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Talking Points: January 7 - 21, 2009

The USC U.S.-China Institute's e-newsletter.
January 7, 2009
USC U.S.-China Institute Weekly Newsletter
Talking Points
January 7 - 21, 2009

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte is in Beijing. He arrived today to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of U.S.-PRC diplomatic relations on January 1, 1979. The first order of business was a ping pong match. One of those playing was Judy Bochenski Hoarfrost, who as a 15 year old participated in the initial ping pong diplomacy matches of 1971. (Click here to see a USC presentation by Zhuang Zedong, the world champion whose gift to Los Angeles’s Glenn Cowan launched ping pong diplomacy.)

Negroponte gave a major speech on U.S.-Asia relations four months ago in Hong Kong. He first visited Asia as an American official in 1961 and reflected upon the enormous changes in the region:

“Those of us fortunate enough to witness Asia's transformation know that it was neither inevitable nor accidental. Asians, who recognize the value of education and hard work, deserve primary credit for their region's accomplishment. But Asia prospered thanks also to a broader international economic and security order sustained by American leadership. For 60 years, the U.S. presence in Asia has had a calming effect on relations among the region's major powers.”

Negroponte also highlighted China’s rise:

“China's rise stands out as an especially remarkable development, even against the background of Asia's extraordinary success. We want to see China integrated into East Asia and the global community as a responsible, constructive actor. This Administration has made good progress toward that goal, but the task will be the work of a generation.”

Negroponte is meeting with top Chinese officials. At the match today, Yang Jiechi said, "Looking back, there have been some twists and turns in this relationship, but the China-U.S. relationship has on the whole moved forward."
These meetings occur in the midst of a global financial crisis. Talking Points has tracked how the U.S. and China have sought to separately and cooperatively address the crisis. We’ve noted how some thought China could utilize its massive foreign currency reserves to “rescue” and how some are pressuring Barack Obama to take a tough line with China over trade disputes.

The economic downturn is affecting exporters everywhere. In Taiwan, the government announced the “New Zheng He Plan” (a reference to the 15th century Chinese admiral who oversaw extensive sea expeditions) to give firms US $259 million to help them boost exports. In China, the government intends to “alleviate cost burdens on exporters” by giving them rebates on export taxes. (Our documentary on Election ’08 and the Challenge of China includes segments on tensions over trade and on Obama and China. You can also see these at our YouTube channel.)

One area where the competition between Chinese and foreign manufacturers is definitely heating up is telecommunications. The Chinese government has just issued licenses to build 3G (“third-generation) mobile telephone networks. Analysts expect China’s mobile phone providers will spend $41 billion over the next two years to erect these networks. China Mobile, the largest provider by far, will build its network using a specification (TD-SCDMA) developed in China.  China Unicom will use WCDMA and China Telecom will use CDMA. Forcing the largest mobile phone service provider to use a China-specific standard may cause it stumble a bit working out technical kinks, but is expect to be a boon for China’s handset  manufacturers in their competition with international giants such as Nokia, Samsung, and Motorola. This is a high stakes competition as China has an estimated 600 million mobile phone subscribers and is by far the largest mobile market in the world. (Our Average Day feature and US-China Today have articles about cell-phone mania in China.)


On Thursday, UCLA hosts a presentation on Chinese companies in Africa and on Saturday the Pacific Asia Museum hosts a discussion of Confucian values in everyday life. We are bringing a number of interesting speakers to USC this spring. These include Shen Dingli, director of Fudan University’s Center for American Studies, John Kamm, a businessperson and human rights activist, Xu Wu, a specialist on cybernationalism, and Laura Tyson Li, author of a biography of Soong Mei-ling, one half of Time’s couple of the year for 1937. More immediately, though, is a major conference we are cosponsoring with the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and the Center for International Studies. On January 30th, “The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games: Public Diplomacy Triumph or Public Relations Spectacle?” features a number of speakers exploring the political, economic, and diplomatic impact of last August’s Games. 

In addition to increasing understanding of contemporary China and U.S.-China relations through public programming, the USC U.S.-China Institute supports path breaking research into a wide range of pressing issues. We are currently
inviting applications for two post-doctoral fellowships for 2009-2010 and for USC faculty and graduate student
research projects. Information about these is available in the announcements section of our websit (

Please forward Talking Points to friends and colleagues who might find it useful. We welcome your feedback. Please write to us at

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


01/08/2009: Raw Encounters: Chinese Managers, African Workers, and Social Change in the Zambian Copper Belt
UCLA 6275 Bunche Hall
6th Floor History Conference Room, Los Angeles CA, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 5:00PM
The UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment presents a discussion by Ching Kwan Lee.
01/10/2009: Confucian Values in Professional and Personal Life
Pacific Asia Museum
46 North Los Robles Avenue Pacific Asia Museum 46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, California 91101
Time: 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Join community leaders for the discussion of the role of Confucianism in daily life.  
01/12/2009: Service Encounters: Class, Gender, and the Market for Social Distinction in Urban China
UCLA 10383 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 4:30PM - 6:00PM
Amy Hanser (University of British Columbia) will explore new conceptions of gender and sexuality in China, asking how and why they have become so integral to the organization of service work regimes there.
01/13/2009 - 01/15/2009: Three Approaches in Contemporary Classical Studies
UCLA Royce 243, Los Angeles, CA
UCLA Bunche 11377, Los Angeles, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 4:30PM - 6:00PM
Kuo-liang Yeh (Dean of National Taiwan University) will deliver three talks on contemporary Classical Studies. 
01/16/2009: The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on the US-Asian Economic Outlook
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco 101 Market Street San Francisco, California
Cost: $45 per person (includes lunch)
Time: 12:00PM - 2:00PM
The Asia Society presents a panel discussion on the ongoing financial crisis and implications for the global economy, particularly the Asia-Pacific region. 

North America: 

01/08/2009: Pacific Currents: The Responses of US Allies and Security Partners in East Asia to China's Rise
FPRI Library, 1528 Walnut Street, Suite 610, Phila.
Free and Open to the Public but reservations are required.
Time: 11:30AM - 12:30PM
RAND Corporation's Evan Medeiros will examine China's rise and its influence on the Asia-Pacific region.
01/09/2009: The Japan-U.S.-China Triangle and the Okinawa Question: Toward Shared History and Common Security
The George Washington University
State Room, The Elliott School of International Affairs, 7th Floor 1957 E Street, NW (Luncheon will be held in the City View Room)., Washington, DC 20052
Cost: Free
Phone: 202-994-5886
The Sigur Center for Asian Studies presents a panel discussion on the :Japan-U.S.-China Triangle"

09/05/2008 - 01/11/2009: Art and China's Revolution
Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street), New York City
General admission is $10, seniors $7, students $5 and free for members and persons under 16
Asia Society Presents First Comprehensive Exhibition Devoted to Revolutionary Chinese Art from the 1950s Through 1970s. 
10/18/2008 - 01/11/2009: China Design Now
Cincinnati Art Museum
953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
This exhibition captures an extraordinary moment as China opens up to global influences and responds to the hopes and dreams of its new urban middle class.
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.
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.

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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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