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Talking Points, March 28 - April 9, 2008

The USC U.S.-China Institute's weekly e-newsletter
March 27, 2008

USC U.S.-China Institute

Talking Points
March 28 - April 9, 2008

On Saturday, Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Ma Ying-jeou was elected president of Taiwan. Although many news organizations reported that the race had tightened and might be affected by events in and around Tibet, Ma defeated the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Frank Hsieh (Hsieh Ch’ang-t’ing) by a wide margin, 58.5% to 41.6%. As the DPP’s Chen Shui-bian is the two-term incumbent, these results are taken primarily as a repudiation of the party’s efforts to manage the island’s economy. In January, KMT candidates received 53.5% of the votes cast in the legislative elections, to the DPP’s 38.2%. Because some legislative seats are awarded by locality and some by the proportion of the vote each party receives, the KMT now holds three out of four legislative seats. It is the first time since 2000 that political power in Taiwan has been concentrated in the hands of one party. Both candidates pledged to work to improve ties with the U.S. and with China and to foster economic development. Voters overwhelmingly decided that Ma, formerly vice-chair of the government’s Mainland Affairs Council, Minister of Justice, and mayor of Taipei, was more likely to deliver on such pledges.

Yesterday, the U.S.-China Institute hosted a symposium which explored the campaign, the election process and results, and what Ma’s win may mean for Taiwan and its links to the United States and China. Presenters included faculty from USC, Berkeley, and National Tsinghua University and three students who were part of USC’s observation group. Video from the symposium and articles based on symposium presentations will soon be available at the USCI website.

Over the past week, much attention has been focused on the suppression of demonstrations in and near Tibet and on Chinese government efforts to round up those it says helped organize protests or initiate riots. A “most wanted” list posted on Yahoo’s Chinese frontpage reminded many of the sort of requirements news providers in China must satisfy. Several Western specialists on Tibet believe that the Dalai Lama’s call for those protesting to use non-violent means has had an effect and that most current demonstrations are peaceful. Beijing dispatched Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu to Tibet. He echoed the Dalai Lama in asserting that violence was not part of Tibetan Buddhism but also announced that “patriotic education” for monks would be stepped up. Zhang Qingli, the Communist Party Secretary for Tibet, argued that the party-state was confronting a serious challenge, saying, "From start to finish, we face a prolonged, extreme, complex struggle."

There are many forces driving protest in Tibet, including fears that the tourism and other areas of economic growth are dominated by non-Tibetan migrants. Of course, the influence the Dalai Lama continues to have among Tibetans stems from his role as the leader of Tibetan Buddhism. Religious belief, though not Buddhism, is the subject of a USC talk this coming Monday. On March 31, Georgetown’s Peter Phan will examine "Catholicism and Confucianism." At UC Davis, an exhibition of Chinese propaganda posters will open on April 3.

Looking a bit farther ahead, please mark your calendars for two important talks. Justin Yifu Lin, the newly appointed chief economist of the World Bank will speak at USC on April 8. And on April 21, Clark T. Randt, Jr., America’s ambassador to China, will offer this year’s Herbert G. Klein lecture. Advance registration is encouraged for both talks. Please send your rsvp to

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


USC Events

03/28/2008: Garden Walls and Generic Boundaries: Visualizing Textual Space and Urban Space in the Western Capital Luoyang, China, 960-1127
USC East Asian Studies Conference Room, THH 371
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Reception to follow
University of Michigan's Christian de Pee examines the city of Luoyang in the eleventh century.

03/31/2008: Catholicism and Confucianism
USC Davidson Conference Center
Los Angles, CA 90029
Cost: Free
Time: 4:30PM - 6:00PM
The Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies hosts a talk with Georgetown University's Father Peter Phan. 

04/08/2008: Development and Transition: Idea, Strategy and Viability
USC Popovich Hall 300
Cost: Free
Time: 3:00PM - 4:30PM
Newly appointed World Bank Chief Economist, Justin Lin will speak at USC. 

California Events

04/08/2008: Gardens Beyond the Garden
Friends' Hall
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108
Time: 7:30PM - 9:30PM
Dr. Louise Yuhas examines the essence of the Chinese garden. 

04/09/2008: Fighting for the Seats: Gender Quota and State Feminism in South Korea and Taiwan
UCLA 10383 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Cost: Free
Time: 3:00PM - 4:30PM
UCLA hosts a talk with Chang-Ling Huang from National Taiwan University.

04/09/2008: The Eye Having to Have Looked at Enough Examples to Really See . . .
UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Cost: Free
Time: 3:30PM - 5:00PM
Dr. Ni will discuss decoding the iconography of some frequently seen décor on Chinese pictorial representations.  

04/09/2008: The Internet Revolution in China
UC Berkeley, 150 University Hall
Cost: The series is open to the public for a fee of $10 per lecture, Campus community with a Cal ID, CAA members with a membership card, and OLLI members are free
Time: 6:00PM - 7:30PM
UC Berkeley's Xiao Qiang speaks as part of the lecture series on "The Emerging Narrative of China."

North America Events: 

03/29/2008: CCS Documentary Film Series: The Villager Documentary Project: My Village 2006
Auditorium A, Angell Hall, 435 South State Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106
Cost: Free and Open to the Public
Time: 7:00PM - 9:00PM
A collection of ten short documentary films by amateur villager filmmakers (ranging in age from 24 to 59) selected from rural villages around China. 

04/01/2008: CCS Noon Lecture Series: Stereotypes, Biases, Paradigms, and Uncertainties: On Understanding China
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106
Cost: Free and Open to the Public
Time: 12:00PM - 1:00PM
Zhang Longxi will examine some of the received notions about China and Chinese culture in the West and the perplexities and uncertainties of a fast-changing China. 

04/03/2008: 2008 AAS Annual Meeting
Hyatt Regency Atlanta
Cost: $80-$155
The Association for Asian Studies is the largest society of its kind, with approximately 7,000 members worldwide. It is a
scholarly, non-political, and non-profit professional association open to all persons interested in Asia. 

04/09/2008: Does China Have an Energy Diplomacy?: Reflections on China's Energy Security and its Impact on Foreign Policy
Lindner Family Commons, The Elliott School of International Affairs, 6th Floor
Address: 1957 E Street, NW
Cost: Free
Time: 12:30PM - 2:00PM
The Sigur Center for Asian Studies hosts Linda Jakobson as part of the lecture series on transnational Asia. 


02/02/2008 - 03/29/2008: Shaolin: Temple of Zen
Otis College of Art and Design
9045 Lincoln Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90045
An exhibition and publication that documents the exceptionally private warrior monks of the 1500 year old Shaolin Temple in the Henan province of China, renowned for its association with Zen Buddhism and martial arts.


01/23/2008 - 05/15/2008: Cycle of Life: Awakening - Works by Asian Women Artists
IEAS Gallery
2223 Fulton Street 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA
An exhibition featuring the art works of Asian women artist.


04/03/2008 - 05/18/2008: Visualizing Revolution: Propaganda Posters from the People's Republic of China, 1949-1989
Nelson Gallery, Art Building University of California, Davis
Formal Opening on April 10, 6 - 8 pm
Katharine Burnett and Yang Peiming, Guest Curators
The exhibition will feature propaganda art from 1949-1989 from the collection of the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center of Mr. Yang Peiming.


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.


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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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