USC and China in the News, September and October 2009
October 30, 2009: The New York Times
The New York Times, in an Associated Press story, quoted USC political scientist Stanley Rosen about the Chinese government's Confucius Institute, which places Chinese cultural and language centers at American universities, with initial funding and faculty from China. "It's a very long term strategy to get people to appreciate Chinese culture," Rosen said. "They steer away from ... political issues, just to teach straight language. Because they know this is exactly what critics of China might be looking for."
October 16, 2009: Voice of America
An article noted that Daniel Rosen, who teaches at Columbia University, said at a USC U.S.-China Institute event, that China’s outbound direct investment was being driven by domestic economic pressures and were not driven by geopolitical strategic concerns. USCI’s Clayton Dube was quoted as agreeing with Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan that most Chinese firms are not ready to manage large foreign operations involving foreign workers. Dube said, however, that eventually Chinese firms would engage in the same localization strategies that serve Toyota and other Japanese automobile makers.
October 13, 2009: Voice of America
An article discussed the 2009 US-China Legal Exchange hosted by the USC U.S.-China Institute. The exchange featured Cameron Kerry, general counsel and third-ranking official at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Zhang Qiong, vice minister of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, along with several other top officials and scholars. The article noted the discussion of China’s new patent law and the restructuring of the telecommunications industry and included comments from USC economist and former Federal Communications Commission official Simon Wilkie. Wilkie noted, for example, how determining who pays for receiving a cell phone call affects pricing and how China’s challenges differ in important ways from those of the U.S. where myriad local governments regulate the cable industry.
October 10, 2009: Voice of America
Two USC events on the rise of non-governmental organizations in China, their use of new technologies, and the services they provide was the subject of an article. Jing Wang (MIT) spoke at the USC U.S.-China Institute on a project to enable small NGOs to utilize web 2.0 to reach beyond their existing networks to get support. Wang highlighted the success of the Chinese government's internet infrastructure building effort and explained how training was essential to building NGOs' capacity to make the most of the infrastructure and web technologies. At an earlier USC School of Social Work talk, Zhuang Ailing, head of an NGO think tank in China, noted that a decade ago NGOs were isolated islands, but now they are increasing rapidly, with more than 3 million. They serve women, the handicapped, migrants, and others. USC political scientist Stanley Rosen noted that NGOs should have no problem as long as they focus on local concerns and stay clear of politics.
October 4, 2009: CNN
USC U.S.-China Institute senior fellow Mike Chinoy was interviewed for a story on whether Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao can persuade North Korea to return to the six-party talks on its nuclear weapons program. Chinoy said that North Korea’s internal problems are compounded by its diplomatic and economic isolation. But the situation has changed, he explained. “The North Koreans are in an engagement mode. They sorted out their internal circumstances, Kim is basically recovered from health problems and is very much in charge, and I think the North is seeking to reach out diplomatically across the board, including the Chinese.”
October 1, 2009: Far Eastern Economic ReviewDaniel Lynch, a USC international relations specialist, published an op-ed entitled "The Next Chinese Revolution." Lynch notes how much money the Chinese government has poured into its economy since late 2008 and how it has unleashed a torrent of lending. Official Chinese statistics suggest that China's economic downturn was never as deep as the United States' and that China's economy has recovered to an at least 9% annual growth rate. Why then, Lynch, asks, is Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao so worried about China's economy? Lynch argues that Wen is right to be worried and raises questions about several economic reports. He argues that with continued weakness in China's export markets, China's economy is unlikely to be able to employ as many people and generate as much wealth as it has in recent years. Chinese, he says, will need to get used to slower growth. And that could have political consequences.
October 1, 2009: World Journal (世界日报)
In a special section on problems confronting China as it celebrated its 60th anniversary, the paper featured extended interviews with USC political scientist Stanley Rosen and Clayton Dube of the USC U.S.-China Institute. Rosen argued that the big problems facing China are pollution, income inequality, and the lack of transparency. Rosen noted that Chinese have greater access to information than in the past and are primarily focused on improvements in everyday life. Dube pointed to the early achievement of reducing infant mortality as one of the most important achievements in the People’s Republic’s history. This accomplishment helped drive China’s rapid population increase, from 583 million in 1953 to 1.3 million today. These numbers, combined with the “one-child policy” over the last three decades, mean that China confronts many demographic challenges, including caring for an enormous number of elderly. Dube also highlighted the rural-urban income gap and environmental problems as major challenges facing China. Dube suggested that building a system of rule of law offered China a way of mitigating unrest posed by frustration over inequality, pollution, and suspicions of official corruption.
September 30, 2009: South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
In an article surveying academics of their views of China's future, USC political scientist and East Asian Studies Center director Stanley Rosen predicted China would develop a hybrid form of government where public opinion would play an increasingly prominent role, though Western-style democratization would not occur. He also suggested that "It is "certainly possible to conceive of a charismatic strongman arising over the next 40 years if the promised wealth and power become unfilled promises.”
September 22, 2009: BBC
The USC US-China Institute’s Clayton Dube participated in an international discussion of the importance and prospects of US President Obama’s nuclear weapons proposals. Dube argued that US security was not endangered by reducing, in concert with Russia, its arsenal of nuclear weapons and that such a move was necessary if it hoped to secure commitments from China and other nations to rigorously adhere to and enforce the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and other agreements.
September 21, 2009: Chinese Central Television
An article drawing on a Sing Tao Daily report noted that USC students spoke about their varied experiences studying in China during summer 2009. Wang Huili who studied Chinese in USC's program at Capital Normal University, Han Lu, a film student who worked with a student from Communication University of China to make a short documentary, Annie Gillman who studied in USC's Global China program at Fudan University, and Jaimee Yellin who studied in the USC Social Work program on aging, were all cited in the article.
September 14, 2009: Xinhua
Clayton Dube of the USC U.S.-China Institute was featured in a widely carried article looking at how China has changed in recent decades. Dube noted that China’s cities have undergone a tremendous transformation and that there is now more freedom for individuals to choose the way they live, work and travel. He added that the Communist Party has "both driven change and needed to respond to change." Dube noted building rule of law in China was key to addressing the problem of corruption. "It is only by assuring citizens just redress via arbitration and courts that people can become confident that justice rather than connections will determine how disputes over pay, land rights harm caused by pollution and many other sources of discontent are resolved," he said.
September 11, 2009: Xinhua
Barbara Pillsbury’s USC US-China Institute’s presentation was reported on. The article noted that anthropologist Pillsbury argued that China’s population control achievements were significant but that the country faces enormous challenges owing to the gap in boy/girl births, the need to provide for 150 million migrant laborers, and a rapidly aging population.
Chinese Daily News (中国日报) also reported on the talk.
September 9, 2009: Los Angeles Times
Riot Games, a Culver City-based company founded by two USC graduates, has received $8 million in venture capital. The largest investor was Tencent, a giant Chinese internet firm. The USC grads, Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill, established the company in 2006. Tencent will offer the firm’s game, League of Legends, in China.
Please join the U.S.-China Institute and PEN America for the West Coast launch of the PEN America report on social media in China, Forbidden Feeds. We will discuss the report and Chinese social media more generally.