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Talking Points, November 7-21, 2007

USCI's weekly newsletter
November 7, 2007
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USC U.S.-China Institute

Talking Points
November 7 - November 21, 2007

Over the past week there have been breathless news reports over PetroChina’s toppling of Exxon Mobil as the world’s most valuable company and of the rapid rise in the number of Chinese billionaires. In both cases, these are mostly paper valuations, tied to the value of stocks listed on Chinese exchanges. Chinese markets have been on a tear, rising over 120% this year. Since only a tiny fraction of PetroChina stock can be bought or sold (the rest being held by the Chinese government), estimates of its market capitalization (US $1 trillion) are misleading. That said, the number of the super-wealthy is rising and China is now home to somewhere between 66 and 116 billionaires (depending on who is counting).

 
China's economic advance has done more than enrich stock investors. Hundreds of  millions of people have been lifted from poverty. Many, though, remain on the brink of subsistence. Tensions over how scarce resources such as land are allocated and how labor is treated continue to bubble over in many places. There were over 60,000 violent protests each involving more than 100 people in 2006.
 
Such protests, of course, worry China’s leaders. Beginning in the 1980s, those leaders have sought to defuse tensions and mobilize farmers by permitting village-level elections. It’s argued that elections encourage local leaders to be more responsive to the needs and concerns of their fellow villagers. But is this the actual result? Stanford’s Scott Rozelle and his colleagues have studied 2,450 villages with this question in mind. On Wednesday, Nov. 14, Prof. Rozelle visits USC to discuss what this research reveals about elections and village leader accountability. We hope you can join us for this talk and two upcoming presentations on law in China (Jeff Lehman, Nov. 20, and William Alford, Dec. 6). Looking farther ahead, on Dec. 10 USC presents a panel discussion on Chinese environmental and developmental policy.
 
Elsewhere this week, UC Irvine hosts a look at writing in and about Chinese cities (Nov. 9) and UCLA hosts a conference examining historical connections and comparisons between China and Europe (Nov. 10).
 
Thank you for forwarding Talking Points to your friends and colleagues. We appreciate this and your feedback. Please write to us at uschina@usc.edu.
 
Best wishes,
The USC U.S.-China Institute

 

 USC Events 

11/14/2007: Village Elections, Public Goods Investments and Pork Barrel Politics, Chinese-style

USC KAP 319
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 5:30PM
Stanford University Professor Scott Rozelle examines economic policies in Chinese rural areas. 

11/20/2007: China and the Rule of Law: Do Law Schools Matter?
USC Musick Law Building (LAW), Faculty Lounge
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 6:00PM
USCI presents a talk with Jeffrey Sean Lehman, President of the Joint Center for China-U.S. Law & Policy Studies at Peking University and Beijing Foreign Studies University.

California Events 

11/07/2007: Forces: Artist's Talk by Lampo Leong
IEAS Conference Room
2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 6:30PM
Lampo Leong gives a talk on Chinese calligraphy and the art of abstract painting.

 

11/07/2007: Wen-hsin Yeh in conversation on her new book: 'Shanghai Splendor: Economic Sentiments and the Making of Modern China, 1843-1949'

University Press Books
Address: 2430 Bancroft Way , Berkeley, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 5:30PM - 7:30PM
Making extensive use of urban tales and visual representations, the book captures urbanite voices as it uncovers the sociocultural dynamics that shaped the people and their politics in Shanghai. 


11/08/2007: Please Vote for Me
ArcLight Theatre
6360 Sunset Blvd , Los Angeles, CA 90028
Cost: $11.00
The film captures an entertaining snapshot of the politics within a classroom election between three eight-year olds.

 

11/09/2007: Prince of the Himalayas
ArcLight Theatre
6360 Sunset Blvd , Los Angeles, CA 90028
Cost: $11.00
Set in ancient Tibet, this Chinese Shakespearen film explores the story of the young Prince Lhamoklodan.

 

11/09/2007: Writing in and Writing about Modern Chinese Cities
University of California, Irvine (UCI)
Krieger Hall 126, Irvine, CA
Time: 1:30PM - 5:00PM
The half-day conference will have one panel on writing in modern Chinese cities and another on writings about modern Chinese cities.
 
11/10/2007: Rethinking China and Europe: Connections and Comparisons

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
6275 Bunche Hall , Los Angeles, CA 90095
Time: 10:00AM - 4:30PM
A day-long conference presented in conjunction with the Southern California China Colloquium

 

11/15/2007: Western Zhou Bell Music in Texts and Archaeology
UC Berkeley IEAS Conference Room
2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00pm
Haicheng Wang tells the stories of the ancient bronze bell sets unearthed in recent years.
 
11/16/2007: The Rising Tide with Gordon Chang
Crossroads School for Arts
Address: 1714 21st Street Roth Hall, Santa Monica, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 7:30PM - 9:30PM
Limited seating, RSVP is required meganwill@earthlink.com
A documentary on the cultural and economic changes in China.

 

11/18/2007: Pacifying the Dragon: Traditional Daoist Ritual Exploring Chinese Religion and Culture
Scripps Cottage
San Diego State University, CA
10:00 a.m. Offering Rite
2:00 p.m. Pacifying the Dragon
4:00 p.m. Public Reception
San Diego State University's Department of Religious Studies hosts a rare public performance of traditional Daoist rituals.

 

11/19/2007: The Hierarchical Regional Space Model of China's Spatial Economy/Society
UC Berkeley Survey Research Center
2538 Channing Way, Corner of Bowditch & Channing Way
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00pm
This talk will report on work at the Regional Systems Analysis Project at UC Davis.

North America: 

11/09/2007: Hidden Treasures Among Us: The Chinese Collections at UMMA
4th Floor Amphitheater, Rackham Building, 915 East Washington
Cost: Free
Time: 7:00PM - 8:00PM
A part of the Fall 2007 CCS Special Presentations.
 
11/13/2007: Cosmopolitan Ethics, Aesthetics, and Confucianism: Kang Youwei's Great Community
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
1080 S. University , Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 1:30PM
Rutgers University's Wang Ban presents a talk on, Kang Youwei, the Chinese thinker and reformer at the turn of the 20th century.
 
11/20/2007: The Great Wall of Europe: European Views of China before 1750
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
Address: 1080 S. University , Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 1:30PM
Michael Keevak examines European views of China from the period of 1600 - 1750.  

Exhibitions:

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.


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. 

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January 21, 2021 - 4:00pm

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

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