Professor Teresa Wright looks at how, when, and why Chinese individuals and groups have engaged in protests and how the targets of their complaints have responded; thus shedding light on the stability of China’s existing political system and its likely future trajectory.
USC And China in the News in 2020
Clayton Dube of the USC U.S.-China Institute was interviewed for an article on what a Biden presidency might mean for policy towards China. Dube said that an effective approach had to be pragmatic and involve working with partners in Asia and elsewhere. A collective approach calling for further economic reforms and market openings can show Beijing that "change ultimately benefits China and failure to change would harm China."
October 13, 2020: BioSpace
Randolph Hall, USC professor of engineering and former USC Vice President of Research, was cited in an article about the Charles Lieber case at Harvard. Hall noted that “[F]aculty are obligated to disclose their outside professional activity to their employer prior to entering into a conflicted relationship, as well as disclose outside relationships on grant proposals. The university must decide whether the relationship can be managed, and within what limits, or disallowed. Without disclosure and management, the faculty member may violate university policy, grant regulations and the law, for instance if intellectual property is stolen or if he or she is paid twice for the same work. These conflict of interest rules apply whether the outside relationship is in China, Europe or the United States, and do not depend on the ethnicity or citizenship status of the faculty member.”
October 1, 2020: Wall Street Journal
The USC U.S.-China Institute’s conversation with Asst. Attorney General John Demers was cited in an article about the U.S. Department of Justice’s China Initiative. Demers said the Department was sensitive to concerns about racial profiling. “We need to remain open to Chinese students coming and studying in the U.S.,” said Mr. Demers of the Chinese students. “When we talk about the threat here, the vast majority of people aren’t even in the realm of the universe of people who might pose a threat.”
September 30, 2020: Vice
Stanley Rosen, USC political scientist, was interviewed for an article about Chinese reaction to the Trump-Biden debate. He said, “Trump and the people in his administration, like secretary of state Mike Pompeo, take a hardline approach when it comes to China so the Communist Party government couldn't have asked for a better debate to make the American system of elections look deeply flawed.”
September 29, 2020: China Daily
An article about a program on comfort women mentioned the USC Shoah Foundation which has preserved the oral histories of some who survived the 1937 Japanese invasion of Nanjing.
September 21, 2020: Business Insider
USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s David Craig was quoted in a story on the possible deal between TikTok and Oracle and Walmart.
September 10, 2020: Deadline
USC political scientist Stanley Rosen was quoted in a story about the film Mulan. He said that “The backlash outside China should help a ‘patriotic’ support of the film within the country.” But he also noted, “In this year of blaming China by both parties, it would not surprise me to see Disney called to testify in Washington about their China-friendly policies, and how they can reconcile that with ethical considerations and American foreign policy considerations.”
September 10, 2020: CNN
September 7, 2020: Los Angeles Business Journal
Clayton Dube of the USC U.S.-China Institute said that it was too early to know if new Chinese policies restricting the transfer of technology to foreign companies would complicate any sale of TikTok to an American buyer.
September 4, 2020: Billboard
The USC U.S.-China Institute’s Clayton Dube said that the nationalistic restriction of social media companies “in some ways [is] reciprocal because it’s treating the companies of a rival in a discriminatory way. It’s similar to what China has done.”
September 3, 2020: The Hollywood Reporter
Clayton Dube of the USC U.S.-China Institute was quoted in an article about the Trump Executive Order banning TikTok. Dube said that such orders are unusual and “in some ways it’s reciprocal because it’s treating the companies of a rival in a discriminatory way. It’s similar to what China has done.”
September 3, 2020, People
A quote from USC political scientist Stanley Rosen was included in an article about the live action remake of the Disney film Mulan. Rosen told The Hollywood Reporter that the Eddie Murphy voiced dragon character, "Mushu was very popular in the U.S., but the Chinese hated it. This kind of miniature dragon trivialized their culture.”
August 29, 2020: The Economist
Stanley Rosen, USC political scientist, was interviewed for an article about China and Hollywood. He wondered if studio chiefs would be called to testify before Congress.
August 26, 2020: Xinhua
Geoffrey Garrett, dean of the USC Marshall School of Business, was quoted in an article about the Trump administration’s plans to sanction Chinese tech firms. He said, "The value of TikTok is clearly some combination of the masses of data the company has about users and the algorithms it uses to match content with individual users' tastes. That is why major U.S. firms like Microsoft and Oracle are interested in acquiring TikTok."
August 24, 2020: Xinhua
August 20, 2020: China Digital Times
An article about a new report on Hollywood and Chinese state censorship noted that the report was launched and discussed at a USC U.S.-China Institute webinar which included James Tager, the Pen America author of the report, Stanley Rosen of USC, Aynne Kokas of the University of Virginia and Rebecca Davis of Variety.
August 13, 2020: India TV
An article discussed research by Joseph Larsen, Peter Kuhn and James B. Hicks of the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience and others into the sequence of symptoms that occur when someone is infected with covid-19. The work utilized a World Health Organization dataset of Chinese patients and was collected in February 2020. The study supports screening for fever as a helpful indicator of possible covid-19 infection. The initial symptom for the flu is coughing, for covid-19 it is fever.
August 13, 2020: Los Angeles Times
USC Annenberg alum Xinlu Liang published her account of falling victim to a scam targeting Chinese students in the United States.
August 7, 2020: KPCC
Clayton Dube of the USC U.S.-China Institute was interviewed on the implications of U.S. sanctions on Chinese companies Bytedance and Tencent, targeting their popular apps WeChat and TikTok. Dube noted the centrality of WeChat in the lives of most Chinese and its importance as a communication link for Chinese and others in the U.S. and business partners, friends and family in China. TikTok is the fastest growing app in the U.S. and the short videos it features are immensely popular with young Americans. Dube emphasized the potential employment hit in Southern California, depending on how the executive order is interpreted.
August 7, 2020: Curbed
An article about a home in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles highlighted that it was designed by Eugene Kinn Choy. Choy immigrated to the U.S. from Guangzhou and graduated from the USC School of Architecture in 1939. He was the second Chinese American after I.M. Pei to join the American Institute of Architects. Choy was featured in an earlier Los Angeles Times article.
August 6, 2020: AFP via Jakarta Post
The USC U.S.-China Institute's Clayton Dube was interviewed about the U.S. government's decision to send Alex Azar, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, to represent the country at the funeral of former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui. Dube thought that even though it will be the first cabinet-level visit to Taiwan in six years, sending Azar was less contentious than sending the either the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Defense.
August 6, 2020: The Guardian
Stanley Rosen, USC political scientist, was quoted in a story about a PEN America report on Hollywood and China. Rosen said, the Chinese authorities “will focus on everything that has a China component in it. Don’t think that if you’re doing something that’s not intended for China, that’s an indie film meant for a small market, that China won’t notice and that it won’t hurt your blockbuster film. It will.”
August 5, 2020: Hollywood Reporter
Stanley Rosen, USC political scientist, was interviewed regarding how Hollywood studios cope with Chinese censorship. Rosen said that, "It's going to get harder and harder for Hollywood to not respond" to critics.
August 4, 2020: Politico
USC Annenberg's Karen North said that a Microsoft purchase of TikTok was outside its business-focused norm.
August 1, 2020: CNN via KTEN
Jeffrey Cole of the USC Center for the Digital Future was interviewed about the potential banning of TikTok by the U.S. government.
July 30, 2020: Xinhua
A USC U.S.-China Institute/U.S. Heartland China Association webinar was highlighted in a story on public health. Clayton Dube of the institute was quoted, "Better communication between countries, scientists and disciplines is still needed."
July 29, 2020: Los Angeles Times
Recent USC graduate Letitia Wang originally planned to work in California, but as covid-19 cases increased, she decided to return home to China's Anhui province. She avoided falling victim to an airline ticket scam, but many students from China did.
July 27, 2020: China Daily
The USC Price School of Public Policy’s Eric Heikkila was quoted in an article on US-China relations following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech at the Nixon Library. He said, "China's presence in the world as a major power is simply a fact, and it is in our mutual interest to find pragmatic ways to work together constructively, wherever that is feasible… China, in turn, needs to demonstrate good faith on its part as well. For the US to wantonly demonize China, however, says as much about us as it does about China.”
July 26, 2020: Bloomberg
In an op-ed, Robert Kaplan cited research by David Kang of USC's Department of Political Science and International Relations. Kang wrote that in China's tributary system "contained credible commitments by China not to exploit secondary states that accepted its authority."
July 24, 2020: New York Times
Erin Baggott Carter of the USC Department of Political Science and International Relations was quoted in an article about the expulsion of businessman Ren Zhiqiang from the Chinese Communist Party. She said the expulsion “a warning to other C.C.P. elites to toe the line.”
July 22, 2020: KPCC
NPR affiliate interviewed Clayton Dube of the USC U.S.-China Institute on the U.S. government’s closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston. The discussion touched on cyberespionage, trade, education and tourism.
July 17, 2020: Nikkei Asian Review
The USC U.S.-China Institute’s Clayton Dube was quoted in an article about a rumored plan to ban Chinese Communist Party members and their families from the United States. Dube described such a ban as unworkable. He further said, "A ban on the Politburo or one on the entire 90 million-strong membership would be a giant symbolic step and is the full extension of the 'blame China' campaign strategy suggested by some Republican consultants. Any sort of ban on the Politburo let alone the wider membership might be satisfying to some Americans, but is unlikely to produce a positive change in Chinese policy or action…. Such a policy, especially if it were somehow to include relatives, would signal to many Chinese that what propagandists in China have long said is true: The U.S. is insecure and committed to doing everything it can to stymie China's rise."
July 17, 2020: China Daily
The USC Price School for Public Policy’s Eric Heikkila was quoted in an article about WeChat. He said, "Whether the Trump administration will go ahead with such a ban, I cannot say, but I consider the proposed policy to be misguided at best. WeChat is a social media platform that is primarily used by Chinese nationals, but also by many people abroad who have friends and colleagues from China… This is a time that we should be fostering stronger interpersonal ties between regular people in both countries. The damage caused by disrupting such genuine grassroots ties almost certainly outweighs the purported security risks."
July 16, 2020: Deadline
USC political scientist Stanley Rosen was quoted about plans to reopen Chinese cinemas. He said, “With theaters all over the world shut down, China also wants to show that it has handled the virus better than anyone else so it can be the first to open its theaters, even if it’s on a selective and carefully controlled basis. Approving the Shanghai International Film Festival — albeit without foreigners not already based in China — is another example of being the first to return to some kind of normalcy. Assuming it works, they should get some good international press coverage of this.”
July 8, 2020: Los Angeles Times
Essie Liu, a USC senior, was among the students quoted in an article about plans to deny visas to international students enrolled at schools not offering face to face instruction. She said, “They’re just using international students as a target to force the colleges to go through a direction they want them to go to…. It feels like the U.S. is trying to kick us out.”
July 8, 2020: Phoenix Television 凤凰卫视
Clayton Dube of the USC U.S.-China Institute was interviewed on the U.S. government's decision (subsequently rescinded) to require international students to take in-person classes in order to keep their student visas. Dube noted that such a policy in the midst of a public health emergency tells international students they aren't welcome. If they aren't able to continue at their schools, they may elect to study in their home countries or in another location such as Britain.
June 30, 2020: Deadline
Stanley Rosen, USC political scientist, was quoted in an article about reopening China’s cinemas. He said, “The whole country runs on Beijing time… It’s all about social stability, which ensures political stability, so the film industry becomes collateral damage in that calculation.”
June 4, 2020: The Irish Times
Mike Chinoy, a senior fellow of the USC U.S.-China Institute, was interviewed about Chinese impressions of the United States. He said, “My sense is that China must see Trump as the gift that keeps on giving. Despite his harsh rhetoric and occasionally tough gestures, Trump has played into Beijing’s hands in so many ways.”
June 3, 2020: New York Times
USC international relations specialists Erin Baggot Carter and Brett Carter published an op-ed on the legacy of the Tiananmen Square protests in China. "The legacy of Tiananmen, like that of other protests before it and since, lives on. Contestation persists in mainland China, if cautiously and in code," they wrote.
June 2, 2020: China Daily
Comments from USC Annenberg scholar Nicholas Cull were included in an article about the impact of the pandemic on America’s image abroad. Cull made the comments in a May 28, 2020 USC U.S.-China Institute webinar. The article quoted Cull: "Reputations are part of security, and nations need to consider the best way of protecting their reputation in the same way that they would protect any other national asset through economic or military policies.” It did not include observations Cull made about China.
February 25, 2020: KCRW
Clayton Dube of the USC U.S.-China Institute was interviewed about the economic ramifications of the coronavirus outbreak in China. He noted the disruption of supply chains, particularly for telecommunications equipment, autos and pharmaceuticals.
February 23, 2020: Variety
A story about a new film, The Italian Recipe, noted the director is USC alum Hou Zuxin. Hou is directing her first feature film. The Italian Recipe is an Italian-Chinese co-production.
February 21, 2020: Los Angeles Business Journal
Baizhu Chen, USC finance specialist, was interviewed about Oaktree Capital’s opening of a subsidiary in China. Chen noted that China was becoming more open to financial companies, “I think the trend going forward is going to be more opening and less restrictions for the foreign participants.”
February 13, 2020: The World and Everything in It
A story on the role of Confucius Institutes featured comments from the USC U.S.-China Institute’s Clayton Dube. Dube noted that closing the institutes might not be in American interests and that it is essential to fund programs to increase Chinese language teaching and teaching about China.
Feb. 7, 2020: KPCC
The USC U.S.-China Institute's Clayton Dube was quoted in a report on the impact of the novel coronavirus on supply chains.
February 6, 2020: Voice of America (Spanish)
The USC U.S.-China Institute’s Clayton Dube was interviewed about the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on California and other regions. At the 21:30 mark.
Feb. 6, 2020: Bloomberg via Yahoo Finance
In a study of Chinese giving to universities, USC finished second to Harvard.
Feb. 5, 2020: Los Angeles Times
USC historian William Deverell was quoted in a story about how connected the U.S. and China are. He said, “We have a political and economic climate that has furthered antagonisms between [the U.S. and China]. Add to this the virus, and we don’t know where enmity might take us.”
Feb. 5, 2020: Voice of America
A report on USC and the coronavirus and the travel ban included interviews with students from China and Heather Wipfli of the Keck School of Medicine.
Feb. 4, 2020: Bloomberg
An article highlighted USC’s response to the coronavirus outbreak in China. USC suspended study abroad programs in China and cancelled study tours planned for the next couple months. LA Daily News also reported on this.
Feb. 3, 2020: Reuters
USC Student Health Director Sarah Van Orman was quoted in a story on how universities are responding to the coronavirus outbreak in China. Van Orman said, “Colleges and universities are very much on the front line of those because of our role as global institutions. The challenge is making sure that we are being prudent without overstating the risk.” She also noted the need to avoid stigmatizing any population, “There’s an unfortunate history about many communicable diseases that have started in one population. It leads to harm for those individuals and does nothing to stop the spread of the illness.”
Feb. 2, 2020: Los Angeles Times
USC was featured in a story about the dangers of misinformation in the midst of a disease scare. An off-campus apartment building was the scene of a coronavirus scare, that USC responded to with an emergency alert informing everyone that the scare was unwarranted, there was no case of the virus at the apartment complex. Sarah Van Orman, head of USC Student Health, was quoted: “That particular notification came really near the peak of what I would call the general concern and worry present not only at USC but the entire country.” Journalism professor Gabriel Kahn was also cited: “Ironically, speed is important on those things [information about a disease outbreak]. But at the same time, those are the ones you have to be most certain about verifying before you share, and that goes against our instincts as human beings.”
February 1, 2020: The Economist
Stanley Rosen, USC political scientist, was quoted in an article about the Chinese government’s decision to close theaters because of the coronavirus outbreak. He noted that by closing down, the government signaled it was putting safety ahead of commercial interests.
January 29, 2020: LAist
A story about Chinese fans love of Kobe Bryant included interviews with USC students Jiayi Liu and Xinchi Zhang and recent USC grad Zihan Rui.
January 14, 2020: Washington Post
The USC U.S.-China Institute’s Clayton Dube was cited in an article about China’s response to developments in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Dube noted that the Chinese government has blamed foreign interference for the problems and said, “The rhetoric has three audiences,” he said. “In China to reassure both the powerful and the governed that the line on territorial integrity is bright red; to remind Taiwan and Hong Kong of that bottom line; and to try to intimidate others (countries, businesses) into complying with both real and symbolic requirements to acknowledge Beijing's claims.”
January 14, 2020: New York Times
USC political scientist and Chinese film specialist Stanley Rosen was interviewed about Disney’s trouble getting people to watch Star Wars films in China. Rosen said, “Most people would say that Disney did too little too late, that ‘Star Wars’ was dead on arrival.”
January 13, 2020: Inside Higher Ed
In a podcast, USC international relations specialist Ben Graham observes that in its competition with China, America’s advantage is its pool of immigrants.
January 12, 2020: AFP via France24
Clayton Dube of the USC U.S.-China Institute was interviewed about Beijing’s possible reactions to Tsai Ing-wen’s reelection as president of Taiwan. Dube noted that Beijing is likely to maintain its sanctions against Taiwan. Also in UltimaHora and SwissInfo.
January 9, 2020: Pasadena Now
Chinese artists in Los Angeles are among those included in the “We are Still Here” exhibition to open in March at the USC Pacific Asia Museum. The museum will also open its renovated Chinese Gallery.