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Talking Points, January 9-23, 2008

USCI's weekly newsletter
January 9, 2008

USC U.S.-China Institute

Talking Points
January 9 - January 23, 2008


On Saturday, Jan. 12 voters in Taiwan go to the polls to elect a new legislature. The number of legislative seats has been reduced from 225 to 113 and the term of service has been lengthened from three to four years. Each voter will cast a vote for an individual candidate and for a party. 73 of the seats will be elected directly and 34 will be allocated in accordance with the proportion of the total vote each party receives. Six seats go to aboriginal representatives. At present, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has the largest number of seats in the legislature (89), but the coalition led by the Kuomintang (KMT) controls the legislature with 114 seats. In March, voters in Taiwan will elect a new president. The DPP’s Frank Hsieh and the KMT’s Ma Ying-jeou are the leading candidates.

In 2004, about 10,000 Taiwan citizens residing in California traveled to Taiwan to cast ballots in the narrowly decided presidential election. Chen Shui-bian of the DPP was reelected then by fewer than 23,000 votes out of a total of 13 million ballots. The upcoming elections are no less important than previous ones, but polls suggest that turn-out may be in the 60% range. That would be high in the U.S., but low for Taiwan. Analysts argue that the bitterness and negativity of politics in recent years has left people disillusioned, thus depressing turnout. Yesterday’s International Herald Tribune reported on a large group that won’t be voting on Friday. More than 200,000 mainland China-born spouses of Taiwan citizens do not have the right to vote. About 14,000 such spouses gain residency rights each year. The IHT reported that it takes  eight years of residency to qualify to vote. Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said today that it usually takes six to eight years for China-born spouses to qualify for citizenship.
We will be monitoring these elections and their aftermath, particularly their implications for cross-strait relations and for U.S.ties with Taiwan and China. In March, USCI will send a delegation to Taiwan to monitor the presidential election. Those scholars and students will present their observations at a symposium the following week. In the meantime, please note that we’re also attentive to other cross-strait ties. The upcoming issue of US-China Today includes an article on the popularity of Taiwan pop music in China.
We have a number of important programs scheduled ahead of the election symposium. These include presentations on authoritarianism and the rule of law in China, the politics of corporate restructuring in China, and efforts to balance China’s rise. In February we will present a conference on the influence of historians on America’s China policies. Please visit our calendar pages for details about these events. Those pages also provide information about events and exhibitions sponsored by other organizations. Among these are the Pasadena performances of “Farewell My Concubine.” This Beijing opera has been retooled in the style of a Western opera, and premiered in Beijing last fall. The new Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles will also host a large scale dance and music performance. Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Times reported on claims and counterclaims made about this performance and its sponsors.
REMINDER: USC’s Center for International Studies is inviting applications for two post-doctoral fellowships focused on U.S.-China relations; fellows will become USCI research associates. The application deadline is Jan. 16. USCI also invites USC faculty and students to learn about our research grants. The application deadline is March 3. Information is available at
THANKS to all who pass Talking Points along to friends and colleagues and to all those who send us feedback and event notices. We appreciate the help.
Best wishes,
The USC U.S.-China Institute


California Events

01/13/2008: The Evolution of Badge Design Through the Qing Dynasty
Pacific Asia Museum
46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101
Free with admission.
(626) 449-2742
To R.S.V.P., call (626) 449-2742, ext. 31.
Space is limited.
David Hugus wraps up his three-part series with a look at how rank badges developed over almost three hundred years of China’s Qing Dynasty.
01/16/2008: Images of War: Picturing the Taipig Occupation of Jiangnan, 1860-84
UCLA 6275 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Cost; Free
Time: 4:30PM - 6:00PM
A talk by Tobie Meyer-Fong, Johns-Hopkins University. 

01/18/2008: Chinese New Year Spectacular
777 Chick Hearn Court Los Angeles, CA 90015
Cost: $38-188
The splendor and beauty of the east will be majestically brought to life as New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) presents the 2008 "Chinese New Year Spectacular." 

01/18/2008: Hood, Veil, Shoes
UCLA Kaufman Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095
(310) 825-3951
Cost: $15 general, $10 students/seniors 
Time: 8:00PM - 9:30PM
“Hood, Veil, Shoes” responds to the visceral heat of urban transit in Taipei, Taiwan’s bustling capital city, where gender-based rites of passage for young women overflow into and permeate their daily journeys through the urban landscape. 

01/19/2008: China National Opera House Performance: Farewell My Concubine
Pasadena Civic Auditorium
300 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91101
Cost: $48-198
This is a Western-style adaptation of a famous Chinese opera. In addition to performances in Pasadena, the opera will be performed in San Francisco, Washington, DC, New York, Houston, and Dallas. 

01/23/2008: The Future of Chinese Cuisine in the U.S.
Chinese Culture Center Chinatown Hilton 750 Kearny Street, 3rd Floor San Francisco, CA
Cost: $25 Asia Society Members, $35 Non-members
Time: 6:00PM - 8:30PM
This program will look at the changing face of Chinese food in China, as well as in places like Vancouver, Flushing, and the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California. 



09/06/2007 - 01/20/2008: Zhang Huan: Altered States
2nd Floor Starr & Ross Galleries
Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Ave, New York, NY
Phone: 212-517-ASIA
This exhibition is the first ever museum retrospective of Zhang Huan, encompassing major works produced over the past 15 years in Beijing, New York, and Shanghai.


10/12/2007 - 01/27/2008: Rank and Style - Power Dressing in Imperial China
Pacific Asia Museum
Address: 46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101
Time: 10:00AM - 6:00PM
Cost: $7 for adults, $5 for students/seniors
Phone: (626) 449-2742
For the first time in the United States, the Pacific Asia Museum presents selections from the Chris Hall Collection of Hong Kong, October 12, 2007 - January 27, 2008.

10/04/2007 - 02/08/2008: From the Abundant Pharmacy: Traditional Chinese Medicine in LA's Chinatown
The California Endowment’s Center for Healthy Communities: Big Sur Education Gallery
1000 N. Alameda Street , Los Angeles, CA 90012
Cost: Free
Time: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM; Monday thru Friday
The exhibition features historical and contemporary photographs and videos of selected stores and herbalists.


11/06/2007 - 02/10/2008: China on Paper: European and Chinese Works from the Late Sixteenth to the Early Nineteenth Century
Research Institute Exhibition Gallery, Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA
Cost: Free
Illustrated books, prints, and maps from the special collections of the Research Library tell the fascinating story of mutual interest and collaborative works produced by Chinese and Europeans from the late sixteenth to the early nineteenth century.


11/10/2007 - 02/17/2008: Everyday Luxury: Chinese Silks of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1130 State Street , Santa Barbara, CA 93101
The exhibition features a collection of Chinese costumes and textiles from the last three hundred years. 


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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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