making of modern China during two days of presentations and discussions.
02/27/2009: Contemporary Architectural Trajectories in East Asia
UCLA Hacienda Room, Faculty Center, Los Angeles, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 2:00PM - 4:00PM
A panel talk on contemporary architecture in East Asia 
03/02/2009: The Making of the Chinese Intellectual: Theory, Findings, and Hypotheses
UCLA 10383 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 4:30PM - 6:00PM
Eddy U (UC Davis) will explore the intellectual (zhishifenzi) as what Pierre Bourdieu called a “practical classification” mobilized by agents with different motives and tactics. 
03/03/2009: Popular Protest in China
IEAS Conference Room
2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA
Cost: Free
5:00PM - 6:30PM
Kevin O'Brien (UC Berkeley) presents a talk on how popular contention unfolds in places where speech and assembly are tightly controlled. 

North America: 

02/20/2009: China's Revolutionary Anniversaries: Remembering 1919, 1949, 1989
Oak Room, Indiana Memorial Union, Bloomington, IN
Cost: Free
Time: 9:00AM - 8:00PM
A symposium commemorating the 1919 May 4th Movement, the 1949 founding of the People's Republic of China, and the 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square. 
02/27/2009 - 03/01/2009: Harvard East Asia Society Graduate Student Conference
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
The Harvard East Asia Society (HEAS) Graduate Student Conference invites graduate students from around the world, conducting research in all disciplines, to submit abstracts for our 2009 conference.
02/28/2009: China Upside Down
University of Michigan
Auditorium A Angell Hall 435 South Street
Cost: Free
Time: 7:00PM - 9:00PM
A film by Freddy Coppens that profiles several families who rose from subsistence incomes to fabled luxury through the inventiveness and ambition of the extended family.
03/03/2009: The Road Ahead: The First Green Long March
Asia Society and Museum
Auditorium, 725 Park Avenue, New York, NY
Time: 6:30PM - 8:00PM
A screening of "The Road Ahead: The First Green Long March"


08/23/2008 - 02/22/2009: Guests of the Hills: Travelers and Recluses in Chinese Landscape Painting
Freer Gallery of Art/ Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Smithsonian Institution P.O. Box 37012, MRC 707, Washington DC 20013-7012
Phone: 202.633.1000
Freer Gallery of Art presents an exhibition on the depictions of recluses and recreational travelers in Chinese landscape painting.

01/28/2209- 03/06/2009: Rubbings
Wesleyan University
The Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies
343 Washington Terrace
Middletown, CT 06459-0435 USA
Gallery Hours, 12-4 daily except Mondays
Wesleyan University presents an exhibition on contemporary Chinese rubbings. 

02/12/2009 - 06/07/2009: Noble Tombs at Mawangdui: Art and Life in the Changsha Kingdom, Third Century BCE to First Century
China Institute Gallery
Address: 125 East 65th St., New York , NY
Cost: $7
An exhibit featuring treasures of the Marquis of the Changsha Kingdom and his family

11/03/2008 - 11/03/2009: Ancient Arts of China: A 5000 Year Legacy
Bowers Museum
2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, California 92706
Bowers Museum presents a collection that portrays the evolution of Chinese technology, art and culture.  

11/14/2008 - 11/14/2009: Chinese Art: A Seattle Perspective
Seatle Asian Art Museum
Address: 1400 East Prospect Street , Volunteer Park , Seattle, WA 98112–3303
Phone: 206.654.3100
The Seattle Asian Art Museum presents an opportunity to see a collection with representative works from each dynastic period.

11/15/2008 - 11/15/2009: Masters of Adornment: The Miao People of China
Bowers Museum
2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, California 92706
The Bowers Museum presents a collection of exquisite textiles and silver jewelry that highlights the beauty and wealth of the Miao peoples of southwest China.

02/12/2009 - 02/12/2010: Art of Adornment: Tribal Beauty
Bowers Museum
Address: 2002 N. Main, Santa Ana, CA
Cost: $5
Time: 10:00AM - 4:00PM
An exhibit featuring body adornments from indigenous peoples around the world


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

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