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Talking Points, February 2 -16, 2011

The year of the rabbit is upon us and we note how nations around the world are joining in the lunar new year celebration. Of course, USC US-China Institute's newsletter also brings information about China-centered event across North America.
February 2, 2011

Talking Points
February 2 -- 16, 2011

Happy New Year! 新年快乐!

We wish the best possible holiday and a wonderful year of the rabbit. 祝您兔年吉祥!

(Lunar New Year Stamps and the USCI calendar is below.)

By now the first part of the largest migration in human history, the return of over 150 million migrant workers to their homes, is over. Families are gathered together to share smiles and tasty dishes. Families are gathered together to share smiles and tasty dishes. Everyone’s trying not to think about saying good-bye in a few days and undertaking the grueling trip back home.

For the 28th year, China Central Television is airing a live spring festival variety program. Last year, the state broadcaster reported that 82% of those watching television watched some or all of the program. Some 38% of China’s households caught at least part of the show. Both of these figures represented even greater market penetration than in previous years. It would have required some effort to watch anything else. Twenty-three national and provincial channels ran the program along with all the major internet portals. The program was also streamed to smart phones in China and Taiwan. An estimated 396 million watched the program on television with at least 100 million more tuning in via the net and phones. Commercials during the show brought in US$86 million.

Though the audience for the program remains huge, the opening ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Shanghai Expo raised audience expectations considerably. The spring festival gala, while enormous, is still more intimate than the stadium extravaganzas. It includes comedic cross-talks and other performances not included in the shows aimed at international audiences.

A different, but still television-centered ritual will be observed in millions of American households this Sunday. Super Bowl XLV features the Pittsburg Steelers and the Green Bay Packers battling for the National Football League championship. According to ratings compiled by Nielsen, some 107 million Americans tuned in last year, the most ever to watch any American television program. CBS alone earned more than $200 million from its ads.

More and more Americans participate in lunar new year festival events of one sort or another and in China, CCTV will broadcast the Super Bowl as well. If this past season was any indication, though, it may be some time before fans in China can cheer a Chinese Super Bowl player. Ed Wang (Wang Kai 王凯), the biggest lineman in the last NFL draft, was injured part of the season and his team, the Buffalo Bills, finished last in their division. Nonetheless, Wang and his parents were invited to the White House where they had lunch with Chinese President Hu Jintao, US Vice President Joseph Biden, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Wang’s parents were among the athletes representing China at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The NFL is delighted Wang’s proven to be an excellent player and is counting on him to help its marketing effort in China.

Ed Wang hands off to Chinese President Hu Jintao. Wang`s parents Robert and Nancy, Sec. Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joseph Biden. US State Dept. photo.

Many other American firms doing business in China are treating the lunar new year as a sales

Photo by Jay Song (Creative Commons).


opportunity. For example, Starbucks has rabbit mugs of various sorts for sale.

However you are spending this week, we wish you the best. As is our habit, we offer you the lunar new year stamps below as a small token of our appreciation for your interest and support over the past year. Please take care and keep in touch. You can write to us at

Best wishes,
The USC US-China Institute

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USCI welcomes applications for 2011-2012 postdoctoral fellows. USC students and faculty are also welcome to apply for research grants.

Lunar New Year Stamps
The lunar new year is celebrated throughout East Asia and in much of Southeast Asia. Many countries with significant Asian communities recognize the importance of the holiday for some of their citizens by issuing stamps. Some countries without large Asian populations issue lunar new year stamps as a fund-raising venture.


Hong Kong



United States


This year`s U.S. commemorative stamp features a paper cut style rabbit, the character tu 兔 (rabbit), and kumquats. Kumquats are often given as gifts at the new year.
The U.S. Postal Service has found lunar new year stamps to be a highly profitable enterprise, in part because so many of the stamps are purchased by collectors and are never used to send mail. This year, for the first time, the USPS has set up a special "lunar new year" page at its Postal Store. 





New Zealand


South Korea


Vietnam's twelve animal cycle varies slightly from that found elsewhere in East and Southeast Asia. In Vietnam, this is the year of the cat, rather than the year of the rabbit.


Want more lunar new year stamps?
2021: Year of the Ox
2020: Year of the Rat
2019: Year of the Pig
2018: Year of the Dog
2017: Year of the Rooster
2016: Year of the Monkey
2015: Year of the Ram/Goat/Sheep
2014: Year of the Horse
2013: Year of the Snake
2012: Year of the Dragon
2011: Year of the Rabbit
2010: Year of the Tiger
2009: Year of the Ox

USC | California | North America | Exhibitions


02/08/2011: Combustion Particles and Global Health: Cooking, Smoking and Climate
Davidson Conference Center
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
Phone: (323) 865-0419
Time: 5:00PM - 6:30PM
Lectures by Kirk Smith, professor of Global Environmental Health and chair of the Graduate Group in Environmental Health Sciences at UC Berkeley.


02/10/2011: Varieties of Authoritarianism: Comparing China and Russia
USC Davidson Conference Center, Figueroa A & B, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 5:30PM
USCI presents a talk with Thomas Bernstein. 

02/12/2011: Nixon in China
Norris Cinema Theater/Frank Sinatra Hall
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Cost: Free with electronic RSVP
Time: 10:00AM - 2:00PM
An opera by John Adams will be screened live at USC`s Norris Cinema Theater. 

02/15/2011: From Shanghai to IVS: Explorations in Visualization and Urban History
University of Southern California, SOS 250
University Park Campus , Los Angeles, CA 90089
Time: 12:00PM - 1:30PM
The Visual Studies Graduate Certificate will host Christian Henriot to discuss digital technologies and scholarly trends. 


02/09/2011: Through a Foreign Glass: The Art and Science of Photography in Late Qing China
UCLA 275 Dodd Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487
Cost: Free
Time: 10:30AM - 12:00PM
Dr. Frances Terpak, Curator of "Brush and Shutter: Early Photography in China" exhibition at the Getty Center gives a talk on photography of the Late Qing China. 

02/09/2011: Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China
UC Berkeley
Center for Chinese Studies Institute of East Asian Studies 2223 Fulton, 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA
Time: 4:00PM
Thomas S. Mullaney, professor of History at Stanford University will give a lecture on ethnic classification in modern China. 


02/10/2011: Focusing on the New China
Getty Center
Harold M. Williams Auditorium 1200 Getty Center Drive , Los Angeles, CA 90049
Cost: Free
Time: 7:00PM
A public program focusing on the New China is held at the Getty Center. 

02/11/2011: China-Central Asia Relations and the Role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
UCLA 10383 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 1:30PM
A lecture by Professor Pan Guang, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences on Chin-Central Asia relations and the role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization over ten years. 

02/11/2011: Ambivalent Allies: China, Cambodia, and the Politics of Mutual Resistance
UC Berkeley Center for Chinese Studies
Address: IEAS conference room, sixth floor 2223 Fulton Street, Berkeley, CA 94720
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Andrew Mertha, professor of Government at Cornell University will give a talk on relations between China and Cambodia. 

02/13/2011: “Culture of China Festival of Spring” Chinese Acrobatic Grand Performance
Pasadena Civic Auditorium
300 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91101
The Guangzhou Soldier Acrobatic Troupe will perform at the Pasadena Civic Center to mark Chinese New Year. 


02/16/2011: Traversing the Historical Resonances of Taiwanese Opera
UC Berkeley Center for Chinese Studies
3401 Dwinelle Hall, Berkeley, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 12:10PM - 1:00PM
Tsai Hsin Hsin,Fulbright scholar-in-residence of Harvard University will lecture on the influence of Taiwanese opera in various media. 

02/16/2011: Family and the State in Modern China
Institute of Asian Studies
2223 Fulton, 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94720
Time: 4:00PM
Joseph W. Esherick will talk about his new book, "Ancestral Leaves", at UC Berkeley. 


02/03/2011: 1428
University of Pennsylvania
3451 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
Time: 12:00PM
On February 3, Du Haibin`s acclaimed 1428 will screen at the University of Pennsylvania. The film observes the aftermath of the Great Sichuan Earthquake that took place on May 12, 2008, and left 70,000 dead and 375,000 injured.

02/03/2011: "China`s Troubled Rise -- Bumps on the Road to becoming a Superpower."
Indiana University School of Journalism in Bloomington
Room 220, Ernie Pyle Hall, 940 E. Seventh St , Bloomington, IN 47408-4003
Time: 5:00PM
John Pomfret, an award-winning journalist and diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post, will speak at the Indiana University School of Journalism in Bloomington. 

02/04/2011: China Politics and Foreign Policy Workshop
John K. Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138
Time: 2:15PM
Stein Tønnesson from the Peace Research Institute in Oslo will hold a workshop on China politics and foreign policy at Harvard University.  

02/05/2011: 2011, Year of the Rabbit
Chinese Culture Center
427 Adams Street, SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108
Time: 1:30PM
Albuquerque, New Mexico`s Chinese Culture Center will host a celebration to usher in the year of the rabbit. 

02/05/2011: A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop
IU Cinema
1213 E. 7th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405
Cost: free; tickets required
Time: 6:30PM
The East Asian Studies Center at the University of Indiana will screen Zhang Yimou`s "A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop. 

02/08/2011: A Day on the Grand Canal with the Emperor of China
Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall, Uris Center for Education
1000 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10028
Cost: Free with museum admission
Time: 2:00PM
New York`s Metropolitan Museum of Art will screen "A Day on the Grand Canal with the Emperor of China". 

02/08/2011: Opening Space for Civil Society in China: Can the "Soft" Power of the United States Help?
National Press Club
529 14th Street, NW 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20045
Time: 5:00PM - 6:30PM
Catholic University School of Law at the National Press Club will host a discussion on US-China relations. 

02/08/2011: Ancestral Leaves: A Family Journey through Chinese History
Thomson 317
University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195
Time: 7:00PM
Joseph Esherick will lecture on Chinese families through history at the University of Washington. 

02/11/2011: China-US Economic Law Conference
Wayne State University Law School
Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium 471 W. Palmer, Detroit, MI 48202
On February 11, 2011, the University of Michigan Law School, the Wayne State Law School and the University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies will jointly convene a one day academic conference to discuss legal and regulatory aspects of the U.S.-China economic, trade and investment relationship.  



ends 02/06/2011: China Modern: Designing Popular Culture 1910-1970
Pacific Asia Museum
46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101
The Pacific Asia Museum presents an exhibition that demonstrates how political ideologies and cultural values are transmitted via everyday objects in China. 


ends 02/06/2011: Cultivating Nature: Printmaking for Painting in 17th Century China
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO 64111
Cost: Free
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri displays 17th century Chinese prints.

ends 02/13/2011: Between Here and There: Passages in Contemporary Photography
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, New York, NY 10028
Weng Fen`s photography will be included in this exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. 

ends 02/13/2011: Fresh Ink: Ten Takes on Chinese Tradition
Gund Gallery LG 31
Museum of Fine Arts Avenue of the Arts 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
In this groundbreaking exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, contemporary Chinese ink painters engage in dialogue with classical artworks from China’s past. 

ends 02/27/2011: Perspectives: Hai Bo
Smithsonian Institution
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Smithsonian Institution P.O. Box 37012, MRC 707, Washington, DC 20013
Cost: Free
The Smithsonian presents an exhibition of Hai Bo`s photographs of northeastern China. 

ends 02/28/2011: Chinese Puzzles: Games for the Hands and Mind
Museum of Chinese in America
215 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013
The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) presents Chinese Puzzles: Games for the Hands and Mind, curated by Wei Zhang and Peter Rasmussen. 

ends 03/27/2011: Rugs and Ritual in Tibetan Buddhism
Florence and Herbert Irving Galleries for the Arts of South and Southeast Asia, 3rd floor
1000 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10028
Thirty works dedicated to the enactment of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, focusing on Tibetan tantric rugs as the seats of power employed by practitioners of esoteric Buddhism, will form this installation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. 

ends 03/31/2011: Fish, Silk, Tea, Bamboo: Cultivating an Image of China
The Peabody Essex Museum
East India Square (161 Essex St.), Salem, MA 01970
The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA presents an exhibition of delicate works that helped shape the emerging concept of the Middle Kingdom in 18th-century Europe. 

ends 04/03/2011: Photography from the New China
West Pavilion, Terrace Level, Getty Center
Address: 1200 Getty Center Drive , Los Angeles, CA 90049
The Getty presents Chinese photographs since Deng Xiaoping introduced the current period of opening and reform.  


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