You are here

Talking Points, October 31, 2007

USCI's weekly newsletter
October 31, 2007

USC U.S.-China Institute

Talking Points
October 31 - November 14, 2007

"A baby with birth defects is born every 30 seconds in China and the situation has worsened year by year."
-- Jiang Fan, deputy head of the Chinese National Population and Family Planning Commission, speaking at a national conference in Sichuan on Oct. 29, 2007 
In 2007 more than 1.2 million children in China will be born with birth defects. This works out to an average of one in seventeen children. In the U.S. the average is half that, one in thirty-three children. The incidence of birth defects has gone up 45% in the past five years. That environmental degradation is responsible for a significant share of this increase seems certain. An Huanxiao, Shanxi’s top family planning official, began sounding the alarm on this three years ago. The 45% increase is a national figure and the increase in some locales, such as heavy coal-mining and consuming places such as Shanxi, is much greater.
The devastating impact of pollution in China on the quality of life and life expectancies is becoming increasingly clear. We summarized some of this in our “On an Average Day” series (see, for example, “Dirty air takes lives”). Attention, however, has previously been on how pollution affects adults and increases the occurrence of cancer and respiratory diseases. In Japan decades ago, the rash of birth defects in Minamota focused attention on the price pollution could extract on children, their families, and society. Earlier this year, protests driven by pollution worries in Xiamen caused Chinese officials to rethink construction of a giant chemical plant there. Environmental consciousness is rising along with the problems.
On December 10, a USC panel discussion will take on the topic “Environmental and Development Policy in China: Is Harmonization Possible?” Other upcoming USC events include presentations by economist Scott Rozelle (Nov. 14) and legal scholars Jeff Lehman (Nov. 20) and William Alford (Dec. 6). Details are below. We hope you can attend one or more of the events.
Elsewhere, Stanford hosts a panel discussion entitled “Growing Pains: Tensions and Opportunity in China's Transformation” (Nov. 1) and the AFI Filmfest features screenings of Kongbufenzi (Terrorist) and Night Train among other films from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Again, additional information is below and in the calendar section of the USCI website.
This past week, the USC Global Conference was held in Tokyo. There were more than 500 registered participants. Interest in China was particularly acute, with more than 200 people turning out for USCI ‘s panel on “China: The New Global Power” and other presentations on economic challenges, housing, and aging. We’ll soon have summaries of those presentations on the USC website. The next Global Conference will be held in Taipei in 2009.
Finally, USC’s Center for International Studies is supporting two US-China focused post-doctoral fellowships for 2008-2009. Details are in the announcements section of our website. We are anxious to bring the most promising scholars to USC to work with us on a wide-range of issues.
Thank you for your comments about Talking Points and our website. Please share the newsletter with others and encourage them to subscribe at
Best wishes,
The USC U.S.-China Institute




 USC Events 

11/01/2007: Informational Session: The Hopkins-Nanjing Center
USC EALC Conference room
Taper Hall 371, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 pm
Pizza & drinks will be provided
The Hopkins-Nanjing Center is offereing an info session for those interested in 

11/14/2007: Village Elections, Public Goods Investments and Pork Barrel Politics, Chinese-style
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 5:30PM
Stanford University Professor Scott Rozelle examines economic policies in Chinese rural areas. 

California Events 

10/31/2007: Strategic Deterrence: A Chinese Scholar’s Perspective
3401 Dwinelle Hall, Berkeley, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 2:00PM
Bao Shixiu gives a talk on the strategic deterrence.


11/01/2007: Growing Pains: Tensions and Opportunity in China's Transformation
Bechtel Conference Center
Encina Hall Stanford University 
616 Serra Street, Stanford, CA 94305
Cost: Free
Time: 5:30PM - 7:30PM
A panel discussion about China's emergence as a new global economic and political power. 
11/02/2007: Quanzhen Daoism in Modern Chinese Society and Culture: An International Symposium
UC Berkeley
Alumni House, Toll Room
Cost: Free
Time: 9:00AM - 5:30PM
A conference discussing the influence of Quanzhen Daoism on modern Chinese society and culture.  

11/03/2007: Forty-eight Buddhas of Measureless Life: Court Eunuch Patronage at the Sculpture Grottoes of Longmen
UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History
Lenart Auditorium
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Cost: Free
Time: 2:00PM - 3:30PM
Amy McNair presents the Twentieth Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture in Chinese Archaeology & Art.


11/03/2007: Terrorizer (Kongbu Fenzi)
ArcLight Theatre
Address: 6360 Sunset Blvd , Los Angeles, CA 90028
Cost: $11.00
This film explores the power of human contact as it links together characters with a single, randomly placed phone call


11/04/2007 - 11/05/2007: Blind Mountain (Mang Shan)
ArcLight Theatre
Address: 6360 Sunset Blvd , Los Angeles 90028
Cost: $11.00
Director Li Yang captures the desperate struggles of a girl sold into a marriage in the remote rural areas of China. 
11/05/2007: Mad Detective
ArcLight Theatre
Address: 6360 Sunset Blvd , Los Angeles 90028
Cost: $11.00
Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai create a fiery action drama through a thrilling adventure exposing the dark side of Hong Kong’s police force.


11/06/2007: The Korean Peninsula: Looking Beyond the Six Party Talks
Smith Campus Center 208
170 E. 6th St., corner of College Ave., Pomona, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 1:30PM - 5:00PM
Guest expert panelists will look ahead to Northeast Asian relations after North Korean normalization. The China component will examine, “Unassuming Patron and Unwieldy Client: Beijing’s North Korea Problem.”
11/06/2007: Night Train
ArcLight Theatre
Address: 6360 Sunset Blvd , Los Angeles 90028
Cost: $11.00
Award winning director Diao Yinan uses his hometown Xi’an as the setting for a story of contemporary provincial Chinese life.  
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 

 North America Events

11/06/2007: Making Human Rights in the Vernacular: Plural Legalities and Traveling Rights in India, China, and the U.S.A.
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
Address: 1080 S. University , Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 1:30PM
New York University's Sally Engle Merry explores the process of translating human rights into the vernacular. 

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.


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.


Please invite others to subscribe to USCI’s free email newsletter for regular updates on events and programs. We will not share names or email addresses with any other entity. Sign Up.

We provide information about China-related events as a community service. If you would like your event considered for inclusion in the USCI calendar, please click here to submit event details.


USC U.S. – China Institute

3535 S. Figueroa St.
FIG 202
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1262
Tel: 213-821-4382
Fax: 213-821-2382
You have received this e-mail because you have subscribed to receive updates from USCI. If you feel this message has reached you in error or you no longer wish to receive our updates, please click, unsubscribe, and enter "Remove" in the subject line.