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USC and China in the News, July and August 2009

China-related news stories featuring University of Southern California faculty, students, staff, and programs.

August 25, 2009

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August 25, 2009: Financial Times

The Financial Times quoted Daniel Lynch of the USC College on signs of economic recovery in China. The country’s enormous credit-fueled rescue plan has been focused on supporting the state sector and government-backed infrastructure projects, Lynch said. He explained that this has allowed many smaller private companies to go under, in spite of the fact that they constitute the most dynamic and job-rich part of China’s economy.  The commentary was widely reprinted to the end.

August 14, 2009: Los Angeles Times

In an editorial about the detention of Beijing attorney Xu Zhiyong, Clayton Dube of the USC U.S.-China Institute was cited. He noted that lawyers such as Xu and their organizations have come under government pressure since the Tibetan disturbances, Sichuan earthquake, and contaminated milk scandals of 2008.

August 13, 2009: Singtao Daily 星岛日报 via

Clayton Dube of the USC U.S.-China Institute was interviewed for a widely reprinted story on recent BBC and Pew Research Center surveys of world opinion. Dube noted that American opinion of China and Chinese opinion of the United States both rose over the last year, from 39% of Americans having a positive impression of China to 50% and from 41% of Chinese having a positive impression of the US to 47%. He attributed the rise to success of the Beijing Olympics and the continuing efforts of the two countries to work together to address shared economic and other challenges. Dube noted that such opinions are profoundly affected by events in the news and can shift quickly. (Click here to read USCI Talking Points discussion of this).

August 6, 2009: Singtao

An article about former President Bill Clinton’s trip to North Korea to secure the release of two American journalists quoted USC U.S.-China Institute’s Clayton Dube. Dube said the North Korean government used the handover to demonstrate to its own people that it can make the powerful come to them. He noted that North Korean authorities embraced the offer of a visit by Clinton in part because the during the Clinton administration significant steps were taken to foster better U.S.-North Korean relations. These included ultimately ineffective agreements to trade oil and technology for a halt to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, but also the high profile visit by Secretary of State Albright and the release of Evan Hunziker, another American who illegally crossed into North Korea. 

August 6, 2009: Seattle Times

USC Thornton professor Suli Xue, founder of the Pacific Harmony String Quartet, was quoted in an article about the quartet which is performed in Seattle last weekend. The quartet aims to build musical bridges between East and West. Xue grew up in China and notes, "There is so much beautiful folk music in China, but I don't play those instruments." He says he wants to adapt Chinese folk tunes and “introduce Chinese music to Western audiences." The quartet released a cd, “Melodies of the Far East” in 2000.

July 28, 2009: NBC 4

The USC U.S.-China Institute's Clayton Dube was interviewed about the aims and accomplishments of the just completed initial meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Dube stressed that the meeting allowed many Chinese and American officials the chance to discuss pressing questions and to begun to forge the relationships that could facilitate progress in addressing economic, security, and environmental concerns.

July 27, 2009: Los Angeles Times

Clayton Dube of the USC U.S.-China Institute was quoted in an article analyzing the focus of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue that began July 27 in Washington, DC. The story stated that China has no real alternative to parking most of its foreign reserves in dollars, since in order to keep the yuan from appreciating through trading on the open market, it has to get rid of the accumulating currency.Dube argued that while the Chinese may wish they could profitably diversify their overseas investments, "There aren't that many places you can invest such huge amounts without massively affecting prices" of commodities such as oil. The story was reprinted in the Boston Globe.

July 23, 2009: Bloomberg News

USC Marshall School of Business MBA graduate Nina Wu was interviewed for "Dreyfus China Fund Posts Top Returns as Beijing Revives Economy.” Wu "told shareholders in a letter in November that investors were too pessimistic about China’s prospects, and they predicted the nation’s economic growth for 2009."

July 19, 2009: Singtao Daily (星岛日报) via and Qiaobao (桥报)

A keynote presentation by Clayton Dube of the USC U.S.-China Institute at a conference of overseas Chinese was discussed in two widely carried articles. Dube noted that polls show that when asked about issues that are likely to lead to great tensions between the US and China, Chinese overwhelmingly cite Taiwan whereas Americans point to job losses and other issues. This is a clear indication that most Americans do not realize what an important concern reunification is for Chinese and that greater exchanges are needed to foster mutual understanding. The Singtao article also noted that Dube pointed out that Americans today have a mostly unfavorable impression of China. In early 1989, 72% of Americans had a favorable impression of China, but this fell after the Tiananmen Square protests were suppressed and that just 41% of Americans have a favorable opinion of China today.

July 11, 2009: Xinhua News Agency


The USC U.S.-China Institute’s Clayton Dube was quoted about the recent ethnic conflict in China’s Xinjiang region. It is absolutely necessary for the Chinese government to shoulder the burden of ending violent clashes in a just way, Dube said. “China is not the only nation where ethnic divisions exist and sometimes explode into violence,” he noted. The story was also widely reprinted in Chinese.


In an article about the use of musicians in foreign diplomacy, Nicholas Cull of the USC Annenberg School of Communications noted that China and Russia were increasingly interested in sending their artists abroad, an interest Cull hopes President Barack Obama will match. “When the U.S. sends jazz musicians overseas, it’s not the same as sending an opera singer,” Cull said, adding that jazz’ interactive, improvisational nature cultivates fast friends.

July 7, 2009: Christian Science Monitor

Leif-Eric Easley, a visiting scholar of the USC Korean Studies Institute, wrote an op-ed about “Why China might turn on North Korea.” Easley argued, “China's growing identity gap with North Korea may be changing the way China views its own interests. Chinese now ask whether Beijing underestimates the costs of a nuclear-armed North Korea and being the largest backer of the Kim regime.” Given the responsible great power China wants to become, the costs of staying allied with North Korea may come to surpass the costs of abandoning it,” he noted.

July 3, 2009: Los Angeles Times
This obituary was one of many which noted that USC alum and Life Trustee Herbert G. Klein was President Richard Nixon’s communications director and accompanied him on his historic trip to China in February 1972.

July 1, 2009: Al Jazeera

USC Annenberg School of Communication’s Andrew Lih was quoted in a story about the Chinese government’s decision not to go ahead with implementing its Green Dam web filter. Lih said, the government "won't outright say that this was a failure or a problem but this was unusual in that there was a lot of pushback on the internet ... and the government responded quite appropriately." Lih noted that China was not the only country that seeks to censor the internet, noting that Britain and Australia sought to use similar software.

July 1, 2009: Wall Street Journal
Toxicologist Nachman Brautbar, USC professor emeritus, was cited in an article about why drywall from China could be causing some people in the U.S. health problems. Brautbar was one of two scientists cited who noted that chemical emissions from the drywall might be responsible, but that the negative impact would vary with the intensity of the emissions and the duration of exposure to them. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has received more than 550 complaints from people in 19 states odors and health problems alleged to be from Chinese-made drywall.



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