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Talking Points: March 25 - April 8, 2009

The USC U.S.-China Institute's weekly enewsletter
March 25, 2009

USC U.S.-China Institute Weekly Newsletter

Talking Points
March 25 - April 8, 2009

For many years now, Chinese authorities have met with and often worked with foreign non-governmental agencies, international organizations, as well as foreign governmental agencies on strengthening Chinese laws, procedures, and practices. Experts have been invited in to speak and to consult, staffers have been sent abroad for meetings and training, joint studies have been conducted, awareness workshops held, and training programs carried out. And in one instance, a foreigner has been brought in to build an international law school. These efforts reflect the decision of China’s leaders that the country will be well-served by moving toward a system of rule of law (RTL).


Chinese authorities have even accepted that RTL will necessarily constrain some actions by governmental bodies. For example, hepatitis B sufferers successfully sued to overturn a local ban against employing such people in government posts. The legal decision resulted in a nationwide ban against such bias in official recruitment. A case such as this illustrates the overlap between human rights concerns and RTL requirements. But though the courts struck down this ban and national authorities have acted to enforce the decision, China’s more than 100 million hepatitis B sufferers still encounter informal and formal discrimination. And Chinese police have suppressed attempts by hepatitis B activists to share information and to organize to systematically battle social and governmental discrimination. This example illustrates how the Chinese government has selectively embraced norms promoted by international and foreign entities. Titus Chen, a postdoctoral researcher at USC, will speak about this today at 12:30 pm, arguing that the Chinese government has endorsed, in principle, adopting a system of rule of law, while simultaneously rejecting calls to embrace norms such as of freedom of  association, assembly, and speech. We hope you can attend this presentation and discussion.


Details about this event and others are below and in the calendar section of our website. The resources section of the website also features speeches and governmental reports on a wide range of issues, information about China-related fellowships and Chinese language programs, and more. You can also see presentations from the USC conference on the impact the 2008 Beijing Olympics had on China’s image overseas and its domestic political and economic circumstances. Presentations also explored the role played by domestic and international media. On Thursday, the Association for Asian Studies holds its annual meeting in Chicago. The conference features many interesting China-related panels as well as a keynote address by Thomas Christensen, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia. If you can’t hear him speak this week, you can view his keynote presentation at our recent conference on the making of America’s China policy.

That conference also featured presentations by Henry Levine, a distinguished former State and Commerce department official (click here for his new blog), and Robert Kapp, former president of the U.S.-China Business Council. The economic situation was already dire when Levine and Kapp spoke and since then both the U.S. and China have begun implementing stimulus plans and pledging even more action. Trade has fallen off (China’s exports dropped 26% in the last quarter) and millions have been thrown out of work. The World Bank has just released its own update on the Chinese economy and tomorrow its authors, David Dollar and Louis Kuijs, take questions via the net on the outlook for the Chinese and world economy. This occurs after the two top Bank leaders, Robert Zoellick, a former U.S. government official, and Lin Yifu, a Chinese academic and USCI board member, wrote in the Washington Post that global economic “recovery rides on the G-2” (the U.S. and China). And the World Bank’s virtual discussion comes just as Presidents Obama and Hu prepare to meet in London next week.


As always, we appreciate hearing from you at and we do hope you’ll share Talking Points with others. We’re grateful, as well, to those who have gone online at to make donations to support the work of the U.S.-China Institute. Thank you.

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

USC: California:  

  03/25/2009: Choosing the Rule of Law over Human Rights: China's Selective Socialization by International Norms
University of Southern California, SOS B-40
Cost: Free
Time: 2:30PM - 2:00PM
Titus Chen presents a talk on China's socialization of international norms on the issue of human rights.
   04/06/2009 - 04/07/2009: Asia/Pacific Business Outlook 2009 Conference
University of Southern California, Davidson Conference Center,
3415 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0871
Cost: $675 (early registration), $825
The Center for International Business Education & Research (CIBER)presents a conference on doing business in the Asia-Pacific region.


  03/24/2009: Bowers Museum Shaolin Lecture and Kung Fu Demonstration
Bowers Museum
2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706
Cost: General $35; Members $30
Phone: 714-567-3600
Time: 7pm
A speaking engagement featuring Shaolin Temple Abbot Venerable Grand Monk Master Shi Yong Xin & Shaolin Temple Kung Fu Monks Team

   03/26/2009: China's Development and China-U.S. Relations
San Diego State University
Arts and Letters Building, Room 201
Cost: Free
Time: 1:45PM - 2:45PM
Zhou Wenzhong, Chinese ambassador to the US, to give the 2009 Charles W. Hostler lecture at San Diego State University
  03/28/2009: Chinese Intellectual Property Delegation Dinner Banquet
Westin Bonaventure
404 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA
Cost: $100
Time: 6:00PM - 10:00PM
The Chinese CEO Organization presents the opportunity to meet this important Delegation and learn about the latest development in China's IP policy and strategy.
  03/31/2009: The Language of Flowers in China
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA  91108
Time: 7:30 pm
The Chinese Garden Lecture Series at the Huntington Library presents a discussion on the symbolism of flowers in China.
  03/31/2009: China and the Global Economic Crisis
InterContinental Hotel
2151 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA
Cost: $56 ASSC & LAWAC members, $66 Guests of members, $71 General admission
Time: 7:30PM
Dinner & Book Signing with Nicholas Lardy presented by Los Angeles World Affairs Council
  04/02/2009: International Trade Advisory Board & HKASC Joint Breakfast Meeting
National University
Room 105, 705 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 7:30AM - 9:15AM
A presentation on how to find new markets and expand existing ones through HKTDC's marketing platform, as well as d tips and updates provided by a panel of local business executives.
04/06/2009: Isotope Research on Ancient Chinese Diets
UCLA 10383 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 4:30PM - 6:00PM
Professor Zhang Xuelian will explore the reconstruction of ancient people’s diets in China.

North America:  


 03/26/2009 - 03/29/2009: 2009 Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Meeting
Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers
Address: 301 East North Water Street, Chicago, IL 60611
Cost: $55-135
Phone: 800-325-3535
A four-day conference devoted to planned programs of scholarly papers, roundtable discussions and panel sessions on a wide range of issues in research and teaching, and on Asian affairs.


03/26/2009: Interview with David Dollar and Louis Kuijs on China Quarterly Update, March 2009
Time: 9:30 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time (13:30 GMT, 9:30 p.m. Beijing time)
For more details please click [
Report authors will answer questions about China's economic situation in a live online discussion.

03/28/2009: Screening: Infernal Affairs
Indiana University
Woodburn Hall 101
Cost: Free
Time: 7:00PM - 9:30PM
Part of an Indiana University East Asian Studies Center film series.


04/02/2009: China Rising
Principia College, Elsah, Illinois
Cost: $60
Time: 9am - 5pm
Principia College's Public Affairs Conference celebrates its 60th anniversary by presenting a conference on China's rise in politics, economics, resources, and culture.

04/03/2009: 2009 Roundtable on Post-Communism: "Citizenship and Post-Communism"
Indiana University
Public Roundtable, IMU Oak Room
Time: 9-12 am
Follow-up faculty-graduate student seminar (also open to the public),IMU Oak Room
Time: 2-4 pm
The East Asian Studies Center at Indiana University presents a roundtable discussion on the politics of rights and changing citizenship regimes in China.



02/12/2009 - 06/07/2009: Noble Tombs at Mawangdui: Art and Life in the Changsha Kingdom, Third Century BCE to First Century
China Institute Gallery
Address: 125 East 65th St., New York , NY
Cost: $7
An exhibit featuring treasures of the Marquis of the Changsha Kingdom and his family  


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.


02/12/2009 - 02/12/2010: Art of Adornment: Tribal Beauty
Bowers Museum
Address: 2002 N. Main, Santa Ana, CA
Cost: $5
Time: 10:00AM - 4:00PM
An exhibit featuring body adornments from indigenous peoples around the world


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