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USC and China in the News, September and October 2008

China-related news stories featuring University of Southern California faculty, students, staff and programs.
November 21, 2008

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September 2008: Architectural Record

The American Academy in China, a project launched by the USC School of Architecture in spring 2008, was discussed. The program aims to offer students from USC and other universities four week and semester long learning opportunities. The initial summer program enrolled 30 students from USC, Columbia, Seoul National University, Tsinghua University, and Tongji University. The group was based in Shanghai, but also visited Beijing, Lijiang, and Xi'an to examine new designs and efforts at architectural preservation. The Academy is the brainchild of USC architecture dean Qingyun Ma. “The paradigms of the West are not working for China. We’ll try to develop some creative new models,” Ma was quoted as saying. Ma went on to say that environmental changes will necessitate adjustments, “In a future of limited resources, things will be much different.”

September 11, 2008: KSCI

A USC U.S.-China Institute event focused on the weapons nonproliferation policies of China and the United States. The report noted areas of cooperation and differences and included an interview with Liu Qing, a USCI visiting scholar from the Chinese Foreign Ministry's think tank. Liu stressed that the benefits of cooperation are many and the consequences of nuclear war so great that working together is the natural option.

September 12, 2008: Voice of America


An article discussed the September 10 presentation by Liu Qing, a USC U.S.-China Institute visiting scholar from the China Institute for International Affairs. Liu Qing spoke on increasing cooperation between China and the United States in stemming the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. He noted, however, that there remain differences in how to advance nonproliferation efforts. An example of this is American frustrations over the Chinese preference for multilateral solutions, even though they are time-consuming. Also, Liu Qing argued that tensions over the Taiwan issue sometimes influence how effectively China and the United States are able to collaborate on weapons controls. Asked if China could remove some of its missiles targeting Taiwan, Liu Qing told the VOA that this would be a symbolic rather than a strategic gesture since China possesses many means of attack. During the discussion period, Liu Qing affirmed that the American ballistic missile defense system was seen as aggressive weapons proliferation by Chinese officials. USCI’s Clayton Dube said the outcome of the U.S. presidential election is not going to affect American policies of working with others to stem nuclear weapons proliferation.

September 14, 2008: San Francisco Chronicle

In an article on China's housing market, Yongheng Deng of the USC School of Public Policy, was quoted discussing the revolution in home finance that has taken place over the past decade. Until a few years ago, Deng said, "People would just show up with cash." China began in 1998 with three year mortgages, but now most home loans are for 20 years with a 4% interest rate. One thing working against longer mortgages is that it's difficult for lenders to verify income. Deng said, "In China, there is no such thing as a FICO score [a home buyers' credit score used by U.S. lenders to determine risk]. One reason is that income data is not reliable. The lender can't rely on the income reported by a family to the government." Most people, however, still live in the countryside and private ownership of rural homes has long been the norm. Deng cautioned against overexhuberance among investors, saying "There was spectacular investment in Beijing, but a lot of the developments underperformed.... The same thing that happened in Beijing is happening now on Shanghai, which will be the site of a World Expo in 2010."

September 17, 2008: Voice of America

Clayton Dube 杜克雷 of the USC U.S.-China Institute was interviewed following the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade meeting. Among the agreements forged during the meeting was a plan for China to eliminate the special tests and certifications it required of foreign manufacturers of medical devices. Dube noted that this was an important step as it addressed discriminatory treatment of foreign producers and that the Chinese market for diagnostic equipment and other devices was large and growing. Dube also said that Chinese officials recognize that progress in these trade talks not only has potential economic benefits, but also has political implications in this U.S. election season.

September 18, 2008: World Journal (世界日报)

USC U.S.-China Institute associate director Clayton Dube was quoted in an article on the place of China in the presidential campaign. Dube noted that policies toward China have thus far not loomed large in the race and that this seems unlikely to change. Cooperation between the U.S. and China is essential if there is to be progress in many areas, including blocking the proliferation of nuclear weapons and addressing climate change. Dube noted there are differences between the U.S. and China but that Americans increasingly understand how completely intertwined the two economies have become and that Chinese cooperation is needed on many economic issues, including the protection of intellectual property.

September 19, 2008: Asia, The Journal of Commerce & Culture

The upcoming USC conference on Trends in Chinese Higher Education (Oct. 20-21) was the subject of an article. The conference is sponsored by the USC Rossier School of Education and the USC U.S.-China Institute. Clayton Dube, USCI associate director, was quoted on the challenges confronting Chinese higher education. "The challenges Chinese colleges face include the need to foster high quality research and instruction while simultaneously expanding the number of students taught," Dube was quoted as saying. China's economy needs more workers with advanced skills and Chinese universities are working to produce them. Dube noted that there is a potential role for American schools in strengthening and expanding programs in China, but that many in American higher education don't have a sharp understanding of China's needs. The conference will help to address that information gap. Click here for a pdf version of the article.

September 23, 2008: Bloomberg News

USC political scientist Stanley Rosen, a member of the U.S.-China Institute executive committee, was quoted about Chinese elders’ surprise over their country’s youth, who volunteered in high numbers at the Olympics and in earthquake relief efforts. This revamped image won’t last, Rosen said. While the current generation is very much committed to having a strong, wealthy China with a good world standing, once the Olympic buzz wears off, “you’re stuck with the same old materialistic society,” he said.

October 2, 2008: World Journal 世界日报

Three of the 41 USC athletes and coaches who participated in the Beijing Olympics joined a student journalist is discussing their experiences. Clayton Dube of the USC U.S.-China Institute moderated the symposium. Carol Rodriguez, a runner, found the weather and pollution to be a great challenge which negatively affected her performance. She did enjoy visiting historic sites with her mother and hopes to return to tour more extensively. Ankur Poseria, a swimmer, is majoring in international relations and studies the Chinese language and Chinese politics, regreted not having more time for sightseeing. They were joined at the forum by track coach Tina Davis-Fernandes and Nancy Chen, an editor of US-China Today.

October 3, 2008: Voice of America


USC students Nancy Chen and Ankur Poseria, recent graduate Carol Rodriguez, and track coach Tina Davis-Fernandes were featured in an article about an October 1 forum hosted by the USC U.S.-China Institute's magazine US-China Today. The four discussed their experiences at the Beijing Olympics. Poseria and Rodriguez were there competing in swimming and track respectively, while Davis-Fernandes was there as a coach and Chen as an intern for NBC. All commented on the friendliness of the Chinese and how exciting it was to be in China. Chen, however, noted that when she was reporting one story, a man confronted her, asking why she was showing a negative side of China.

October 12, 2008: Los Angeles Times

David Carter, executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute, was quoted in an article about the National Basketball Association's plans to collaborate with Philip Anschutz's AEG to build and operate 17,000 seat sports arenas in China. Carter said,  "I think for all of them, China represents the new frontier. . . . If you look at where AEG has gone the last several years, they've really begun to focus on facility ownership and operation and they've continued to focus on building their international presence." Carter further noted, "[T]the NBA, looking to make sure they further penetrate China, certainly wants a partner like AEG to help them navigate new markets."


October 14, 2008: World Journal 世界日报

Two articles focused on the variety of views expressed at the USC U.S.-China Institute's October 13 conference on "The Making of U.S.-China Policy." In this first article, Jay Davis (retired, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), Robert Ross (Boston College), and Alan Romberg (Stimson Center) were all cited as noting that while China has strengthened its military, it was far from being a threat to the United States. Each also called for continued dialogue to improve understanding and reduce tensions. Thomas Christensen, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia, also highlighted the importance of engagement, stressing the need to earnestly listen to Chinese views. The newspaper said the importance of the conference could be seen in the attendance by diplomats from both China and Taiwan.

A second article focused on Taiwan. Scholars emphasized that while the United States does and should support Taiwan's democracy, the U.S. government cannot endorse any effort by the government of Taiwan to "declare independence." Robert Ross stressed the deep and expanding economic ties between Taiwan and the mainland, asserting that Taiwan's economic dependence on China means that it would not need to blockade the island if hostilities were to break out. Alan Romberg was among those who noted that new Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou has been more concilatory toward the mainland than his predecessor Chen Shui-bian, but was still seeking opportunities for Taiwan to participate in international organizations.

October 14, 2008: Singtao Daily via 星岛日报

Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Christensen delivered the keynote address at the USC U.S.-China Institute's October 13 conference on "The Making of U.S. China Policy." Christensen stressed the need to examine the evolution of U.S.-China ties rather than focusing on any particular moment in time. China's increasing power has made the relationship with the U.S. more complex and more important. Christensen argued that China needed to use its strength to support positive aims. He also called for continued dialogue with China and urged the Chinese government to make improvements in human rights and to foster increased transparency in its military build-up. He noted that the U.S. can't simply tell China what to do, but must also listen to Chinese views. Finally, he asserted that the U.S. would strongly oppose any effort to unilaterally use miltary force to resolve Taiwan - China disputes.

October 15, 2008: People's Daily 人民日报

Herb Klein, President Richard Nixon's communications director and a life trustee of USC, was interviewed about the dramatic changes in China since Nixon's historic 1972 visit. Klein, an advisor to the USC U.S.-China Institute, was interviewed at the Institute's October 13 conference on "The Making of U.S. China Policy." Klein noted the remarkable economic progress China had made and that people today have a much greater range of choices than before. Klein noted that product safety remains a big issue and one that requires U.S. and Chinese cooperation to address. He further explained that China needed to be more attentive to international opinion with regard to human rights and other matters.

October 15, 2008: Singtao Daily via 星岛日报星岛日报

Presentations by noted scholars of U.S.-China relations at the USC U.S.-China Institute's "The Making of U.S.-China Policy" conference were highlighted. Robert Ross noted that China is now a bigger importer of South Korean products than the U.S. and that China was inevitably going to become more influential in East Asia. Ross's observation that arms sales to Taiwan cannot really provide for the island's defense since the Taiwan and Chinese economies are so intertwined. Presentations by Jay Davis and Alan Romberg were also discussed.


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