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Talking Points, November 24 - 30, 2011

This week Talking Points focuses on turkey, reporting on China, and football. As always, the USC U.S.-China Institute newsletter includes information about China-focused events and exhibitions across North America.
November 24, 2011

Talking Points

November 24 - 30, 2011

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Happy Thanksgiving! 感恩节快乐!


Are you having turkey hot pot today? That’s one of the most popular ways to consume turkey in China. It’s just one of the dishes you can have at the U.S. Turkey Gourmet Restaurant (美国火鸡美食餐厅) in Beijing. You could also elect to have turkey dumplings, gongbao turkey, or turkey soup. In 2010, Chinese consumed 32,000 metric tons (70.5 million pounds) of turkey. More than 80% of that turkey came from the U.S. Mexico is America’s largest export market for turkey. China is a distant second, importing about one-fifth as much as Mexico. The China market for turkey, however, is growing and domestic producers have taken notice. News accounts have highlighted the achievements of people such as Zhou Xiufen 周秀芬, who started with just three turkeys in 2001 and now oversees an operation with hundreds of thousands of birds. (Click here to see her blog, which invites people to join her free training sessions.)

 U.S. Turkey Gourmet Restaurant (Beijing); Zhou Xiufen, Weifang, Shandong province; various turkey dishes
Pictures from the U.S. Turkey Gourmet Restaurant and Zhou Xiufen Turkey Products, Ltd.


American turkey consumption has leveled off (at a world-leading 7.5 kg (16.4 lbs) of turkey a year), so states such as Minnesota and North Carolina and companies such as Butterball, Hormel, and Cargill hope to increase exports. They’d be delighted if Chinese per capita consumption rose to Taiwan levels. On a per capita basis, in 2010 Taiwan imported five times as much turkey as China. Much of that turkey was consumed in Chiayi turkey rice (嘉义火鸡饭), a popular dish across the island, with some shops claiming to be thirty-five or fifty years old.


TL: 50 year old Chiayi Turkey Rice restaurant (Ichinohe Shinya, Creative Commons); TR: fast food Chiayi turkey rice shop (Coco, Creative Commons); L: Chiayi turkey rice (Penghu Xiaoyan, CC)  



Our own thanksgiving offering to you is Assignment: China “Opening Up.” This 52 minute documentary is available now at our website and YouTube channel. The news media has had a deep and enduring influence on what Americans think about China. Assignment: China is the USC U.S.-China Institute’s look at those reporting on China since the 1940s. This segment, the first to be released, focuses on the period 1979-1983 when American journalists were again able to be based in China, following the establishment of normal diplomatic relations. Through interviews and archival footage, we learn about the excitement of reporting about Deng Xiaoping’s trip to the U.S., China’s economic reforms, and the loosening of cultural and social controls. We also learn about the challenges these journalists faced. Some of these were due to China’s immense size, diversity, and complexity, but many stemmed from the desire of the authorities to control access and the fear many ordinary citizens had of speaking to reporters. USCI senior fellow and CNN’s former senior Asia correspondent Mike Chinoy wrote and narrated the segment, assisted by USCI staff and students. We look forward to your comments.

In Shanghai this week and later in Guangzhou and Beijing, audiences will watch a play examining the struggle between news organizations and a secretive government. Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers was written by former USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism dean Geoffrey Cowan and journalist Leroy Aarons. Drawing on trial transcripts and interviews, the play tells how the New York Times and Washington Post gained access to a secret report of how the U.S. became entangled in Vietnam’s struggles and how the papers’ decided to work around a court injunction to publish the materials. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the papers’ right to publish the report. The complete 7,000 page report is now available from the U.S. National Archives.

Cowan is touring China with the L.A. Theatre Works performers. At several venues and universities, he is discussing the play with audiences and students. On Dec. 4 in Beijing, Cowan will deliver the annual F.Y. Chang Lecture. The lecture is sponsored by Peking University Law School, Tsinghua University Law School and the Harvard University Law School East Asian Legal Studies Program.

Our US-China Today will soon publish an article about how this play about the importance of an independent press was received by audiences in China. In the meantime, you may find the magazine’s recent articles on Communist Party recruitment and on stadium diplomacy of interest. Be sure to take a look at the new photo essay on Chengdu market workers and our new infographics on China’s military, on coal production and consumption, and our interactive map of Chinese leader Hu Jintao’s global travels. Among the many new items published by our Asia Pacific Arts is a video interview with Zhang Jizhong 张纪中, China’s most successful television producer, on how he hopes his work will help address China's moral crisis.

Many Americans associate Thanksgiving with a feast of televised football games. Many fans purchase all sorts of items to use at games or to signal their affection for their favorite team. A lot of these items are manufactured in China. We present a small sampling of the football-related products available from Chinese factories via on-line services such as Alibaba.


Crazy wigs, helmet chair, helmet barbeque, inflatable helmet, holiday lights, and a nite light. So much more that could be shown, beginning with drinking hats, jewelry, flash drives, and cake decorations.

Here in Los Angeles, we’re focused on Saturday’s contest between the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins. This is one of the oldest and fiercest rivalries in college sports. This week students on both campuses held rallies featuring bonfires while others devoted themselves to defending statues of their respective symbols. Here at USC, Chinese visitors have been fascinated by our duct-taped Tommy Trojan and its student protectors. You can see for yourself via “Tommy Cam.” USC alumni clubs across the globe are planning to watch the game. In Shanghai, they’ll gather at Big Bamboo, in Hong Kong at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile, and in Taipei at the Brass Monkey. Go Trojans! Fight On!


 USC bonfire preparations, 2011; UCLA bonfire 2010


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 California | North America | Exhibitions


11/26/2011: Chu-Han Contention: Traditional Pipa Music
Bowers Museum
2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706
Cost: Member $7 / Non-member $10 (Concert only)
Time: 3:00PM - 4:00PM
The Bowers Museum presents an afternoon of pipa music.

11/27/2011: Film: China Revealed
Bowers Museum
2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706
Cost: Free to members; Free with paid admission; $8 general
Time: 1:30PM
The Bowers Museum will show a Discovery film on China.

11/29/2011: Buddhism and Liao Dynasty Tombs at Xuanhua
University of California, Los Angeles
10383 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, California 90095-1487
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 5:30PM
UCLA's Asia Institute presents a talk on Buddhism and Liao Dynasty tombs by Professor Qingquan Li of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts.

11/29/2011: Daoism and the Arts of China
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Brown Auditorium
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Cost: Free, no reservations
Time: 7:00PM
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents Stephen Little, a curator of Chinese and Korean Art.

11/30/2011: Music in the Chinese Garden - Yunhe Liang on erhu
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108
Time: 1:00PM - 3:00PM
A different solo musician will perform each week inside the Love for the Lotus Pavilion, playing unamplified melodies on classical instruments including the dizi, sheng, pipa, erhu, and zheng.

11/30/2011: Early Reception of the “Zhuangzi” in the West
University of California, Berkeley
IEAS conference room, 6th floor, 2223 Fulton Street, Berkeley, CA 94720
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 6:00PM
UC Berkeley presents a talk by Richard Lynn to discuss 17th and 18th centuries European general encounter with South and East Asian religious traditions.

11/30/2011: Is Armed Conflict with China Avoidable?
The Commonwealth Club, San Francisco Club Office
Gold Room 595 Market Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
Cost: $20 standard, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID)
Time: 6:00PM
The Commonwealth Club of California presents Professor Christopher Twomey who will speak on China's foreign policy and security issues in East Asia.

North America

11/28/2011: The Kindness of Strangers: Adopted in China
University of Pennsylvania
McNeil 103 1528 Walnut Street, Suite 610, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 2:00PM
The University of Pennsylvania holds a public talk on adoption in China.

11/28/2011: Problems of Ink Painting and Abstraction in Modern Chinese Painting
Harvard University
CGIS South, Room S030, 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02138
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM
Harvard University's Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies presents John Clark in the Special Lecture Series where he will speak on the challenges facing modern Chinese painting.

11/28/2011: Tape
Max Palevsky Cinema in Ida Noyes Hall
1212 East 59th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
Time: 7:00PM - 9:00PM
A screening of Tape by Li Ning.

11/30/2011: Communicating Guanyin with Hair: Hair Embroidery in Late Imperial China
Yale University
Room 207, Sterling Memorial Library, 120 High Street , New Haven, CT
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 2:00PM
Yuhang Li, 2011-2012 Postdoctoral Associate of Yale University will speak about Hair Embroidery in Late Imperial China.

11/30/2011: Reshaping Collective Consciousness Towards Trauma: Hebrew and Chinese Narrative on the Holocaust and the Nanking Massacre (1960-1980)
Harvard University, Yenching Common Room
2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
Time: 12:00PM
A talk by Prof. Zhong Zhiqing at Harvard University.

11/30/2011: Marriage Law Propaganda and Legal Education Campaigns in the Early PRC
Columbia University, International Affairs Building, Room 918, New York, NY 10027
Cost: Free
Time: 12:15PM - 1:45PM
A part of the "Brown Bag Series: Rereading China’s Legal Past" at Columbia Law School.

11/30/2011: Tethered Tiger, Captured Dragon: Clearing Out Demons from Mountain Woods
Princeton University
106 McCormick Hall , Princeton, NJ 08544
Cost: Free
Time: 4:30PM - 6:00PM
Carma Hinton of George Mason University will be speaking at Princeton University.



ends 11/30/2011: Chrysanthemum Show
Lan Su Chinese Garden
239 Northwest Everett Street, Portland, Oregon 97209
Cost: Free with admission or membership
The Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon exhibits the Chrysanthemum flower.

Our web calendar features many more current and upcoming events and exhibitions. It's always available at:

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