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Talking Points, November 28 - December 12, 2007

USCI's email newsletter
November 28, 2007

USC U.S.-China Institute

Talking Points
November 28 - December 12, 2007

According to Chinese police statistics, there were 84,000 violent incidents involving more than 100 people in China in 2005 and more than 60,000 in 2006. Many of these involved farmers protesting the loss of access to land or other resources or workers fighting to receive back wages. There are many factors at work in these clashes, but a central one is the perceived inability of the Chinese legal system to resolve disputes in a way the protesters find just. One reason for this may be the turn away from expanding the pool of paraprofessional rice roots legal workers.” Next Thursday (Dec. 6), Harvard Law professor and USCI Board of Scholars member William Alford will speak on the rise, decline, and uncertain future of these “rice roots legal workers” and what it means for rural Chinese.
Some clashes have originated in protests over environmental degradation. On Monday, Dec. 10, USC hosts a panel discussion on efforts to foster economic development while at the same time protecting the environment. Speakers include specialists working on mitigating emissions, on environmental regulations, and on the role of non-governmental organizations.  
Our student editors and writers are working to deliver the second issue of US-China Today, but in the meantime, have you taken a look at the first issue? There are articles about text messaging, China’s booming property market, the 12 Girls Band, John King Fairbank, and much more. Please visit and let us know what you think.
The Documents section of the USCI website includes hundreds of items, including government reports, speeches, and agreements. The most recent addition to the collection is a transcript of U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Timothy Keating discussing the recent Chinese refusals to permit American ships to visit Hong Kong. News stories about the Thanksgiving Kitty Hawk incident have been summarized in the US-China Today daily update section.
As always, we appreciate you sharing our newsletter with your friends and colleagues. They can subscribe at
Best wishes,
The USC U.S.-China Institute


USC Events 

11/28/2007: Asia, America, and the Transformation of Geopolitics
USC University Club, Banquet Room
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 5:30PM
USC U.S.-China Institute Board of Scholars member William Overholt will speak on US-China relations.

11/29/2007: Informational Session: Beijing Summer Program 2008
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Time: 1:00PM - 2:00PM
Contact: Josephine Le
Phone: (213) 740-3713
The Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures offers an informational session for students interested in learning Chinese in China during summer 2008.

12/06/2007: “Second Lawyers, First Principles”: Lawyers, Rice-Roots Legal Workers, and the Battle Over Legal Professionalism in China

USC University Club, Banquet Room
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
Time: 3:30PM - 5:30PM
William Alford examines the rise, decline, and uncertain future of the rice-roots legal worker.

12/10/2007: Environmental and Development Policy in China: Is Harmonization Possible?

Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall, Room 101
Time: 3:00 – 5:00 PM, Reception to follow
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall, Room 101
RSVP to Leah Oliver (
A panel discusses China's unprecedented economic growth along with its significant enviornmental costs.

12/10/2007 - 12/15/2007: International Forum on Disability and Development: Caring, Participation and Action
Peking University Institute of Population Research
Beijing, China
Cost: U.S.$350-U.S.$550
The issues faced by people with disabilities and their needs are integral to the process of building a harmonious society, as well as the improvement of human rights in China. Experts gather in Beijing for learning and discussion.

California Events 

11/30/2007: Turning Things Around: Daughters and Their Natal Families in Qing China

IEAS Conference Room
2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Maram Epstein discusses the theme of filial devotions of daughters to their natal families in 18th-19th century Chinese fiction. 
12/01/2007: Comparative Perspectives on Rhetorical Narratives
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
10383 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Time: 9:30AM - 5:00PM
The day-long conference will examine rhetorical narrative context through a comparative perspective. 
12/05/2007: Across the Tibetan Plateau - Ecosystems, Wildlife and Conservation

Haydn Williams Conference Room, The Asia Foundation
465 California Street, 8th Floor , San Francisco, CA
Free, Pre-registration required
Time: 5:30PM - 8:00PM
The collection of photographs tell the story of how the Tibetan people are conserving their lands for future generations.


12/05/2007: Entering into Business in China Terminating a Business Relationship in China: Video Conference with Hong Kong
555 West 5th Street, Suite 3500
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Cost: Free
Time: 5:00PM - 8:00PM
A virtual meeting on joint venture and intellectual property issues for American companies in doing business with Hong Kong and China, learning how to conduct due diligence on prospect partner.
12/06/2007: Publishing in China Quarterly
UC Berkeley, IEAS Conference, Room 2223 Fulton Street 6th Floor
Berkeley, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00 PM
Julia Straus will discuss the operations and expectations for "The China Quarterly." 


12/07/2007 - 12/08/2007: China's Environment: What do we know, and how do we know it?
University of California, Berkeley
Time: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
The conference will focus on the scientific as well as social, political, economic, and cultural problems that have to do with China's environment.
12/12/2007: Commerce & Classics: Sino-Japanese Exchanges in the Eighteenth Century

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
11377 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 5:30PM
Benjamin Elman gives a talk on the intellectual impact of late imperial Chinese classicism, medicine and science in Tokugawa Japan by way of reconsidering early modern Sino-Japanese cultural history, 1700-1850. 

North America: .

12/03/2007: Floating, (In)visible, Off-Screen: Voices and Bodies in the New Chinese Documentary
University of Michigan
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building , Michigan
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 1:00PM
A part of the Fall 2007 Chinese Film Series
12/04/2007: Lecture: The Evolution of China's Africa Policies
University of Michigan
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
1080 S. University , Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 1:30PM
Ian Taylor will explore the evolution of Beijing's Africa policies, and explain why China is increasingly going to play a major role on the continent.

12/04/2007: Integrating Weath & Power in China
Lindner Family Commons, The Elliott School of International Affairs, 6th Floor
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, DC
Cost: Free
Time: 12:30PM - 1:45PM
Sigur Center's Lecture Series on Subnational Asia with Bruce Dickson.
12/05/2007: Humiliation and Modernity: Reflections on Pan-Asian and Pan-Islamic Discourses
Princeton University
Address: 309 Frist Campus Center, Princeton, New Jersey 08544
Cost: Free
Time: 4:30PM
Cemil Aydin discusses the two crucial aspects of Pan-Asian and Pan-Islamic thought in contemporary East Asia and the Muslim world. 


09/17/2007 - 12/21/2007: Forces: Paintings & Calligraphy 

IEAS Conference Room
2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94720-2318
Cost: Free
The UCB Center for Chinese Studies presents an exhibition by Lampo Leong.

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.


10/04/2007 - 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. 




January 21, 2021 - 4:00pm

Joshua Goldstein talks about his new book looking at the history of the recycling industry in China.

January 28, 2021 - 4:00pm

Jennifer Pan examines how China's major social assistance program, Dibao, has been used to quell dissent.