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Talking Points, July 23 - August 6, 2008

The USC U.S.-China Institute's weekly enewsletter
July 24, 2008

USC U.S.-China Institute

Talking Points
July 23 - August 6, 2008

In this election year, most Americans say the nation is headed in the wrong direction and that the economy is in trouble. According to a survey just released by the Pew Research Center, Chinese have quite a different view of their country and its place in the world. 85% say they are satisfied with the direction China's heading and 82% say the Chinese economy is good. This represents a major shift since Pew's 2002 survey when only 48% of Chinese were happy with the country's direction and just 52% said the economy was good. Most Chinese also give their government high marks for its handling of important issues.

While 41% of Chinese respondents said they had a favorable impression of the U.S., 34% said the U.S. was an enemy. Three out of four (77%) Chinese believe people in other countries have a positive view of China and virtually all (93%) think the Olympics will further enhance these favorable feelings toward China. Pew surveys in 23 other countries, however, show only a minority of people have a favorable impression of China.

The survey offers other interesting findings regarding the problems Chinese see as most pressing and how regional, economic, and rural/urban divides are reflected in the survey. Inflation and the expanding gap between rich and poor are seen as the most compelling challenges. And most Chinese want to protect the environment, even at the cost of slower economic growth. Please go to for a full summary of the survey.

The survey found that most Chinese, but especially better educated urban Chinese are worried about losing "traditional ways of life." This may partially explain the interest many are manifesting in Confucianism. Yu Dan's 2006 television lecture series and her subsequent best-selling book are part, along with new Confucian weekend academies, of this wave. You can hear her discuss Confucianism and modern Chinese life on July 31 and August 2. Details are below and at the calendar section of our website.

Next Monday, the USC U.S.-China Institute launches its residential summer seminar for educators, a two week program designed to aid teachers in strengthening teaching on East Asia. There are no seats left for this seminar, but we encourage educators interested in these professional development opportunities to visit the K-12 curriculum section of our website. There you can sign up for the Teaching about Asia newsletter and learn about our fall seminars.

As always, we encourage you to stay abreast of developments in U.S.-China relations and trends in China via the daily updates section of our web magazine US-China Today. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Please write to us at

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

USC Events

07/28/2008 - 08/07/2008: 2008 Summer Residential Seminar at USC
USC, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Currently accepting applications
For more information please contact Miranda Ko at
An intensive nine-day equivalent of our "East Asia and New Media in My Classroom" professional development seminar for K-12 teachers employed outside of the greater Los Angeles area.

California Events

07/23/2008: Riding Alone For Thousands of Miles
Time: 1:30PM
Location: Bowers Museum, 2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706
Cost: General $7; Members $5
A film about a fisherman who vows to complete his estranged and dying son’s documentary and his odyssey into the heart of China where he befriends a fatherless boy.

07/25/2008: Ancient China
Bowers Museum
2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Cost: Free
Time: 6:30PM
Highlights of this film include dazzling graphic re-creations of a Chinese village from 7,000 years ago, the terra cotta army of the First Emperor, and Beijing’s Forbidden City. 50 min.

07/26/2008: Send Us No More Dragons
Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Cost: Free with paid museum admission and to members; Lecture only $8
William R. Sargent, H. A. Crosby Forbes Curator, Asian Export Art, Peabody Essex Museum, gives a talk on the history of trade in porcelain, first produced in China around the 8th century, and the exportation of ceramics from the 15th to 18th centuries.

07/26/2008: Contemporary Photography from China - Opening Reception
 DNJ Gallery,154-1/2 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036
RSVP by July 22
Time: 6:00PM - 8:00PM
Opening reception for "Contemporary Photography from China" at DNJ Gallery in Los Angeles on Saturday, July 26, 2008, from 6 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

07/27/2008: The First Emperor's Family Values
Location: Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Cost: Free with paid museum admission and to members; Lecture only $8
Dr. Keith Knapp, The Citadel, presents a lecture on the Qin dynasty’s attitude towards family and domestic life of Qin commoners.

07/28/2008 - 08/08/2008: Monks, Merchants and Millworkers: Connecting Europe and Asia in World History
Location: UCLA Asia Institute
Cost: $100
UCLA workshop for K-12 World History teachers focusing on issues such as trade, cultural transmission, colonialism, and the industrial revolution in Europe and Asia

07/31/2008: Confucianism in Modern Chinese Culture with Yu Dan

The Harry and Yvonne Lenart Auditorium
Fowler Museum at UCLA
Lecture will be given in Mandarin Chinese.
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Professor Yu Dan discusses Confucianism and how it relates to the modern world.

08/01/2008: Southwest and Southeast China with Globe Trekker
Bowers Museum
2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Time: 6:30PM
Traveler Justine Shapiro explores Southwest China, taking in the autonomous region of Guangxi and the provinces of Guizhou, Yunnam, and Sichuan. Zay Harding completes the tour, visiting the Southeast provinces of Guangzhou, Jiangxi, Fujian, and Hunan. 75 min.

08/03/2008: Confucius and the First Emperor

Bowers Museum
2002 N. Main St, Santa Ana, CA 92706
Cost: Free with paid museum admission and to members; Lecture only $8
Time: 1:30PM
Dr. Jeffrey Riegel, Professor and Head of School, University of Sydney, introduces and compares the lives of Confucius and the First Emperor, and assesses their respective contributions to the history of civilization in China

North America Events:  

07/23/2008: Countdown to the Beijing Olympics!
101 International Studies Building
910 South Fifth Street
Cost: Free
Time: 6:30-8:30 pm
Special guest Erik Henriksen(member 1980, 1982 and 1984 US Olympic Speed Skating Teams) will show his collection of Olympic memorabilia and talk about his Olympic experiences and the Olympic movement.


03/06/2008 - 07/27/2008: Chinaman's Chance: Views of the Chinese American Experience

Pacific Asia Museum
46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena , CA 91101
Cost: $7 for adults, $5 for students/seniors
While the experience of being of Chinese heritage and living in America is unique to each individual, this exhibition will investigate the similarities and dissimilarities of these experiences. 

01/29/2008 - 09/07/2008: The Shape of Things: Chinese and Japanese Art from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection

Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue , New York, New York
Cost: Free
Phone: 212-517-ASIA
This exhibition of ceramics, metalworks, sculpture, and painting demonstrates that a depth of information can be revealed through the careful observation and study of the form of an object. 

06/27/2008 - 09/21/2008: Power and Glory: Court Arts of the Ming Dynasty

Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin Street (between Fulton and McAllister Streets), San Francisco, CA 94102
Cost: Cost varies (see website for details)
This exhibition will explore the glories of the Ming dynasty imperial court.

05/18/2008 - 10/12/2008: Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of the First Emperor

Bowers Museum
Address: 2002 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706
Phone: 714-567-3600
This summer exhibit at Bowers Museum showcases the famous terra cotta warriors buried with the First Emperor of China.

07/26/2008 - 09/06/2008: Contemporary Photography from China
Address: DNJ Gallery, 154-1/2 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036
DNJ Gallery showcases works by several emerging Chinese artists who captured China's changing economy, society and culture through their photographs.


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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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