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Talking Points, September 17 - October 1, 2008

The USC U.S.-China Institute's weekly enewsletter.
September 17, 2008
USC U.S.-China Institute Weekly Newsletter
Talking Points
September 17 - October 1, 2008
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan met Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab, and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer at the Nixon Library. This meeting marked the 25th anniversary of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade. U.S.-China trade has risen from $5 billion in 1983 to $387 billion in 2007. Press releases from the American side reported the meeting produced modest pledges of increased efforts to understand and protect intellectual property rights, to reduce the hurdles American producers need to cross in order to enter China’s pharmaceutical and medical device markets, to reopen Chinese markets to poultry products from select states, and for China to take steps to open government procurement competitions to American firms.  The Chinese side’s statements emphasized progress on food security, government-backed loans to support the import of medical devices, and greater efforts to understand the different approaches and procedures each government uses in compiling trade statistics.
Of course, looming over these talks are trans-Pacific worries about the well-being of large American financial firms and financial markets. The Shanghai stock market dropped nearly as much as American markets following the news that one giant American investment bank (Merrill Lynch) sold itself to Bank of America while another (Lehman Brothers) filed for bankruptcy. Investors especially shed Bank of China shares, with the stock dropping 9% because the bank is said to have made significant loans to Lehman Brothers. News that American International Group needed a Federal Reserve bailout didn’t help. AIG, the world’s largest insurance firm and the largest American company created outside the U.S., was born in Shanghai in 1919. China is America’s largest overseas trade partner and it is well on its way to becoming our number one creditor. At the end of July, the Chinese held $519 billion in American treasury securities. Only the Japanese, with $594 billion, hold a larger share of our national debt. It’s natural that the Chinese government would be worried about the health and stability of a vital trade partner and investment destination.
The U.S.-China economic relationship is close and complex. How policies regarding trade and other issues are made will be at the center of our October 13 conference on “The Making of U.S. China Policy.” Thomas Christensen, who has just stepped down as our top State Department official on East Asia, will speak, along with Henry Levine, formerly our top Commerce Department official on Asia, and Robert Kapp, former president of the U.S.-China Business Council. Seating is limited and advance registration is necessary. Please go to for more information. Curious about the China positions staked out by the Democratic and Republican parties? We have excerpts of their just adopted platforms in the documents section of our website.    
China is consuming 47% of all the cement being poured worldwide. That’s no surprise to anyone who has visited and seen the forest of construction cranes. Many of these buildings are architecturally quite exciting. Tonight, two of China’s most influential architects, Ma Qingyun and Liu Jiakun, will be joined by artists Ai Weiwei and Chi Peng in a discussion at USC of China’s creative crossroads. Ma Qingyun is dean of USC’s School of Architecture and is the designer of the China pavilion for the 2010 World Expo. Ai Weiwei works in a variety of media and is best known for having contributed to the design of the Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium and then becoming a staunch critic of it and many other projects. The discussion begins at 7 pm in Bovard Auditorium. Additional details are below and at:
On October 3, USC hosts an exhibition by Hong Kong artist Choi Yan-chi and a daylong symposium on “Art and the New Culture City: Hong Kong, China, and the World Art System.” Chinese art is attracting great attention and sometimes staggering auction prices. This symposium features presentations by artists, scholars, and gallery operators. They will explore the politics of creating cultural centers and the role cultural centers are playing in China’s economic transformation. Additional details are available in the calendar section of our website.
Like a peek at some of the contemporary Chinese art that is generating all this discussion? The most recent issue of US-China Today includes an illustrated article on the subject. While you’re there, check out the latest news via our daily updates and take a look at our more than 50 other feature articles on topics ranging from China’s space program to the hunt for the best Chinese restaurant in the U.S. It’s all at
Thank you for reading Talking Points. We hope you’ll pass it along to friends and colleagues.
Best wishes,
The USC U.S.-China Institute


09/17/2008: Creativity at a Crossroads: Art and Architecture in China
USC, Bovard Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Time : 7:00pm
Dean Qingyun Ma joins Chinese artists, architects and curators to present their visions of the People’s Republic
09/22/2008: Trends in Disability-free Life Expectancy among Chinese Older Adults
USC, MRF 204
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Refreshments served
Please RSVP to
Time: 11:00am
Jufen Liu will discuss the findings from her study on disability-free life expectancy by examining two national disability data sets on the prevalence of disability between 1987 and 2006 and evaluate trends in the health status of older adults in China.

09/30/2008: Chronicle of My Cultural Revolution
USC, THH 201, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
2:00 pm-3:00 pm Film Screening
3:00 pm-3:50 pm Q&A with filmmaker
This screening will feature Xing's most recently completed film entitled A Chronicle of My Cultural Revolution, a documentary about the impact of the cultural revolution on people's lives in the 1960's and 1970's. A Q&A with the filmmaker will follow the screening.


09/17/2008: Deliberative Democracy in China: A Deliberative Poll on Zegou Township’s 2008 Budget
University of California, Berkeley
Address: 3401 Dwinelle Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM
Alice Siu presents a talk on the Deliberative Polling projects conducted in Zeguo Township.  

09/18/2008: Xiao Wu (a.k.a. “Pickpocket”)
PFA Theater
2575 Bancroft Way at Bowditch , Berkeley, CA 94720
Advance Tickets: (510) 642-5249
Time: 8:20PM
Unknown Pleasures: The Films of Jia Zhangke 
09/19/2008: Xiao Shan Going Home
PFA Theater
2575 Bancroft Way at Bowditch , Berkeley, CA 94720
Advance Tickets: (510) 642-5249
Time: 8:20PM
Unknown Pleasures: The Films of Jia Zhangke 
09/21/2008: China’s Emerging Art
Berkeley Art Museum
Museum Theater 2621 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94720
Cost: Free
Time: 3:00PM
Mahjong: Public Conversation Series
09/22/2008: China and The Jews
Museum of Tolerance
9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035
Cost: Free
Time: 2:00PM
An afternoon with Professor Peter Berton.
09/22/2008: In Conversation: Uli Sigg and Wen-hsin Yeh
University of California, Berkeley
Address: IEAS Conference Room 2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor , Berkeley, CA 94720
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Sigg will discuss not only his own collecting in China, but the history that unfolded before him.

09/26/2008: Red Heroine (Hong Xia)
Bowers Museum
2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Admission: General $14; Members $12
Phone: 714.567.3600
Time: 6:30PM
A multi-media experience presented by Devil Music Ensemble, on tour from the East Coast, the evening showcases a thrilling synthesis of live music and film.  
09/26/2008: Workshop on the Terra Cotta Soldiers
Bowers Museum
2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Cost: $15
Phone: 714.567.3679
Time: 10:30PM - 12:30AM
A new spin on an ancient subject, this late-night workshop leads you on a lantern-lit journey through the tombs of the Terra Cotta Warriors.  

North America:

09/16/2008 - 09/18/2008: Maritime Security Challenges (MSC) Conference: Building the Navies of the Future
Canadian Navy at Maritime Forces Pacific in Victoria, British Columbia.
The event will bring together subject matter experts and security practitioners from around the world to consider the most complex and challenging issues facing navies in the Asia-Pacific region. 
09/18/2008: Documentary Films in China: Visual Representation, Memory and Public Interests
International Affairs Building, Room 918
New York, NY 10027
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 1:30PM
This talk is part of the Brown Bag Lecture Series entitled, "Reporting China."  
09/18/2008: Viewing the Beijing Olympics: Scholar, Athlete, Beijing Citizen, Tourist
Lucy Ellis Lounge, Foreign Languages Building The Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Illinois 230 International Studies Building 910 S. Fifth Street Champaign IL 61820
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 2:00PM
The Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies presents a talk. 
09/22/2008: Urban Wholesale Price Change and Economic Growth in Modern China
International Affairs Building, Room 918
New York, NY 10027
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 1:30PM
This talk is part of the Brown Bag Lecture Series entitled, "Reporting China." 
09/22/2008: Chinese and Japanese Arts: Antique or Not, Authentic or Fake?
Pine Room, Kansas Union
Lawrence, KS 66045
Phone: (785)864-3849
Time: 4:00PM
Cost: Free
Kansas University's Center for East Asian Studies hosts a Tea & Talk with Patricia Graham. 

09/25/2008: The Beijing Olympics and the Global Community
Bailey Hall
1440 Jayhawk Blvd rm. 201
Lawrence, KS 66045
Phone: (785)864-3849
Fax: (785)864-5034
Kansas University's Center for East Asian Studies presents a panel discussion on the Beijing Olympics. 
09/30/2008: The Three Kingdoms Heroes Re-Viewed
School of Social Work Building, Room 1636
1080 South University , Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106
Time: 12:00PM - 1:00PM
The University of Michigan presents a talk by Madeline Chu, Professor of Chinese Language and Literature at Kalamazoo College. 
10/01/2008: Fishing Murky Waters: China's Aquaculture Challenges Upstream and Downstream
Woodrow Wilson Center
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20004-3027
Cost: Free
Time: 9:00AM - 11:00AM
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars presents a talk on China's aquaculture industry. 
10/01/2008: China’s New Confucianism: Politics and Everyday Life in a Changing Society
Columbia University
International Affairs Building, Room 918, New York, NY 10027
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 1:30PM
Columbia University presents a talk by Daniel A. Bell as part of the the Brown Bag Lecture series.


06/27/2008 - 09/21/2008: Power and Glory: Court Arts of the Ming Dynasty
Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin Street (between Fulton and McAllister Streets), San Francisco, CA 94102
Cost: Cost varies (see website for details)
This exhibition will explore the glories of the Ming dynasty imperial court.

07/26/2008 - 10/04/2008: Absurd Recreation
Sweeney Art Gallery
3800 Main Street University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA 92501
A multi-media group exhibition of nine artists from China who engage in an absurdist "recreation" of settings, events, and situations in reaction to the rapidly changing social and cultural landscape in China.
07/26/2008 - 10/04/2008: A Sense of Place: Remembering Riverside’s Chinatowns
Sweeney Art Gallery
3800 Main Street University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92501
A series of educational workshops and historical reflections on Riverside's historical Chinatowns runs alongside the Sweeney Art Gallery exhibition, Absurd Recreation.
07/11/2008 - 10/12/2008: Sun Xun
UCLA Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Blvd , Los Angles, CA 90024
Sun Xun creates animations that combine hand-drawn renderings and traditional materials with new media.
05/18/2008 - 10/12/2008: Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of the First Emperor
Bowers Museum
Address: 2002 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706
Phone: 714-567-3600
This summer exhibit at Bowers Museum showcases the famous terra cotta warriors buried with the First Emperor of China.
09/10/2008 - 01/04/2009: Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection
2626 Bancroft Way, UC Berkeley campus
Cost $5- 12     General Admission
141 works by 96 artists, drawn from one of the world’s most important and comprehensive collections of contemporary Chinese art. 
09/17/2008 - 01/11/2009: Confucius: Shaping Values Through Art
Pacific Asia Museum
Address: 46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena , CA 91101
Cost: $7 for adults, $5 for students/seniors
Phone: (626) 449-2742 
Confucius: Shaping Values Through Art explores how Confucian values have permeated East Asian culture. It utilizes the Museum’s own collection as a case study.  
09/05/2008 - 01/11/2009: Art and China's Revolution
Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street), New York City
General admission is $10, seniors $7, students $5 and free for members and persons under 16
Asia Society Presents First Comprehensive Exhibition Devoted to Revolutionary Chinese Art from the 1950s Through 1970s. 

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USC U.S. – China Institute
3535 S. Figueroa St.
FIG 202
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1262
Tel: 213-821-4382
Fax: 213-821-2382
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