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USC and China in the News, July and August 2008

August 27, 2008

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July 3, 2008, China Cultural Industries (中国文化产业网)

Film students from the Communication University of China (CUC) and the University of Southern California collaborated this summer to make six short documentary films. These films were screened at USC's School of Cinematic Arts and explored street gangs, gays, and other sensitive topics. The audience was much impressed. "To the Chinese students who are in the program this chance to film in a different country will be a priceless experience. Because they have to overcome language and cultural barriers with their American peers, as well as work in a foreign environment, it will benefit the students in their future careers, " Professor Han Ying from CUC said.

July 7, 2008, KSCI Ch. 18

Report discussed the June 17, 2008 USC U.S.-China Institute preview of the Koppel on Discovery series People's Republic of Capitalism. Series producer Elissa Rubin discussed the greater openness for media in contemporary China, USCI executive board member Stanley Rosen spoke on how the documentary looks at the ever-tighter U.S.-China relationship, and associate director Clayton Dube argued that the biggest tranformation underway in China today is the movement of hundreds of millions of farmers into cities. Dube argued that this change is affecting every aspect of life in China and that American media needs to do a better job covering it.

July 25, 2008, Science

A report by Yan Xiao of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering was highlighted in a story on lessons learned from the devastating earthquake in China¹s Sichuan province. Xiao led a team from the Ministry of Education¹s Key Laboratory of Building Safety and Efficiency, which found that many collapsed structures lacked transverse rebars. "From the reconnaissance of the earthquake damage, it is clear that most of the damaged concrete building columns and beam-to-column joints did not have proper transverse reinforcement," Xiao¹s report stated. "Transverse reinforcement is particularly important to confine the concrete."

July 25, 2008, United Press International

A story featured research by Merril Silverstein of the USC Davis School of Gerontology and Zhen Cong, who received her Ph.D. in May. The researchers found that the assistance of daughters-in-law helps mitigate depression among older people in China, though rates of depression in rural China are twice those in Chinese cities (though still far lower than in the U.S.). Cong was also interviewed by Asian News International (India) and was quoted as saying, "The inability to secure assistance from children may induce depression not only because needs are likely to go unmet but because the absence of such support may induce feelings of helplessness and strain intergenerational relations." Silverstein and Cong published their study in the Journal of Marriage and Family. This research was partially funded by USCI.


July 26, 2008, Palos Verdes Peninsula News

Betse Amador was one of sixteen California teachers traveling to China and Japan with the USC U.S.-China Institute on a National Consortium for Teaching about Asia study tour. This article focused on her experiences and what she plans to do with her middle school students this fall. USCI associate director Clayton Dube was quoted as explaining how the program is intended to improve teaching about East Asia. In his words, "Education that ignores East Asia is not much of an education." He pointed to the strong economic ties, the many Asian conflicts that the U.S. has become engaged in over the last century. “One of the reasons [for the trip] is to humanize the whole story,” Dube added. “It takes a while for [the experience] to sink in, but it remains with these teachers.” Amador said, “It gives me a lot of enthusiasm for China in particular and also how important the relationship between China and America is. I have real stories I can share with my students about that."

July 28, 2008, The New Yorker

An article on the new generation of Chinese nationalists cited a story in The New York Times about a group of Chinese students who challenged a visiting Tibetan monk during a lecture at USC. A man who threw a plastic water bottle in the monk¹s direction was removed by campus security, according to the story.

July 28, 2008, Los Angeles Times

Stan Rosen, director of the USC East Asian Studies Center and a member of the USC U.S.-China Institute executive committee, was quoted in an article exploring why Kung Fu Panda (animated hit film with a Chinese national symbol who employs a type of martial art developed in China) was produced in the U.S. rather than in China. Rosen said that censorship stifles creative expression, noting "If you start off with a fat, lazy panda, a national symbol, someone is bound to come along and say, 'We can't give an image to the world that China is fat and lazy.' "

July 28, 2008, Los Angeles Times

In an article discussing allegations that two female Chinese athletes, a gymnast and a diver, might be younger than Olympic rules or the rules of qualifying competitions permit, USC diving coach Hongping Li was quoted as saying, "It is a thing where if it is believed by the athlete to be done for the glory of the country, if it is best for the country, then it should be done. Am I surprised this might be done? No." Li is originally from Beijing, won the Chinese national championship tweleve times, and is a two-time Olympian.

August 2, 2008: World Journal (Shijie ribao)

A story featured research by Merril Silverstein of the USC Davis School of Gerontology and Zhen Cong, who received her Ph.D. in May from the Davis School. The researchers found that the assistance of daughters-in-law helps mitigate depression among older people in China.

August 4, 2008, Los Angeles Times

Qingyun Ma, dean of the USC School of Architecture, was quoted about Shanghai and the future of architecture. Ma spends his summers in the city running his firm, MADA s.p.a.m., the story noted. The aggressive modernization of Shanghai is threatening to Westerners because everything is suddenly changing and transforming, without a backward glance, Ma said. "Most of [the new skyscrapers] are so superbly ugly that they're exciting," he added. Ma hopes to instill in American architecture students a sense of humility and obligation to society, the story reported. "Architecture schools have become too vocational and focus too much on professional and skill-based training and not enough on leadership," Ma explained.

August 6, 2008: Slovak Daily SME (Slovakia)

Clayton Dube, associate director of the USC U.S.-China Institute, was quoted in a story on the importance of the Olympics for China.

August 6, 2008: Fox11 News

In a live interview, the USC U.S.-China Institute's Clayton Dube discussed President George Bush's trip to Asia. Dube noted that the President's speech in Thailand reaffirmed American concern about human rights conditions in China while his  journey to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics was a show of support for the people of China.

August 7, 2008: Far Eastern Economic Review

Dan Lynch of the USC School of International Relations and a member of the USC U.S.-China Institute executive committee, wrote an op-ed on China's prospects for democracy. Lynch challenges those who argue that the Chinese government is becoming increasingly open and willing to permit citizens greater latitude to organize and to express their ideas. Writing in the current issue of the Far Eastern Economic Review, He writes "the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) still refuses to recognize the legitimacy of civic groups' ultimate autonomy" and "the CCP has succeeded in cultivating in the minds of many of those benefiting from the current order the notion that democratization is a plot hatched by the West and Japan to bring disorder and chaos to China for the purpose of halting its peaceful rise."

August 7, 2008: KPCC 89.3

Clayton Dube, associate director of the USC U.S.-China Institute, was a guest on the AirTalk program. Dube discussed the challenges of reducing air pollution in Beijing, even for an authoritarian regime and also addressed security concerns and the potential of demonstrations during the Olympic Games.

August 8, 2008: La Opinión

Clayton Dube, associate director of the USC U.S.-China Institute, and Janelle Wong of the USC Department of Political Science were quoted about Chinese Americans and the Beijing Olympics. The fact that the Games are in China will probably arouse a sense of enthusiasm among diverse elements of the Chinese community in Los Angeles, Wong said. Now that China has enhanced its global presence and is on track to displace Japan as the second largest economic power on the planet, schools that teach Chinese are multiplying in the U.S., Dube noted.

August 8, 2008: Economic Times (India)

A story linking the Beijing Olympics to the ping pong diplomacy that was so critical to improved U.S.-China relations quoted a presentation Zhuang Zedong made at USC last September. Ping pong world champion Zhuang initiated this diplomacy through a gesture of friendship towards American player Glenn Cowan in 1971. Zhuang's presentation was sponsored by the USC U.S.-China Institute. 

August 9, 2008: The Repository (Canton, Ohio)

Ankur Poseria, a USC student, is competing in the Beijing Olympics as a member of the Indian swimming team. Poseria is a dual citizen of India and the United States and graduated from Hoover High School in Canton, Ohio. Poseria will compete in the 100 meter butterfly. Poseria is happy to be in China not just as an athlete, but also because he's an international relations major who is specializing in Chinese politics and language.

August 13, 2008: WBT News Radio (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Dan Lynch of the USC School of International Relations and member of the USC U.S.-China Institute executive committee, was interviewed on the Tara Servatius Show. Lynch noted that China's middle class is expanding and people are increasingly able to organize to address social problems such as earthquake relief.  At the same time, he argues that the Chinese state is plagued by corruption and is unwilling to undertake the political reforms that would give Chinese people a true voice in government. Lynch said, "China's definitely becoming freer in the sense of people having a lot more choice in what they'll do on a daily basis... but ... they don't seem to be moving in the direction of building democratic institutions."

August 13, 2008: UTLA Newspaper, United Teacher

Twelve LAUSD teachers were among the contingent of California educators who recently returned from an intensive three-week study tour funded by the Freeman Foundation and the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA). The trip was a culminating activity to the USC US-China Institute's seminars offered twice a year to LAUSD teachers at the UTLA building. The participating LAUSD teachers were Betse Amador, Fleming MS; Leigh Clark, Monroe HS; Dennis Colato, Encion HS; Kristina Jelenic, Fleming MS; Kevin Kung, Palisades Charter HS; Judi Lee, Mid-City Magnet; Mimy Mac, LACES; Javier Pena, El Sereno MS; Heather Penrod, Reseda HS; Anna Sarnoff, Narbone HS; Frank Wiley, Locke HS; and John Yamazaki, Granada Hills Charter HS.

August 21, 2008: The Washington Post

USC was mentioned in a widely carried Associated Press article on surging interest among U.S. college students in studying in China. At USC, 343 students went to China last year, more than double the total five years ago, the story reported.

August 21, 2008: KCRW-FM

Dave Salo, USC head men's and women's swimming coach, was interviewed on "Which Way, L.A.?" about the Beijing Olympics, from which he recently returned. "Southern California has done great," Salo said. "I'm really proud of the fact that a lot of kids who were at the meet were from [USC]." He noted that USC student Rebecca Soni broke the world record during the 200-meter breast stroke and USC student Larsen Jensen took the bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle event.

August 23, 2008: Los Angeles Times


Vicente Gilsanz of the Keck School of USC was quoted about whether X-rays could determine whether the Chinese Olympic gymnasts lied about their ages. One complication with teenage girls is that strenuous exercise can suppress estrogen production, delaying bone development and making them appear to be younger, Gilsanz said.



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