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Talking Points, October 11-20, 2010

This issue of the USC U.S.-China Institute newsletter focuses on the 1972 Nixon trip to China, on Taiwan-China relations, and on the announcement that Chinese writer and prisoner Liu Xiaobo would receive the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. As always, Talking Points also includes information about China-centered events across North America.
October 11, 2010

Talking Points
October 11 - 20, 2010

On February 4, 1972, Dwight Chapin sent a memorandum to those who would be traveling to China with President Richard Nixon. It said, in its entirety,
“Throughout China you will find sayings from Chairman Mao. Many of the Chairman’s sayings center around ‘practice’.
“Borrowing from the Chairman the old ‘Practice makes perfect’, I suggest you become acquainted with using the enclosed chopsticks.”
 Premier Zhou Enlai shows the President how it's done. (White House photo)
Chapin, deputy assistant to the president, and others had been working to prepare for the Nixon trip for months. Because the U.S. didn’t have diplomatic relations with Beijing, the U.S. government had none of the usual diplomatic infrastructure in place to support the visit. Where would they go, what would be done, and who would be involved all had to worked out. How would the President stay connected to the government he led in the U.S. and how would news coverage be facilitated? These are just a few of the questions to be examined at USC on Wednesday, October 13 by Chapin and Larry Higby, the president’s assistant chief of staff, and Colonel Jack Brennan, the president’s Marine Corps aide. The title of the event comes from Nixon’s toast in Shanghai on February 27, 1972,
“We have been here a week. This was the week that changed the world.”
Following the panel featuring Nixon aides, we will have a roundtable discussion featuring scholars looking at China’s changing place in the world. The event is a collaboration between the USC U.S.-China Institute, the Nixon Foundation, and the Nixon Center. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and advance registration is advised (please write to
 President Nixon shakes hands with Premier Zhou Enlai, Feb. 21, 1971  Pat Nixon and the President visit Evergreen Commune.
Nixon announced the trip in July 1971, saying,
“[T]here can be no stable and enduring peace without the participation of the People`s Republic of China
 Time, July 16, 1971.

and its 750 million people….

“Our action in seeking a new relationship with the People`s Republic of China will not be at the expense of our old friends.

“It is not directed against any other nation.”
Nixon’s interest in improving ties with China wasn’t new. As he began his run for the presidency in 1967, he wrote in Foreign Affairs,
[W]e simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations, there to nurture its fantasies, cherish its hates, and threaten its neighbors."
In the article, he argued that it was necessary to persuade China’s leaders that it was in its own national interest to focus on domestic matters as opposed to supporting revolution abroad. This did eventually happen, though it took the rest of the 1970s to happen. Mao Zedong had to die and Deng Xiaoping had to consolidate authority before economic development became the principal preoccupation of the regime.
By forging ties with China, Nixon did intend to put pressure on others, principally the Soviet Union. The Soviets certainly saw it that way. Shortly after Nixon’s announcement, Pravda, the Soviet’s Communist Party newspaper, insisted,
"[S]chemes to use the contacts between Beijing and Washington for some `pressure` on the Soviet Union . . . are nothing but the result of a loss of touch with reality."
Because the Soviets were always raising the subject of China in high level meetings, Nixon knew how anxious the Soviets were about their neighbor. Nixon and Henry Kissinger successfully used improved American relations with Beijing to advance their agenda with Moscow. Nixon also hoped Beijing might urge the Vietnamese to accept a negotiated settlement.
The visit included several confidential meetings, including a surprise hour with Mao. The Chairman noted that he liked having rightists in power in the West. The President responded,
“I think the important thing to note is that in America, at least at this time, those on the right can do what those on the left talk about.”
The formal outcome of the trip, the Shanghai Communiqué was still a work in progress. The greatest issue was Taiwan. In the end, the Chinese asserted that the Taiwan question was the main obstacle to normalization of relations, that Taiwan was a province of China, and that “liberation of Taiwan is China’s internal affair.” The U.S. acknowledged that Taiwan is a part of China, but asserted it wanted the Taiwan question settled peacefully and planned to ultimately withdraw American military forces in Taiwan. (Click here to read the Shanghai Communiqué.)
Some felt that the opening to China (including acceptance of Taipei’s replacement at the UN) was a betrayal of an old ally. Nixon and Kissinger believed that concessions were necessary to achieve American aims. A decade after the 1972 trip, Nixon wrote in the New York Times,
“We should not underestimate the importance of Taiwan in Peking’s eyes, or the extent to which it is an emotional, neuralgic issue. But at the time of the Shanghai Communiqué, and again this year, China showed that it could accept a creative accommodation that would, in effect, postpone an ultimate solution. This sort of non-resolution requires patience and subtlety to maintain. We should be careful not to rock the Taiwan boat, and we should remember that ultimately the surest guarantee of the interests of the people of Taiwan lies not in the strength of their weapons but in the strength of the ties between Washington and Peking.

Taiwan was a one-party dictatorship when Nixon went to Beijing and when Jimmy Carter severed formal U.S.-Taiwan diplomatic ties. Democracy is only a couple of decades old in Taiwan. Taiwanese investment in the mainland, though, began earlier and is now enormous, more than US$51 billion. Cross-strait annual trade is nearly US$100 billion.

Investment and trade have expanded steadily, but Taiwan’s relationship with the mainland remains a central issue in Taiwan’s politics. Promising to bring greater stability and predictability into the cross-strait relationship, President Ma Ying-jeou won a massive victory in 2008. His administration has pushed forward to sign a variety of agreements with China, but his own approval ratings have slipped. Some of his critics argue that closer economic ties will lead to greater unemployment in Taiwan and increase its vulnerability.
The USC U.S.-China Institute has just released a new 18 minute video report on cross-strait relations. It features interviews with political advisors, business people, and scholars along with footage of military exercises and factory production. You can see it at the USCI website or at our YouTube channel
Liu Xiaobo’s (刘晓波) designation as this year’s Nobel Peace Prize Two earlier recipients of the award, the Dalai Lama (1989) and Barack Obama (2009) issued congratulatory statements. President Obama wrote,
“Last year, I noted that so many others who have received the award had sacrificed so much more than I. That list now includes Mr. Liu, who has sacrificed his freedom for his beliefs. By granting the prize to Mr. Liu, the Nobel Committee has chosen someone who has been an eloquent and courageous spokesman for the advance of universal values through peaceful and non-violent means, including his support for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.”
The Chinese government had made it clear that it resented the Nobel committee even considering Liu for the award. The government has held Liu in jail for nearly two years. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced the choice of Liu:
“Liu Xiaobo is a criminal who broke China`s laws and was convicted by Chinese judicial authorities. What he did runs in opposite directions to the purposes of the Prize. It completely violates the principles of the prize and discredits the peace prize itself for the Nobel committee to award the prize to such a person.”
The news of Liu’s selection was celebrated by some in China. They demonstrated briefly in parks and near his Beijing home. There has been some discussion in internet chatrooms. But because of government censorship, Liu Xiaobo and his beliefs are not widely known. The screenshot below shows that a Oct. 8 image search in Chinese for the 2010 recipient on Baidu, China’s most popular search engine fails to turn up any image of Liu.
Baidu image search for "this year's Nobel Peace Prize" (今年的诺贝尔和平奖) after the announcement of the Liu Xiaobo award on Oct. 8, 2010. By contrast, search engines based outside of China uniformly featured photos of Liu and his wife.

Liu's wife Liu Xia is under effective house arrest. She was permitted to visit her husband and tell him of the award, but she is not being permitted visitors. You can read more about Liu in earlier issues of Talking Points (1, 2, 3).

Last week, ahead of the Nobel announcement, Chinese author Yu Jie spoke at USC. He referred to Liu Xiaobo as a representative of all Chinese determined to assert their right to free speech. We will make Yu's presentation available via our website later this week. Video of two recent presentations, Yang Zhongdong's discussion of the nature of the civil unrest that rocked Xinjiang in 2009 and Rong Ying's discussion of China-India relations are now available at the USCI website and at our YouTube channel.

Best wishes,
The USC US-China Institute

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USC | California | North America | Exhibitions


10/13/2010: The Week that Changed the World: Nixon Goes to China and China in Today’s World
USC Davidson Conference Center, Alumni Room
University Park Campus 3415 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles , CA 90089
Free and open to the public
Time: 4:00PM - 7:00PM
The USC U.S.-China Institute and the Richard Nixon Foundation and Nixon Center invite you to attend two panels focusing on the opening of China, and on what China’s rise means for the world.  

10/13/2010: A City of Sadness
The Ray Stark Family Theatre
George Lucas Building, SCA 108 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Cost: Free
Time: 7:00PM
A City of Sadness, directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien, will be screened at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.  

10/17/2010: The Everlasting Flame: Beijing 2008
The Ray Stark Family Theatre
George Lucas Building, SCA 108, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM
The Everlasting Flame: Beijing 2008, directed by Gu Jun, will be screened at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. 

10/20/2010: EASC Informational Sessions for Global East Asia 2011
University of Southern California, WPH B27
823 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0127
Cost: Free
Time: 5:00PM - 6:00PM
The East Asian Studies Center will host an information session for Global East Asia 2011, a summer study abroad program to China, Japan, and Korea. 


10/15/2010: China and the United States: A Bi-National Forum on Cultural Relations
Faculty Club
Heyns Room, Berkeley, CA 94704
Time: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
The University of California, Berkeley is hosting a forum in which participants from China and the US will review the history of relations between the two countries and consider the influence of culture, especially various elements of the arts, on the development of mutual understanding. 

10/15/2010: Expos and Olympics: Global Festivals and the Dynamics of Urban Change in Asia
6275 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Time: 2:00PM - 4:00PM
UCLA will hold a forum on urban change in Asia. 

10/15/2010: JIGU! Thunder Drums of China
Beckman Audtorium , Los Angeles, CA
Cost: Adults $19-$29, Youth $10
Time: 8:00PM - 10:00PM
Twenty-eight drummers, percussionists, and musicians from Shanxi Province in China take deeply rooted folk traditions and blend them with modern musical elements.

10/18/2010: Changes in the World’s Workshop: How new laws, more demanding workers, and activist trade unions are transforming the Chinese workplace
110 Boalt Hall
School of Law University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-2318
Time: 12:30PM - 1:30PM
The Berkeley Center for Law, Business and Economy hosts a lecture on labor laws and worker`s rights in China. 

10/18/2010: Bottom-Up Enforcement? Legal Mobilization as Law Enforcement in the PRC
202 Dwinelle Hall
University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-2318
Time: 3:30PM - 6:00PM
UC Berkeley`s Center for Chinese Studies hosts Mary Gallagher who will give a talk about worker`s rights and labor laws in China. 

10/18/2010: Taiwan Stories: a Traveling Festival of Documentary and Feature Films
IEAS Conference Room, 6th Floor
2223 Fulton Street, Berkeley, CA 94720-2318
Time: 4:00PM - 7:30PM
The Center for Chinese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley will host a screening of two films: The Voyage to Happiness and Nyonya’s Taste of Life. 

North America

10/14/2010: China`s Double Helix: On Consumption and Risk
219 Aaron Burr Hall
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544
Time: 4:30PM - 6:00PM
Nancy Chen will give a talk about consumption and risk in China at Princeton University. 

10/18/2010: CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections
Live webcasts at town hall venues throughout the US
Santa Barbara Committee on Foreign Relations P.O. Box 60602, Santa Barbara, CA 93160
Time: 8:00PM
CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections, is a national day of programming designed to provide Americans across the United States and beyond the opportunity to discuss these issues with leading experts. 

10/19/2010: Hot Market Watch: Selling to Brazil, China & India
The Xavier University, Southern Ohio District Export Council (SODEC)
Address: 525 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Cost: $150/$125 for nonprofit/government/add`l corporate attendees. Lunch only: $75.
Time: 7:00AM - 5:00PM
The Xavier University, Southern Ohio District Export Council (SODEC) International Trade Conference will provide market updates, tools, and resources for companies interested in selling to or expanding further into the Brazilian, Chinese, and Indian markets. 

10/19/2010: Asia`s Growing Crisis: Floods, Droughts and Melting Himalayan Glaciers
Woodrow Wilson Center
The 6th Floor Flom Auditorium, One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvannia Ave, NW Washington, DC, Washington, DC
Cost: Free admission, RSVP required
Time: 12:00PM - 2:00PM
Guest speakers will address the many threats that melting glaciers pose to Asian countries in Washington, DC. 

10/19/2010: The Last Days of Old Beijing: An Illustrated Book Talk by author Michael Meyer
Cohen Hall 402, University of Pennsylvania
225 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Cost: Free
Time: 4:30PM
Michael Meyer talks about his book about urban development in the hutongs of Beijing. 

10/20/2010: Self-censorship Shown in Qing Dynasty Texts, 1644-1911
202 Jones Hall
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544
Time: 4:30PM - 6:00PM
Fan-sen Wang will give a talk about Qing Dynasty texts and self-censorship. 


ends 10/31/2010: Tibetan Landscapes by Zhonggui Shi

  Tibetan Landscapes -- A Philosopher, Poet and Artist`s Spiritual Journey to Tibet 

Bamboo Lane Gallery
410 Bamboo Lane, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Ends 11/21/2010: Not Only Time: Zhang Peili and Zhu Jia
The Gallery at REDCAT
631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 6:00PM
Zhang Peili and Zhu Jia use of video and photography to navigate the sea of changes in contemporary China. 

Ends 11/28/2010: Masterpieces of Chinese Painting
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC 20013
Cost: Free
Smithsonian hosts an exhibition to trace the development of Chinese painting over generations.  

Ends 11/28/2010: Celebration: The Birthday in Chinese Art
Florence and Herbert Irving Galleries for Chinese Decorative Arts, 3rd floor
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, New York, NY 10028
Cost: $10 for students
New York`s Metropolitan Museum of Art presents Celebration: The Birthday in Chinese Art. In Chinese art, the birthday is a celebration of a long and rewarding life. This exhibition—focusing on scenes of splendid celebrations and works incorporating the theme of longevity—draws together examples in many media from the Museum’s collection as well as some exceptional promised gifts. 

Ends 12/05/2010: Woodcuts in Modern China, 1937-2008: Towards a Universal Pictorial Language
China Institute Gallery
125 East 65th Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues), New York City, New York 10065
Cost: Admission is $7, $4 for students and seniors, and free for children under 12. Admission is free on Tuesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The China Institute Gallery in New York will host a exhibition to display woodcut pictures that have been produced in China over the last 70 years. 

ends 12/31/2010: 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.

ends 02/06/2011: China Modern: Designing Popular Culture 1910-1970
Pacific Asia Museum
46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101
The Pacific Asia Museum presents an exhibition that demonstrates how political ideologies and cultural values are transmitted via everyday objects in China.


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