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Talking Points, February 24 - March 10, 2010

The Taiwan-China-US triangle is discussed in this week's USC US-China Institute newsletter. Information about China-centered events across North America is also provided.
February 27, 2010

Talking Points
February 24 - March 10, 2010

When the Obama administration announced plans to sell $6.4 billion in arms to Taiwan, the Chinese government condemned the action as a threat to China’s national security and suspended bilateral military exchanges. Reuters quoted comments General Luo Yuan wrote in a Chinese state-run weekly calling for the government to adopt a strategic package of counter-punches covering politics, military affairs, diplomacy and economics.” Luo wrote that the US had started the chaos and suggested that one Chinese option would be to sell-off its US government securities.

Such a sell-off is unlikely. At the start of 2010, Chinese institutions held $895 billion in US Treasury Securities, $129 billion more than number two Japan. Despite calls in China for greater diversification, money managers are hard pressed to find other secure investment targets.

Nor is the suspension of US-China military exchanges likely to last too long. When the Bush administration announced sales in October 2008, exchanges were suspended. High level contacts resumed in February 2009. Both governments have found the contacts useful and many observers argue that the exchanges are vital for increasing understanding of each others’ aims.

Taiwan-China economic ties have grown steadily since the 1980s. According to Chinese government statistics, Taiwan investors have already put $49 billion to work in China. Two way trade between the two has risen from just $1.5 billion in 1987 to $105 billion in 2008. More than a million people from Taiwan now live and work in China. In the last year and a half, the two governments have forged a dozen agreements covering direct flights and shipping ties, and extending to joint efforts at ensuring product safety and squelching crime. Taiwan’s financial firms are the latest to be permitted to expand their operations in China.

China is now Taiwan's top trade partner, surpassing both the US and Japan.

Eager to foster economic growth, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has pushed for still greater market access in China and elsewhere in Asia. His administration wants to sign an Economic Cooperation and Framework Agreement with the mainland in May. Those officials predict the agreement will lead to a quarter-million new jobs in Taiwan and that Taiwan is missing out as Asian economies become more intertwined. Opponents insist the agreement will cost jobs as low cost Chinese products replace those produced in Taiwan. Beyond this, they argue continued economic integration will reduce the island’s flexibility in dealing with the mainland on other issues.



Official statistics show how US-China trade has boomed while US-Taiwan trade has not changed much over the past 15 years. In fact though, Taiwan-owned companies are responsible for a significant portion of the US-China figures.





These and other questions were discussed at USC on Wednesday. This Thursday, we’ll turn our attention to China’s health care system. Last spring, China’s government declared that health care was a core public service and that it would reform the system to increase access to care and improve the quality of the care delivered. The government pledged to spend $124 billion over three years to accomplish this. Progress thus far seems limited, though the government announced announced this week that hospitals in sixteen cities will pilot reforms intended to wean them from their dependence on selling medicines to balance their books. Prices for services are expected to rise, though the government says it will offset some of the increase through subsidies.

This is the third major top down reform of Chinese health care in recent years. This week we will host a discussion about a bottom-up reform. Physicians are paying their own way to India to learn effective eye-surgery techniques. Upon their return to China, they open clinics to address the growing demand for cataract surgery and other treatment. Jeff Parker, a former Reuters journalist, has been involved in this program and will examine it on Thursday. We hope you will join us.

And we hope you'll explore USCI video resources. Recently added videos include talks on China in Africa, tobacco in China, and why US-China relations are likely to be contentious over the next couple of years. We also have a documentary segment on US-China-Taiwan ties. New features at US-China Today include a review of Superfusion, a new book on US-China economic ties. Asia Pacific Arts has a review of the newest Jet Li movie, The Warlords.

Best wishes,
The USC US-China Institute

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02/27/2010: 4th Annual Traditional Chinese Dance Showcase
University of Southern California
Bovard Auditorium,
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
Time: 7:00PM
USC`s Traditional Chinese Dance presents "Dance to a New Year."

03/04/2010: Indian Wine in Chinese Bottles? Can a successful grassroots Indian health care initiative work in China?
Davidson Conference Center, Club Room, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 5:30PM
Jeffrey Parker, an independent healthcare publisher in Shanghai, reports on training exchanges between the world`s two most populous countries.


02/26/2010: 2010 Wilbur K. Woo Greater China Business Conference
UCLA Anderson School of Management, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Cost: Regular registration $125.00; Academic registration $75.00
Time: 8:30AM
UCLA Anderson School of Management presents the annual Wilbur K. Woo Greater China Business Conference that brings together today`s business leaders, professionals, academics and students to discuss current business challenges and trends in Greater China. 
02/26/2010: Popular Accountability and Regime Resilience in Reform-Era China
UC Berkeley
IEAS Conference Room, 2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor, Colloquium
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 6:00PM
UC Berkeley`s Center for Chinese Studies presents a talk by Martin Dimitrov on the longevity of communist regimes is provided by examining their systems of popular accountability.

03/05/2010: Leading Developments in Chinese Law Conference at UCLA
UCLA School of Law, Room 1447
405 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
Cost: $30 for students and faculty; $80 for practioners and others. Lunch, cocktail hour, and materials are provided.
Time: Time: 11:00AM - 7:30PM
The UCLA China Law Association presents a one day conference on leading developments in Chinese law and their implications for U.S.-China relations. 

03/06/2010: Moderne and Modernity
UC Berkeley Art Museum
Berkeley, CA
Time: 9:00AM - 6:00PM
UC Berkeley presents a one day conference to explore the visual forms and images current in Shanghai in the first third of the twentieth century, and what these reveal, suggest, or obscure. 

03/08/2010: Films by Huang Weikai: Disorder and Floating
UC Berkeley
IEAS Conference Room, 2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor
Cost: Free
Time: 3:00PM - 6:30PM
UC Berkeley`s Center for Chinese Studies presents screening of two films by director Huang Weikai. 

03/10/2010: Qiao Zhou and the Intellectual Traditions of Early Medieval Shu
UC Berkeley
401 Dwinelle Hall, Berkeley CA
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 1:00PM
UC Berkeley`s Center for Chinese Studies presents a talk by Michael Farmer on Shu intellectual traditions. 

North America

02/26/2010: Early Modern Practices of Representation in Qing China: Cartography and Ethnography
University of Illinois, Freeman Fellows Building
Address: 912 S. Fifth St.
Cost: Free
Time: 3:00PM - 5:00PM
The Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies presents a talk by Laura Hostetler. 

03/01/2010: Media Training Seminar: “US-China Relations: What’s the Big Story and How Do I Cover It?”
IUPUI Kelley School of Business, Room BS 4095,
801 W. Michigan St, Indianapolis
Time: 12:00 pm-3:00 pm
Indiana University`s Kelley School of Business presents a media training seminar by journalists from various newspapers and journals. 

03/04/2010: Colloquium: “China’s Outward Foreign Direct Investment: New Trends and Opportunities”
900 E. 7th St.
Oak Room, Indiana Memorial Union
IU-Bloomington campus
Indiana University`s Kelley School of Business will feature a presentation by Dan Li. 

03/09/2010: The Song Is You: Histories of the Song Dynasty (960-1279 CE) in the United States
School of Social Work Building, Room 1636
1080 South University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106
University of Michigan`s Center for Chinese Studies features a talk by Professor Christan de Pee.


01/27/2010 - 03/05/2010: Splendid Details: Textiles from East Asia
Wesleyan University
343 Washington Terrace, Middletown, CT 06459
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 4:00PM
Wesleyan University`s Center for East Asian Studies presents an exhibition in celebration of East Asian textile artistry.

09/22/2009 - 06/30/2010: China`s Great Wall: The Forgotten Story
NYC offices of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, New York, NY
The Forgotten Story is a series of historically-based photographs of the Great Wall of China. It is a collaboration between Jonathan Ball, a California based photographer, and David Spindler, one of the world`s foremost experts on Great Wall history.

03/28/2010 - 07/25/2010: Secrets of the Silk Road
Bowers Museum
Address: 2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, California 92706
Cost: Adults/$18 Weekdays; $20 Weekends/ Students & Seniors/$16 Weekdays, $18 Weekends; Children (under six) Free
The Bowers Museum presents an historic exhibition of over 150 objects drawn from the rich collections of the Urumqi Museum and the Institute of Archaeology of Xinjiang reveals surprising details about the people who lived along the ancient Silk Road.



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