You are here

Talking Points: September 30 - October 14, 2009

This week's issue of the USC U.S.-China Institute's newsletter looks at China's 60th anniversary celebration, invites college students to apply for positions at the Shanghai World Expo, and brings information about events and exhibitions across North America.
October 1, 2009

Talking Points

September 30 - October 14, 2009

"Cue the sun,” is a classic line from The Truman Show, a 1998 Hollywood film. Beijing’s made for television National Day celebration was just as scripted, but unlike The Truman Show, the cast stuck to the plan. As his predecessors did in 1984 and 1999, Hu Jintao, chair of the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission, began the festivities by reviewing the troops. The military parade which followed featured an impressive array of Chinese made military hardware (and, thanks to giant television screens, included naval vessels) and precision marching units. After the tanks and missiles and fighter aircraft, four Chinese leaders were honored: Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao. For each, a recording blared out a bit of a key speech as marchers held up slogans associated with each. Mao was remembered as the founder of the People’s Republic, Deng as the architect of economic reform and the opening to the outside world, Jiang for broadening the Communist Party to include leading productive forces, even if they might be capitalists, and Hu for pushing for scientific development. Other floats and marchers celebrated scientific, athletic, and other achievements, or China’s regional and ethnic diversity. With the need to reunify the motherland by “bringing back” Taiwan an official and ongoing priority, the Taiwan float received special attention. Among its features was a replica of Taipei 101, for several years the world’s tallest building.

The months of drilling and the recent full dress rehearsals showed. According to the People’s Daily, the parade plan allowed those driving the nuclear missile launch vehicles just a 0.05 of a second margin of error.

Even the weather was in step – the skies over Beijing were blue and beautiful.

Achievements were marked, and an optimistic and ambitious outlook was conveyed.

Fireworks over Beijing, Oct. 1, 2009. Photo by Jake Ji (Creative Commons).


With nightfall, the show resumed with dancing and an unbelievable fireworks display. Television cameras showed party and state leaders dancing with people in ethnic costumes, reinforcing the theme of unity across ethnic lines. (Click here to see images of and read about past national day celebrations.)

Many people in China will now have several days off. The national day holiday and others were extended in recent years to afford people a chance to relax and spend money. At the recent G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, China asserted its commitment to aid in rebalancing the global economy. This primarily means finding ways to increase domestic consumption.
Government offices and commercial enterprises have had banners and posters marking the 60th anniversary for quite some time. The Chinese websites of many foreign companies also joined in. Below are a few samples.

60 – China pride, National day [20 yuan] gift cards!

McDonald’s / Coca-Cola
Buy a large meal and get a free Coca-Cola glass – for the national day 60th anniversary, raise a glass and cheer.


Nationwide celebration of the 60th anniversary of the country’s founding.

Together with you, celebrating a brilliant 60 years

Proctor & Gamble
Have a joyful National Day, Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival

Congratulating China on its 60th anniversary!

Sony loves helping students project: a 60th birthday gift for the motherland

The Sony site is a bit different from others. You can click on the banner to learn about Sony’s work to aid students. This effort began in 2003. The site explains that this year Sony’s working in Shaanxi province, in “the revolutionary base area” where Deng Xiaoping and Xi Zhongxun – (father of Xi Jinping, China's vice president) worked and fought. The site doesn’t mention who those revolutionaries fought against. The firm is busy replacing school furniture and providing other equipment.

Instead of marking the 60th anniversary, Coca-Cola’s site looks ahead to next year’s Shanghai World Expo. It features a poster which embraces the “Better City, Better Life” expo slogan by encouraging everyone to “Change [things] little by little, creating a new and exciting city.”


The United States only recently committed to participate in the Shanghai Expo and construction crews are busy erecting the USA Pavilion. We are delighted to be involved in the Expo effort. Later today, the USC U.S.-China Institute will invite college and university students to apply to play important roles at the USA Pavilion. The Institute is working with the USA Pavilion committee to select 160 bright and able people to serve as student ambassadors at the Pavilion. Those selected will receive training, airfare, housing, and a stipend to cover meals and local transportation. They will work in Shanghai from April 15 to July 31 or from July 15 to



October 31. Millions of guests, including VIP business and government delegations, will visit the Expo and Pavilion to see cutting-edge technology and other displays. The Pavilion will also host hundreds of conferences, screenings, and performances. Student ambassadors are required to be currently enrolled, to have studied Chinese for two years (or to have otherwise acquired an equivalent level of proficiency), and to be upbeat and outgoing. The Institute and Pavilion are anxious to assemble a geographically diverse group of ambassadors from a variety of academic disciplines and backgrounds. Please look for our formal call for applications later today. The announcement will also be posted at our website and will offer detailed information about the program. Applicants will need two letters of recommendation. All materials must be submitted online by October 30, 2009. Selection decisions will be sent out in December. This is a rare chance to be part of a huge international gathering in one of the world’s most dynamic cities. Please share this announcement with any who might be interested in pursuing this opportunity.



As the listing below makes clear, those interested in China have many programs and exhibitions to choose among. Please remember that our calendar covers all of North America. Here at USC, October will be a very busy month. Next Thursday (Oct. 8), Prof. Jing Wang of the MIT will speak on how Chinese NGOs utilize social media and other web 2.0 technologies. On Oct. 12, a top delegation from China’s Ministry of Commerce will, along with U.S. attorneys, discuss China’s new patent law and its draft telecommunications law. On Oct. 13, the School of Cinematic Arts will screen six films produced in Beijing this summer by USC students working with Chinese students. On Oct. 14, director Micha Peled will introduce and discuss China Blue, his film about migrant workers and global supply chains. On Oct. 15, we feature a talk by Dan Rosen on China’s outbound investments. We hope you will join us for one or more of these events and that you’ll visit the US-China Today magazine website. Among the newest features there is a multimedia look at the current mash-up of calligraphy and graffiti at the Pacific Asia Museum.

As always, we appreciate your feedback. Please write to us at

Best wishes,
The USC U.S.-China Institute
Support the Institute via the secure USC server: 


10/08/2009: NGO 2.0 China: An Experiment with Social Media
University Club, Pub Room
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 5:30PM
MIT's Jing Wang will speak at USC on Chinese NGOs in the Web 2.0 Environment.

10/12/2009: 2009 US-China Legal Exchange
USC Davidson Conference Center, Vineyard Room
3415 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: $50. Free for USC faculty, staff, and students.
Time: 8:30AM - 5:30PM
The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and the USC U.S. - China Institute will host a senior delegation from China on October 12, 2009 to discuss China's amendments to the Patent Law and draft Telecommunications Law.

10/14/2009: China Blue
USC Leavey Library, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: Free
Time: 6:00PM - 8:00PM
USCI presents a screening of the award winning documentary, China Blue, followed by a Q&A session with director Micha X. Peled.


10/06/2009: The Body, Solar Terms,and Lyrics: The Relationship Between Han and Wei Dynasty Literature, The Songs of Chu and Yue-ling
11377 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 5:30PM
UCLA Center for Chinese Studies presents a talk on the poems and literature of the Han and Wei dynasties. 

10/06/2009: Honorable Survivor: Mao’s China, McCarthy’s America, and the Persecution of John S. Service
UC Berkeley
IEAS Conference Room, 2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 5:30PM
UC Berkeley presents a talk by Lynne Joiner on John Service's experience in revolutionary China.

10/08/2009: Substitution and Convergence: Correlative Mode and the Literary Tradition
11377 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 5:30PM
UCLA Center for Chinese Studies presents a talk on literary tradition, including its background and construction.  
10/08/2009: Capitalism without Democracy: The Private Sector in Contemporary China
UC Berkeley
IEAS Conference Room, 2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 6:00PM
UC Berkeley's Center for Chinese Studies presents a talk by Kellee Tsa on the growth of the private sector in modern China. 
10/09/2009: Shangri-la Chinese Acrobats
Beckman Auditorium, Caltech
332 S. Michigan Ave., Pasadena, CA
Cost: $29, $24, $19 / $10 youth
Time: 8:00PM
The Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats' multi-faceted and multi-cultural production features dazzling acrobatic displays, formidable feats of daring and balance, explosive energy, brilliant costumes, with a touch of Chinese comedy.  
10/11/2009: Authors on Asia
Pacific Asia Museum
Address: 46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101
Phone: (626) 449-2742 ext. 20
Time: 2:00PM
The Pacific Asia Museum presents the opportunity to meet photographer Don Farber, who has followed His Holiness the Dalai Lama for 30 years. 
10/13/2009: Romance, Insularity, and Representation: Wong Kar-wai's In the Mood for Love
UC Berkeley
IEAS Conference Room, 2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor, Berkeley, CA
Cost: Free
Time: 4:00PM - 6:00PM
UC Berkeley presents a talk by Giorgio Biancorosso on the predicament and reactions of a female character in the 2000 film "In the Mood for Love." 

North America

10/01/2009: Chinese Tidings Lecture: “The Outward Direct Investment by Chinese Firms”
Indiana University
Ballantine Hall 005
Cost: Free
Time: 5:00PM - 6:00PM
The Center for Chinese Lanuage Pedagogy presents a Chinese Tidings Lecture Series. 

10/02/2009: A Harmony of Friends: Music of Italy and China
Folger Elizabethan Theatre
201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003
Cost: $35
The Folger Consort and guest artists perform Italian and Chinese music circa 1610. 


10/02/2009: Engaging China in New Energy Cooperation
Woodrow Wilson Center
6th Floor Auditorium, Washington, DC 20004-3027
Phone: (202) 691-4000
Time: 9:00AM - 11:00AM
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars presents a talk on some new energy policy innovation and projects in China.  

10/02/2009: The Shanghai Jiao Tong University Symphony Orchestra performs with The Penn Symphony Orchestra
University of Pennsylvania
Irvine Auditorium, 3401 Spruce St.
Cost: Free
Time: 7:30PM
The Shanghai Jiao Tong University Symphony Orchestra and the Penn Symphony Orchestra perform in a joint concert. 

10/05/2009: The Uncertain Future: Sino-Russian Relations in the 21st Century
Woodrow Wilson Center
6th Floor Auditorium, Washington, DC 20004-3027
Time: 12:00PM - 1:00PM
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars presents a talk by Herman Pirchner on Sino-Russian relations.

10/06/2009: Red-Color News Soldier Lecture
Ernie Pyle 220, School of Journalism
Indiana University , Bloomington, Indiana 47405-7005
Time: 7:30 PM
Photojournalist LiZhensheng will speak on his Red-Color News Soldier exhibit.  

10/07/2009: Sex and the Revolution: China in the Sixties
Indiana University
University Club Faculty Room, IMU, Bloomington, CA 47405
Cost: Free
Time: 12:00PM - 1:00PM
Li Zhensheng, will give a special lecture on his personal experiences with sexual repression during the Cultural Revolution. 
10/13/2009: Book Discussion: "Distorted Mirrors: Americans and Their Relations with Russia and China in the Twentieth Century"
Woodrow Wilson Center
6th Floor Auditorium, Washington, DC 20004-3027
Time: 12:00PM - 1:00PM
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars presents a book discussion led by Eugene Trani.  
10/13/2009: Strait Talk: United States-Taiwan Relations and the Crisis with China
Woodrow Wilson Center , Washington, DC 20004-3027
Phone: (202) 691-4000
Time: 4:00PM -5:00PM
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars presents a talk by Nancy Bernkopf Tucker on how the key leaders from all sides have affected cross-Strait issues. 


09/17/2009 - 10/22/2009: China's Great Wall: The Forgotten Story
3A Gallery
Address: 101 South Park, San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone: 415.543.3347
The Forgotten Story is a series of historically-based photographs of the Great Wall of China. It is a collaboration between Jonathan Ball, a California based photographer, and David Spindler, one of the world's foremost experts on Great Wall history.

08/16/2009 - 11/29/2009: Steeped in History: The Art of Tea
Fowler Museum

Cost: Free
The Fowler Museum at UCLA presents an exhibition on the history of tea in Asia, Europe, and America through art. 

09/18/2009 - 01/09/2010: Imagining China: The View from Europe, 1550-1700
Folger Great Hall

201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003
Cost: Free
Phone: (202) 544-7077
Celebrate the opening of the latest exhibition at Folger Shakespeare Library.

09/17/2009 - 01/17/2010: Calligraffiti: Writing in Contemporary Chinese and Latino Art
Pacific Asia Museum
46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, California 91101
Phone: (626) 449-2742
Calligraffiti: Writing in Contemporary Chinese and Latino Art addresses issues of power, culture, and universality. 

11/03/2008 - 11/03/2009: 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. 

11/14/2008 - 11/14/2009: Chinese Art: A Seattle Perspective
Seatle Asian Art Museum
1400 East Prospect Street , Volunteer Park , Seattle, WA 98112–3303
The Seattle Asian Art Museum presents an opportunity to see a collection with representative works from each dynastic period. 

11/15/2008 - 11/15/2009: Masters of Adornment: The Miao People of China
Bowers Museum
2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, California 92706
The Bowers Museum presents a collection of exquisite textiles and silver jewelry that highlights the beauty and wealth of the Miao peoples of southwest China. 

02/12/2009 - 02/12/2010: Art of Adornment: Tribal Beauty
Bowers Museum
2002 N. Main, Santa Ana, CA
Cost: $5
An exhibit featuring body adornments from indigenous peoples around the world 


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.

If you would like to support USCI by making a donation please visit

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