By many measures, America is no longer seen as positively as it once was in China. We track some of these changes.
USC and China in the News, November and December 2009
China-related news stories featuring University of Southern California faculty, students, staff, and programs.
December 8, 2009: Marketplace
Jay Wang, a strategic communications specialist at USC Annenberg, was interviewed about a campaign to “rebrand” the Made in China label. Wang discussed the challenges associated with such an effort, which began with a Madison Avenue advertising company’s 30 second television ad. Wang noted, “There are multiple layers of the "Made in China" label, all the way from it's a poor quality, cheap price, to more political issues of job losses for American workers. So a 30-second spot is not going to be enough to address all of these issues.” Wang said that to be effective the campaign will take a lot more time and effort.
November 27, 2009: World Journal (世界日报)
Clayton Dube of the USC US-China Institute was interviewed for an article about Pres. Obama’s plans to increase the number of Americans studying in China. Dube noted that USC had nine separate programs in China last summer and that the USC Marshall School of Business alone had sent hundreds of students to China. He further discussed the Institute’s role in recruiting and selecting the 160 students who will serve as student ambassadors at the Shanghai Expo in 2010. Dube noted that interest in China was rising and that this could be seen in the rapid expansion of Chinese language study in the US.
November 22, 2009: Voice of America
Daniel Lynch, USC international relations specialist, spoke on a panel examining what Pres. Obama’s Asia trip means for Taiwan. Lynch argued that China’s economy is not as healthy as official statistics and many news reports suggest. He highlighted the anomaly that vehicle sales were supposedly up but gasoline sales had declined. Lynch said “the rise of China is basically depends on the healthy growth of the U.S. economy . The Chinese know it.” He went on to say that China isn’t an economic savior for Taiwan and that overreliance on China could be dangerous for Taiwan.
November 21, 2009: Voice of America
Clayton Dube of the USC US-China Institute was quoted in a story on When China Rules the World: The Rise of the Middle Kingdom and the End of the Western World, a book by British journalist Martin Jacques. Jacques spoke at USC and other American universities, arguing that in the future the world would be more shaped by China than by the West. He also said that China’s government enjoys greater legitimacy and popularity than others. Dube suggested that Jacques pays insufficient attention to the many great challenges confronting China and he noted that one reason China’s top leaders fare so well in polls is that the media is controlled and direct criticism of them is not permitted. Dube said that Pres. Obama indirectly pointed this out when he told a Shanghai audience that open discussion strengthened him as a leader as it forced him to consider different points of view.
November 21, 2009: Taiwan Daily
A story reported on a presentation Daniel Lynch made at the Institute of Taiwanese Studies on President Obama’s trip to Asia. He told the audience that people in Taiwan don’t need to worry about Obama’s commitment to Taiwan. Lynch said, though, that China’s economy is not as good as statistics suggest. He warned against Taiwan becoming economically dependent on China.
November 21, 2009: Taiwan Daily
A story on Pres. Obama’s viist to China, included analysis from Clayton Dube, associate director of the USC US-China Institute. Dube noted that discussions between the US and Chinese leaders did not yield significant policy changes on major issues including relations between China and Taiwan. Dube argued that the greatest progress was made on an issue that wasn’t previously important in US-China relations: climate change.
November 19, 2009: KPFK
USC international relations specialist Daniel Lynch appeared on the 4 o’clock Thursdays program and discussed the emergence of China as a superpower. Lynch said, “China’s rise is really preconditioned on the United States continuing to be an important powerful country that is also really economically prosperous.” He noted that China has received technology and managerial expertise from the US and has been able to export to the US – and that this is acknowledged by a lot of people in China. “We tend to hear from China the kind of disgruntled fringe. They get the headlines when they criticize US hegemony or something like that.” Lynch noted that China’s economy is growing fast, its military capacity is growing especially vis a vis Taiwan, and its soft power is expanding.
November 19, 2009: Washington Observer (华盛顿观察)
Stanley Rosen, USC East Asian Studies Center director, was interviewed about Pres. Obama’s participation in the Nov. 14 APEC meeting. Rosen said that Obama’s overriding message was that he doesn’t see China as a threat and that cooperation should be possible in some areas. Rosen noted that Asian leaders expected the US to reduce the federal deficit, reduce the government’s overall debt, and increase imports.
November 19, 2009: Radio Free Asia (自由亚洲电台)
In an interview, Clayton Dube of the USC US-China Institute said that he believed that differences over trade practices and human rights would continue to be a source of friction between the US and China. Dube described Pres. Obama’s trip as primarily a confidence-building journey, an effort to forge stronger ties to Chinese leaders, and to clarify positions important to both sides. While the need and opportunity for the US and China to cooperate is great, achieving effective cooperation is not easy. Dube used a Chinese idiom to make this point: the two countries are like two people sleeping in the same bed, but having different dreams.
November 19, 2009: Central News Agency (Taiwan) (中央社)
In a widely published interview, Clayton Dube of the USC US-China Institute, said that Pres. Obama’s visit to China took place at a critical time. With enormous challenges stemming from the recession, trade frictions, nuclear weapons proliferation, and global warming, the US and China must find common ground for cooperation. Obama and Chinese leaders discussed these and other issues in some depth and the US leader did assert American concern for human rights issues in China. Dube noted the president elected to highlight the benefit of open discussion rather than directly condemn Chinese restrictions on the Internet.
November 14, 2009: KNBC
Clayton Dube of the USC US-China Institute did a live interview with the Los Angeles NBC affiliate to preview Pres. Obama’s trip to China. Dube noted that China’s government had increased the value of its currency significantly over the past four years, but stopped doing so a year ago. He said there was little likelihood that China’s government would now agree to further currency appreciation. Instead, he thought there would be greater progress in opening China’s markets to American products. He warned that low incomes limit ordinary Chinese people’s buying power, though some American producers were enjoying success in China and that the potential for environmental protection technologies and other products was good. Dube said that he expected Obama to continue to recognize China’s sovereignty over Tibet and Xinjiang, but that the President would continue to affirm that the US believes all people, including China’s, are entitled to basic human rights such as freedom of religion and speech.
November 13, 2009: KSCI
The station opened its evening news with an interview with Clayton Dube, associate director of the USC US-China Institute on the agenda and significance of Pres. Obama’s trip to China. Dube identified several points of friction, including trade relations and human rights, but argued that Obama’s focus was going to be on seeking Chinese cooperation on nuclear weapons non-proliferation and climate change. Dube explained that although Taiwan has routinely been central to US-China discussions that improving ties between Beijing and Taipei meant that Chinese and American leaders would focus on other concerns.
November 4, 2009: The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Chronicle of Higher Education quoted USC political scientist Stanley Rosen about the abrupt dismissal of Chinese education minister Zhou Ji. Rosen said that Zhou’s new post of deputy party secretary at Beijing’s Chinese Academy of Engineering, a less important but still significant post, doesn’t suggest serious punishment. “It’s a sign that he’s a scapegoat, not that he’s corrupt,” Rosen said. “The shift reflects more the general problems that have plagued education for a long time rather than any particular corruption on Zhou Ji’s part.”