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Talking Points, September 3 - 17, 2008

The USC U.S.-China Institute's weekly enewsletter
September 3, 2008

USC U.S.-China Institute Weekly Newsletter

Talking Points
September 3 - 17, 2008

China and America’s relationship with China did not come up often at last week’s Democratic National Convention or in the first night of the Republican National Convention. When China was mentioned, it was as the place American companies shipped jobs to. U.S.-China relations, of course, are much more multifaceted than this.

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman wrote last week:

"After attending the spectacular closing ceremony at the Beijing Olympics and feeling the vibrations from hundreds of Chinese drummers pulsating in my own chest, I was tempted to conclude two things: 'Holy mackerel, the energy coming out of this country is unrivaled.' And, two: 'We are so cooked. Start teaching your kids Mandarin.'

"However, I've learned over the years not to over-interpret any two-week event. Olympics don't change history. They are mere snapshots - a country posing in its Sunday bests for all the world too see. But, as snapshots go, the one China presented through the Olympics was enormously powerful - and it's one that Americans need to reflect upon this election season."

Our Institute is focused on how China is changing and what those changes mean for the United States. We are also concerned with better understanding the process by which American policies toward China get made. On October 13, we’ll be focusing on this in a day long conference featuring a line up of distinguished former officials and influential scholars. Seating is limited and advance registration is necessary. Write to to reserve your spot.

Nearer at hand is an examination of how Chinese leaders are working to depict China and what this portends for China’s foreign policy. William Callahan, co-director of the British InterUniversity China Center, will speak Thursday, Sept. 4. Working to thwart the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is a principal concern of both John McCain and Barack Obama. Next week, Liu Qing from the China Institute for International Studies will discuss U.S.-China cooperation and conflict in these matters.

Elsewhere in Southern California, the Bowers Museum’s Qin terracotta soldier exhibit continues and the museum offers several accompanying events this week, two film screenings and presentations by Berkeley scholar Michael Nylan and Chicago’s Donald Harper.

Details about these events are below and at the calendar section of our website. To stay abreast of news about China, please visit the daily updates and voices section of the U.S.-China Today magazine website. While there, you can read features looking at topics as varied as contemporary art, outbound tourism, and how the Sichuan earthquake affected media restrictions.

As always, we’re grateful for your comments. Please send them to us at We also appreciate it when you forward Talking Points to others.

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


09/04/2008: Security, Identity and the Rise of China: Beijing's Foreign Policy Discourse in the 21st Century
USC University Club
Banquet Room, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
Phone: 213-821-4382
Time: 4:00PM - 6:00PM
The presentation will examine how the recent revival of the ancient Chinese concepts is impacting China's foreign policy narratives for the 21st century.

09/10/2008: China-U.S. Cooperation and Divergency on the Non-proliferation Issue
USC University Club, Pub Room
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
Phone: 213-821-4382
Time: 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Liu Qing ia a visiting scholar at the U.S.-China Institute and will examine nonproliferation issues in Sino-U.S. relations for the last two decades.

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


09/03/2008: Water Pollution, River Currents, and Digestive Cancers in China
University of California, Berkeley
2232 Piedmont Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94720
Cost: Free
Time: 12:10PM - 1:00PM
Avi Ebenstein's lecture is part of UC Berkeley's brown bag seminars.
09/03/2008: Book Talk - Shanghai Splendor: Economic Sentiments and the Making of Modern China, 1843-1949
University of California, Berkeley
Address: IEAS Conference Room, 2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94720
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 5:30PM
Wen-hsin Yeh traces the evolution of a dazzling urban culture that became alternately isolated from and intertwined with China's tumultuous history. 

09/04/2008: Sky Burial in Tibet: A Film Screening and Discussion with Tang Danhong
University of California, Berkeley
Nestrick Room 142 Dwinelle Hall , Berkeley, CA 94720
Cost: Free
Time: 5:15PM
Lecture will be conducted in Chinese with English translation
Chinese poet and filmmaker, Tang Danhong, will speak on her experiences while making the documentary film.

09/05/2008: First Emperor of China
Bowers Museum
2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Cost: Free
Phone: 714.567.3600
Time: 6:30PM
The first documentary footage of Qin Shi Huang’s life-size terra cotta army, constructed 2,200 years ago for his tomb. The imperial system he created has endured for thousands of years, proving to be the world’s most durable political structure. 42 min.

09/06/2008: A Revisionist View of Qin
Bowers Museum
2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Cost: Free with paid museum admission and to members; Lecture only $8
Phone: 714.567.3600
Time: 1:30PM
Dr. Michael Nylan, professor at UC Berkeley and author of several books, focuses on a revisionist approach to the Qin dynasty 

09/07/2008: A View of Everyday Religion in China in the Third Century B.C.
Bowers Museum
2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Cost: Free with paid museum admission and to members; Lecture only $8
Phone: 714.567.3600
Time: 1:30PM
Dr. Donald Harper, University of Chicago, presents an examination based on archaeological artifacts and manuscripts of the ordinary Chinese of the Qin dynasty and their world view, particularly their interaction with the spiritual world as they engaged in daily life. 

09/07/2008: Peking Acrobats
Hollywood Bowl
2301 North Highland Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90068
Cost: $10 - $114
Phone: 323.850.2000
Time: 7:30PM
Thomas Wilkins conducts the orchestra as the ensemble from China performs daring feats and aerial maneuvers.

09/08/2008: The Great Urban Transformation: Politics of Land Development in Post Mao China
University of California, Berkeley
Boalt Hall, Room 105, Berkeley, CA 94720
Cost: Free
Time: 12:40PM - 1:40PM
RSVP required.
UC Berkeley's, You-tien Hsing, will speak on China.

09/10/2008: Hero
Bowers Museum
Address: 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Cost: General $7; Members $5
Phone: 714.567.3600
Time: 1:30PM
A martial arts epic, directed by Zhang Yimou, tells the legend of a fearless warrior who rises up to defy an empire and unite a nation. Graciously sponsored by an anonymous donor.

09/10/2008: A Tale of Two Cities: Imperial Space and Commercial Space in Song-Dynasty Kaifeng, 960-1127
University of California, Berkeley
IEAS Conference Room, 2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94720
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 6:00PM
University of Michigan's, Christian DePee, will speak at UC Berkeley. 

09/11/2008: Hollywood Chinese (2007)
Address: 46 N. Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101
Cost: Free
Phone: 626-449-2742
Time: 8:00PM
Please RSVP at 626-449-2742  extension 31.
 Hollywood Chinese is a multi-faceted look at American cinema through the lens of the Chinese American experience. 

09/12/2008: Ancient China
Bowers Museum
2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Cost: Free
Phone: 714.567.3600
Time: 6:30PM
Highlights of this film include dazzling graphic re-creations of a Chinese village from 7,000 years ago, the terra cotta army of the First Emperor, and Beijing’s Forbidden City. 
09/12/2008: Still Life
PFA Theater
Address: 2575 Bancroft Way at Bowditch , Berkeley, CA 94720
Cost: Price Varies; Advance Tickets: (510) 642-5249
Time:  6:30PM
Unknown Pleasures: The Films of Jia Zhangke  
09/12/2008: Dong
PFA Theater
Address: 2575 Bancroft Way at Bowditch , Berkeley, CA 94720
Cost: Price Varies; Advance Tickets: (510) 642-5249
Time: 8:45PM
Unknown Pleasures: The Films of Jia Zhangke 
09/13/2008: Places at the Table: Asian Women Artists and Gender Dynamics
Museum Theater
Berkeley Art Museum 2621 Durant Avenue , Berkeley, CA 94720
Cost: Free
Time: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
This symposium explores issues facing Asian women artists today.  
09/14/2008: Half Day Symposium: The Arts of the Ming Dynasty
Asian Art Museum
Samsung Hall, San Francisco, CA
Cost: $15 members; $27 general.
Time: 1:00-4:00 pm
To celebrate both the current Ming exhibition and the 50th Anniversary of the Society for Asian Art, the Society for Asian Art will sponsor a half-day symposium on the Ming Dynasty.
09/14/2008: Art, Censorship, and Politics
Berkeley Art Museum
Address: Museum Theater 2621 Durant Avenue , Berkeley, CA 94720
Cost: Museum Admission $3-$8. Programs free with museum admission.
Time: 3:00PM
Part of the Mahjong: Public Conversation Series  
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. 

North America:

09/05/2008: Art and China's Revolution
Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street), New York City.
The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm and Friday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Closed on Mondays and major holidays.
Cost: $5 - $10
Asia Society Presents First Comprehensive Exhibition Devoted to Revolutionary Chinese Art from the 1950s Through 1970s.

09/15/2008: Historical Dialogue and Reconciliation in East Asia
Lindner Family Commons, The Elliott School of International Affairs, 6th floor
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, DC
Time: 3:30PM - 5:45PM
The Sigur Center for Asian Studies and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation present an Asian Voices Seminar. 
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. 

09/16/2008: Medals or Muddles: Assessing Media Coverage of the Olympics
International Affairs Building, Room 918
Address: New York, NY 10027
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 1:30PM
No Reservations Required
This talk is part of the Brown Bag Lecture Series entitled, "Reporting China."


07/26/2008 - 09/06/2008: Contemporary Photography from China
Address: DNJ Gallery, 154-1/2 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036
DNJ Gallery showcases works by several emerging Chinese artists who captured China's changing economy, society and culture through their photographs.

01/29/2008 - 09/07/2008: The Shape of Things: Chinese and Japanese Art from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue , New York, New York
Cost: Free
Phone: 212-517-ASIA
This exhibition of ceramics, metalworks, sculpture, and painting demonstrates that a depth of information can be revealed through the careful observation and study of the form of an object. 

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.



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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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