You are here

Talking Points, September 24 - October 8, 2008

The USC U.S.-China Institute's weekly enewsletter.
September 24, 2008

USC U.S.-China Institute Weekly Newsletter

Talking Points
September 24 - October 8, 2008

During summer 2007 product safety scandals dogged Chinese exports. Tainted toothpaste and pet food caused illnesses and deaths in the Americas and fears about lead paint on toys caused massive recalls. It has always been clear, however, that China's own consumers were at greatest risk from dangerous products. That has been amply demonstrated in the ongoing dairy products tragedy. Several children have died and tens of thousands have been made sick by tainted baby formula. There are troubling questions about the response of the firm and regulators. The scandal has already produced the resignation of Li Changjiang, head of the product safety agency, and other officials have been sacked. Company officials are in police detention. Officials in several jurisdictions have imposed emergency bans or special checks on imported dairy products from China.

Trade is, of course, a critical component in the multidimensional U.S.-China relationship. It's one we'll be examining on Monday, October 13 in our 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.

Many of us will be watching the Friday presidential debate which is advertised as focusing on foreign policy. If you are 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.  

And late next week we expect to begin streaming "Election '08 and the Challenge of China," a documentary produced by the U.S.-China Institute. Beyond trade and investment, the U.S. and China are also critical in addressing world problems such as climate change and stemming the proliferation of nuclear arms. Though the two countries have many shared interests, they differ on crucial questions, including the protection of human rights and the China-Taiwan relationship. Our documentary focuses on these key U.S.-China issues and the positions staked out by Senators McCain and Obama. Viewers can watch the entire documentary or its seven sections individually. USC professor Mike Chinoy, CNN's lead Asia correspondent for over 20 years, and US-China Today multimedia editor Craig Stubing worked with USCI students to carry out this investigation.


On October 3, USC hosts an exhibition by Hong Kong artist Choi Yan-chi and a day-long 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 exploring the politics of creating cultural centers and role they 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 50-plus 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

Please share Talking Points with friends and colleagues. We welcome your comments and suggestions.  

Best wishes,
The USC U.S.-China Institute

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.

10/01/2008: Reflecting on Beijing: USC Olympic Athletes and Coaches Discuss Experiences in China
USC, Taper Hall 202, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Time: 7:00PM - 8:30PM
Cost: Free
Please RSVP to
Refreshments will be served.
USCI's online magazine US-China Today presents a panel discussion of USC Olympic athletes and coaches who competed for a variety of countries. 
10/03/2008: Art and the New Culture City: Hong Kong, China and the Global Art System
USC, Leavey Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
Time: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
In association with the visit of artist Choi Yan-chi, this one-day symposium examines the current rise of international interest in Chinese contemporary art in relation to the politics of its contexts of production in the new art spaces and studio districts at the core of China’s economic transformation. 
10/07/2008: Up the Yangtze
USC, THH 201, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
Time: 2:00PM - 4:00PM
USC East Asian Studies Center presents a screening and Q&A with filmmaker, Yung Chang.

09/25/2008: Consuming China: Measuring U.S. and Chinese Responses to the Olympics
420 Harvard Ave., Hahn 101, Claremont, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 4:15PM - 5:30PM
Pacific Basin Institute at Pomona College presents a talk with University of Oklahoma's Peter Hays Gries. 

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.  

10/02/2008: Robert Thurman: Why the Dalai Lama Matters
KQED Auditorium 2601 Mariposa St. San Francisco, CA
5-6:00 pm Free docent tours of KQED
5:30 pm Registration
6:00 pm Program
$10 Members/Students, $15 Non-members, $55 Special Offer: Admission  + 1-year ASNC membership
Renowned Tibetan Buddhist scholar Robert A.F. Thurman speaks on his book.
10/03/2008: The Rising Tide
Pacific Asia Museum
46 North Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101
Phone: (626) 449-2742
Time: 8:00pm
A documentary screening of The Rising Tide, featuring some of China's most talented emerging artists.  
10/05/2008: Chinese Cultural Family Festival Farewell to the Warriors
Bowers Museum
2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, California 92706
Time: 12:00PM - 4:00PM
A fun-filled afternoon of Chinese music, art, and activities for the entire family. 
10/05/2008: To The Spirits Above and the People Below: The First Emperor's Mountain Inscriptions
Bowers Museum
2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, California 92706
Time: 1:30PM
Dr. Martin Kern discusses the inscribed stone steles set on mountain peaks by the First Emperor.

North America:

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.  

09/26/2008 - 09/27/2008: Transformations: Researching Asia
York University
Toronto, Canada
York Center for Asian Research hosts the first International Graduate Student Conference on Asian Studies. 
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.
10/03/2008 - 10/04/2008: The Olympics in East Asia: Nationalism, Regionalism and Globalism on the Center Stage of World Sports
Register by Monday, September 29, 2008
Cost: Free.
This international symposium brings together scholars from three continents to consider the historical contributions of East Asian nations to the Olympics and the impact of the Olympics on these East Asian societies.  
10/07/2008: Local Gazetteers in Ming Dynasty Borderlands
University of Michigan
1080 South University, Room 1636 School of Social Work Building, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
12:00PM - 1:00PM
Fall 2008 CCS Noon Lecture Series Joseph Dennis will explore the compilation, publication, and circulation of local gazetteers in Ming dynasty borderlands. 
10/07/2008: The Cinema of Ang Lee
Columbia University
International Affairs Building, Room 918 , New York, NY 10027
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00 PM-1:30 PM
Whitney Crothers Dilley, Associate Professor, Department of English, Shin Hsin University
10/08/2008: How the Media Handles Tibet
Columbia University
International Affairs Building, Room 918 , New York, NY 10027
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 1:30PM
Robert Barnett, Director of the WEAI Modern Tibetan Studies Program, Columbia University
Orville Schell, Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations, Asia Society
Tseten Wangchuk, Senior Broadcaster, Voice of America, Tibetan language service
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. 

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.