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Talking Points, January 29-February 12, 2014

Our annual collection of lunar new year stamps as well our calendar of China-related events and exhibitions across North America.
January 29, 2014

Talking Points
January 29 - February 12, 2014

Happy New Year! 祝您马年快乐!

The year of the horse is upon us and we want to wish you a great holiday and a wonderful year. It’s our custom to collect lunar new year stamps from around the world. Our collection from 47 countries and regions is below.











The United States printed 17.6 million copies of its 2014 "horse year" stamp. If the run sells out, the postal service will net more than $8 million. Many of the stamps are purchased by collectors. Demand, however, has slipped from recent years when 30-80 million lunar new year stamps were printed. Of course, nothing compares with the revenue generated from stamps commemorating pop culture figures such as Elvis Presley (124 million stamps bought, but never used), Star Wars (80 million stamps bought and never used), or the current set of Harry Potter stamps.

Which country celebrated the year of the seahorse on its stamp? Which country doesn't have an image of a horse on its 2014 stamp? Which countries feature famous premodern Chinese paintings? Which country's stamp features the work of 20th century painting star Xu Beihong? Which include Chinese characters on their stamps? Which country issued horse stamps, but technically not to mark the lunar new year? You can explore these questions in our collection below.

Perhaps the most surprising of this year’s collection is the set of Asian zodiac stamps issued by Mongolia in 1972. Each of the twelve animals was paired with a space vehicle from Soviet or American programs. The horse in the series was paired with the Apollo 8 spacecraft which had orbited the moon in 1968.

Which of these are your favorites? Please tell us via Twitter @usc_uschina or via our Facebook page.



Today is not just the last day of the year of the snake. It’s the 35th anniversary of Deng Xiaoping’s historic visit to the White House. Deng’s visit followed the formal establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China on Jan. 1, 1979. President Jimmy Carter’s welcome included these comments,

“Yesterday …was the lunar New Year, the beginning of your Spring Festival, the traditional time of new beginnings for the Chinese people. On your New Year's Day, I am told, you open all doors and windows to give access to beneficent spirits. It's a time when family quarrels are forgotten, a time when visits are made, a time of reunion and reconciliation.

As for our two nations, today is a time of reunion and new beginnings. It's a day of reconciliation, when windows too long closed have been reopened.”

Later that day, Vice Premier Deng’s toast at the state dinner in his honor included the following comments, which have often been repeated by leaders from both sides.

“We are confident that the amicable cooperation between the Chinese and American peoples is not only in the interest of our two countries' development but will also become a strong factor working for the preservation of world peace and the promotion of human progress.”


During the visit, the Carter and Deng discussed global and regional security concerns and signed agreements to facilitate diplomatic, scientific and cultural exchanges. At the Kennedy Center, Deng (and on television large U.S. and Chinese audiences) watched ballet, John Denver, the Harlem Globetrotters, and the National Children’s Choir. Deng loved the Globetrotters and Denver proved a hit with the Chinese masses. By 1985 he was trying to set up a live concert from the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, or the Forbidden City. He performed there in the 1990s, adding at least one Chinese folk song to his repertoire. The National Children’s Choir stirring rendition of “I Love Tiananmen Square,” though, did not become part of the American songbook. (Click here for an abbreviated video of the evening.)

While he and Carter discussed geopolitical concerns, Deng was primarily focused on strengthening China’s economy. Americans were eager to show their wares. Companies and universities (including USC, whose President John Hubbard led a delegation there in April 1978) were already looking to forge connections. In Atlanta, Deng was guided through a Ford plant by Henry Ford II, who had already met him in Beijing. Today China produces and employs more vehicles than any other country. In Houston, the focus was on space. Deng sat in a lunar rover and in the space shuttle (whose inaugural flight was still two years off) and simulated a landing at California’s Edwards Air Force Base. He looked at space capsules, asked about how one went to the bathroom in space, and sat in a lunar rover. Just last month, China’s first such rover, Jade Rabbit 玉兔, rolled onto the moon’s surface. After playing astronaut for a bit, Deng and his party went to a rodeo, where they donned cowboy hats and enjoyed the spectacle. (Much of this can be seen in the Opening Up segment of our Assignment:China series (USCI website | YouTube).

From Houston, Deng went to Seattle to tour Boeing. Special arrangements had been made, though, for another politburo member and vice premier, Fang Yi to visit Los Angeles. Two weeks before the Chinese were to arrive in the U.S., National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski sent Carter a memo asking the president to let Fang go. He argued,

“There are legitimate reasons to grant this request:“
"-The Chinese are genuinely interested in these companies.
“-It takes a portion of the Chinese party to California, which has political advantage.
“-It would enable Fang Yi to visit Disneyland.”

Carter approved. Thirty-five years later, Chinese remain interested in California businesses. In terms of number of deals, California is America’s number one destination for Chinese investors. Politicians still like to curry favor with California, home to 55 electoral votes and political donations. And, Chinese visitors continue to flock to Disneyland, though the company opened a park in Hong Kong in 2005 and will open one in Shanghai in 2015.

Fang Yi and his party flew in to Palmdale (60 miles north of Los Angeles) and toured a Lockheed factory. He was met by Governor Jerry Brown who said he hoped Chinese would draw on California technology as they worked to build their economy. Thirty-four years later and again governor, Brown toured China with the same message and also sought Chinese investment. When China’s top leader Xi Jinping flew into Ontario (40 miles east of Los Angeles) last June, Jerry Brown was there to greet him and to tell him and other members of his party about the many opportunities the Golden State offers.

Los Angeles Times, Feb. 4, 1979 Fang Yi 方毅 (1916-1997), vice premier, president of the Chinese Academy of Science














Snow in the mountains between Los Angeles and Palmdale kept Mayor Tom Bradley from joining Fang Yi at the Lockheed plant, but he welcomed him to his home after Fang made the short flight to Los Angeles. He toured the McDonnell Douglas plant in Long Beach the next day. Like Deng, Fang was preoccupied with cutting edge technology and building China’s economy. He told journalists,

“If you ask me whether or not it is possible for China to be the first country to modernize without the ill effects of industrialization, I cannot say we are assured of success. To say that, would be boasting. All I can say is that we are trying our best. “

Sadly, building the world’s second largest economy has come at enormous cost in terms of social dislocation, pollution and other problems. China’s airpocaplypses have attracted enormous attention. In 1979, though, Los Angeles had one of the world’s worst smog problems. Health advisories were issued because of poor air quality some 169 times that year. A variety of regulations, transportation improvements, and other measures have done much to improve air quality here. One LA resident from then, Occidental College student Barack Obama, frequently points to the success of the effort here as offering hope that something can be done now to address the problem of climate change.

How do Chinese and Americans view each other? Has increased interaction changed those attitudes? What is the real and potential impact of the images we have of each other on policies and practices toward each other? These are some of the questions examined in our “Through Tinted Lenses?” conference last fall. You can watch presentations from the gathering at our website and our YouTube channel.

Thanks to generous support from the Freeman Foundation, we’re pleased to be offering area teachers the opportunity to join two seminars, one based in Los Angeles and the other in the San Gabriel Valley this spring. Details are in the Asia in the K-12 Curriculum section of our website.

On Feb. 7, we’ll be hosting a symposium looking at economic ties between the U.S. and Asia, at the prospects for the TransPacific Partnership, and at U.S.-Taiwan ties (video). And on Feb. 13, Geoff Dyer, a Financial Times correspondent who has reported from both Beijing and Washington, will be here to talk about his new book, The Contest of the Century: The New Era of Competition with China – and How America Can Win. Details about these events and others across North America are below.

Please share Talking Points with friends and colleagues. And if you received more than your share of red envelopes this holiday, please remember that we need and appreciate your support.

Best wishes for a terrific year of the horse!

The USC U.S.-China Institute
-- a program of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

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Earlier Lunar New Year Collections
2013 - snake 2010 - tiger
2012 - dragon 2009 - ox
2011 - rabbit  


United States
US lunar new year stamp 2014 year of the horse

 -- 2002


 -- 2002  
  -- 1990  


Hong Kong

  -- 2002


  -- 1990  





Australia - Christmas Island

Bhutan -- 2002




Brazil - 2002


 -- 2002  


Cook Islands

Cook Islands - Aitutaki

Dominican Republic -- 2002



French Polynesia -- 2002

Gambia -- 2002

Ghana -- 2002


Grenada - 2002


Guyana -- 2002


  -- 2002

 Jersey -- 2002

Liberia -- 2002


Maldives -- 2002


 -- post office web announcement

Micronesia -- 2002


  -- 1972


Mozambique -- 2002

Netherlands Antilles -- 2002




Nevis -- 2002

New Caledonia -- 2002


New Zealand

Palau -- 2002




South Korea

St. Vincent and The Grenadines -- 2002


Tonga -- 2002

United Kingdom


 - next week Britain issues a "working horse' series including police horses and royal carriage horses 



Vanuatu -- 2002



Zambia -- 2002




USC | California | North America | Exhibitions


USC Events


01/29/2014: BX for CTS: Transpacific Cultural Politics in Contemporary Time-Based Art
Kaprielian Hall, KAP 445
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Time: 12:00-2:00PM
The USC Center for Transpacific Studies hosts Professor Meiling Cheng, who will discuss her new book, Beijing Xingwei: Contemporary Chinese Time-Based Art
Free, RSVP at

02/02/2014: Authors on Asia: Old Beijing: Postcards from the Imperial City
USC Pacific Asia Museum
46 N Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101
Time: 2:00PM
Author Felicitas Titus will discuss and show the collection of vintage postcards featuring old images of the Imperial City.
RSVP to the museum store at (626) 449-2742 ext. 20.

02/03/2014: Hypervisibility and Invisibility: Asian-American Women, Radical Orientalism, and the Revisioning of Global Feminism
Kaprielian Hall, KAP 445
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Time: 1:00-3:00PM
The USC Center for Transpacific Studies hosts a presentation by Judy Tzu-Chun Wu on the role of Asian-American women in feminism
Free, RSVP at

02/13/2014: Geoff Dyer - The Contest of the Century: The New Era of Competition with China--and How America Can Win
Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism, ASC 204
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Time: 4:00-5:30PM
The USC U.S.-China Institute presents a book talk with Geoff Dyer. "The Contest of the Century" is both an inside account of Beijing's new quest for influence and an explanation of how America can come out on top--an essential book for businessmen, politicians, financiers, and anyone interested in current world affairs.
Free, please RSVP at


California Events


02/01/2014: 115th Annual Golden Dragon Parade
Chinatown, Hill and Broadway Streets
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Time: 1:00-5:00PM
Hosted by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, the Annual Golden Dragon Parade enters the 115th year

02/03/2014: Alan Chan Jazz Orchestra
Typhoon @ Santa Monica Airport
3221 Donald Douglas Loop South, 2nd Floor, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Time: 8:00-10:00PM
Join the Alan Chan Jazz Orchestra in welcoming the Year of the Horse.
$10 cover - No minimum.

02/05/2014: Hong Kong - Where China and Global Advantages Converge
UC Berkeley, Institute of East Asian Studies
2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94720
Time: 3:30-4:30PM
A colloquium on the challenges Hong Kong faces in a fast changing economic landscape. Presented by C. M. Leung, the Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs to the United States

02/08/2014: Screening: To Live
East Los Angeles College, Performing Arts Center
1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754
Time: 7:00-9:30PM
Zhang Yimou's film is presneted in conjunction with the Monterey Park Art+Film Lab presented by LACMA

02/10/2014: Far from Beijing: The State of Independent Chinese Cinema
631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Time: 8:30-11:00PM
REDCAT will screen two new documentaries that attest to the growing decentralization of Chinese independent film to the farther reaches of the country.  

 North America Events


01/29/2014: Civil Society In China
Harvard Kennedy School, Taubman Building, Allison Dining Room, 5th Floor
79 John F. Kennedy St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Time: 4:00-5:30PM
Professor Karla Simon will be giving a talk about her book Civil Society in China at Harvard Kennedy School. The book was awarded the number three spot on the list of Ten Best Humanitarian Books for 2103 by the Humanitarian Times.

02/04/2014: Gyarong at the Margins: Politics and Identities on the Sino-Tibetan Border
Columbia University, International Affairs Building, Room 918
420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027
Time: 5:30-7:00PM
Professor Tenzin Jinba from Lanzhou University gives a talk.

02/05/2014: Fourth Annual N.T. Wang Distinguished Lecture

Columbia University, International Affairs Building, Room 1501
116th St and Broadway, New York, NY 10027
Time: 5:30-7:30PM
We are pleased to announce the Fourth Annual N.T. Wang Distinguished Lecture will be delivered by Qiren Zhou, Professor of Economics at the National School of Development of Peking University. Please mark your calendar. More details to follow.

02/07/2014: Men Who "Marry Out": Redefining Chinese Masculinity and Patriarchy through Cross-Strait Marriages
Harvard University, CGIS Building, Room S153
1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Time: 12:15-3:30PM
Sara Friedman will discuss how men's gender identities as husbands and their expectations of patriarchal privilege are redefined through cross-border marriages, presented by the Fairbank Center.



Below are exhibitions ending in the next two weeks. Please visit the main exhibitions calendar for a complete list of ongoing exhibitions.


ends 02/02/2014: Multiple Encounters: Yang Fudong
Berkeley Art Museum
2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94720
Cost: Free for BAM/PFA Members, UC Berkeley Students, faculty, staff; $10 General Admission; $7 Non-UC Berkeley students, senior citizens (65 & over), disabled patrons, young adults (13-17)
An exhibition of works by Yang Fudong who juxtaposes the video work with the Chinese classical tradition. 

USC U.S.-China Institute | 3535 S. Figueroa Street, FIG 202 | Los Angeles | CA | 90089

Tel: 213-821-4382 | Fax: 213-821-2382 | |   

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