For a downloadable version of the calendar of events, please click here.
October 6, 2014: China Philanthropy Summit Registration Now Open
Registration for the China Philanthropy Initiative "China Philanthropy Summit" is now open. Hosted by the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business, the Summit will be held on October 31-November 1, 2014 at Hine Hall on the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis, Indiana. The event is free and open to the public. Online registration is required due to limited seating.
A team of researchers from leading US and Chinese universities and institutions such as the Council on Foreign Relations, University of Wisconsin, University of Pennsylvania, University of Maryland, Tsinghua University and Sun Yat-Sen University will present findings from the 11 research projects associated with the Initiative. Yang Peng, former President of the One Foundation and Holly Chang, Founder and President of the Golden Bridges Foundation will be the keynote speakers for the Summit. Additionally, roundtable discussions will feature seasoned American and Chinese philanthropists and the next generation of philanthropic leaders. For the full agenda, please see the conference website here.
The conference is the highlight event of the IU RCCPB and Lilly Family School of Philanthropy's three-year "Initiative on Philanthropy in China" funded by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
August 18, 2014: RCCPB Recruiting Webmaster for Fall 2014
The RCCPB is now hiring for a part-time Webmaster based at its Bloomington, Indiana office. The Webmaster is responsible for updating and developing the Center’s website, maintaining the Center’s contact database, and assisting with varied communications tasks. The RCCPB Webmaster will have the excellent opportunities to build their web design portfolio in a dynamic and pathbreaking organization. To apply for the position, please visit the Jobs@IU website. For more information, see our full position description.
May 30, 2014: Philanthropy Initiative Scholar Blogs on “Why Has Philanthropy Failed to Take Off in China”
Yanzhong Huang, Philanthropy Initiative Scholar and Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, recently blogged about the difficulties that philanthropy faces in getting off the ground in China and how some of those challenges might be met.
Click here to read the original blog post. For more resources on philanthropy in China, please visit the Philanthropy Resources section of our website.
May 26, 2014: China Philanthropy Research Progress Report Meeting Held in Beijing
The scholars of the China Philanthropy Initiative met to discuss their research progress and compare notes on May 26 at the new IU China Office in Beijing. The attendees presented their research progress, discussed challenges and examined preliminary findings, laying the foundation for the Oct. 31st-Nov. 1st China Philanthropy Summit to be held in Indianapolis this year. This event will feature the scholars involved in the project and include a cross section of participants from China's philanthropic sector.
More information about the Philanthropy summit will be available later this summer. For more about the IU RCCPB and Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s China Philanthropy Initiative, please visit the Philanthropy Section of our website.
May 23, 2014: IU China Office Opens in Beijing
The IU China Office held its grand opening on May 23rd, when President Michael McRobbie officially dedicated the new facility. Located at the Tsinghua University Science (TUS) Park in Beijing, the state-of-the-art office will host IU students, scholars and staff for research, meetings, and events in China.
For more information about the IU China Office, see the University’s official press release here. You can find the location of the facility, which includes the RCCPB’s China Office, on our Contact Us page.
May 23, 2014: The RCCPB is Moving
Today the Indiana University Research Center for Chinese Politics & Business will relocate its Beijing office to the new IU China Office at the Tsinghua University Science Park in Beijing. The new facility and larger space will allow the center to host new events and expanded programs. The RCCPB is looking forward to the opportunities that this new location will open up and to expanding engagement with our audiences in China.
For more information about our new location, please visit our website’s Contact Us page.
May 6, 2014: Indiana University China Office Construction Underway
Renovation of the space for Indiana University’s new China Office is currently underway. When completed, the Beijing office will serve as a home for the university’s activities in China, including the RCCPB. The center’s permanent office in the IU facility will serve as a platform for exciting new initiatives and activities in China. Official opening of the office is slated for May 23rd. You can continue to follow construction and the opening on the RCCPB's Weibo feed, at http://www.weibo.com/RCCPB.
April 9, 2014: Initiative on Philanthropy sends students to intern in China
Three students will be sent to intern with philanthropic organizations across China this summer as part of the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Research Center for Chinese Politics & Business’s joint Initiative on Philanthropy in China. Provided with full funding, the program places students with a foundation, NGO, or corporate social responsibility office for 2 months, where they work 30-40 hours per week. The internship program is slated to continue for the duration of the Initiative on Philanthropy, sending further interns to Chinese organizations during the summers of 2015 and 2016. For full information see the Internship page.
March 28, 2014: RCCPB Recruiting Communications Manager
The RCCPB is now recruiting a full-time Communications Manager to serve in its Bloomington or Beijing office. The Communications Manager will be responsible for formulating communications strategy for the Center; managing the RCCPB’s website, databases and social media; creation, design and production of the Center’s publications; and promotion of the RCCPB’s research, events, and programs. Click here for a detailed job announcement. Interested candidates should apply through Jobs@IU. Review of applications will begin on April 25, 2014.
February 14, 2014: Colloquium Summary- Doug Schuler
Prof. Douglas Schuler views high ranking governmental officials’ visits to firms in China as an important form of business-government relations. Host firms have the opportunity to strengthen personal relationships with government officials, build public recognition, increase prestige, and attain important inside information. However, they may also derive direct material benefits. By applying an event analysis to incidences of Chinese firms hosting high ranking government offices, Prof. Schuler has found that these firms enjoy a potentially significant increase in stock prices. The firms that appear to receive the greatest positive impact to sock price tended to be less profitable, more indebted, more R&D intensive, lacked politically-connected CEO’s, and were larger than other firms in the sample.
Doug Schuler is Associate Professor of Business and Public Policy at Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. His research focuses upon the political activities of business firms and corporate social responsibility. Prof. Schuler’s work has appeared in many scholarly outlets, including the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Re-view, Strategic Management Journal, California Management Review, Journal of Management, Business and Politics, Business & Society, among others.
January 17, 2014: Zhao speaks on Chinese Nationalism and Its Implications
Suisheng Zhao explained how characteristics of Chinese nationalism have changed over time and what are the foreign policy implications of such a change. Up until the 1990’s, Chinese nationalism was a pragmatic and affirmative nationalism. Since the state’s legitimacy was based on economic performance, and China’s status in the world was relatively weak, the government pursued stable and peaceful relationship with neighboring countries. However, as China’s economic status has risen with the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, Chinese nationalism has reemerged to take a more assertive and aggressive form. Prof. Zhao points to weaker and less charismatic leadership, commercialization of media and internet development, and convergence of state and popular nationalism as three driving factors in the emergence of assertive nationalism. The foriegn policy implications of this shift are that China is no longer as moderate in its international affairs and is less likely to compromise when its national interests are perceived to be at stake.
Suisheng Zhao is Professor and Director of the Center for China-US Cooperation at Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. A member of the Board of Governors of the US Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific, a member of National Committee on US-China Relations, a Campbell National Fellow at Hoover Institution of Stanford University, and a Research Associate at the Fairbanks Center for East Asian Research in Harvard University, he is the founder and chief editor of the Journal of Contemporary China.
December 4, 2013: Conference Opens China Philanthropy Initiative Research
The RCCPB and Lilly Family School of Philanthropy led the successful “Advancing China Philanthropy Research” Conference in Beijing on November 12, 2013. Initiative scholars had the opportunity to discuss their projects and benefited from conversations on the issues surrounding philanthropy in China.
Angela Bies, Director of International Programs and Associate Professor of Philanthropic Studies at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, opened the conference with an overview of global philanthropy research. Her talk was followed by RCCPB Director Scott Kennedy’s discussion of how China’s political economy influences the philanthropic sector. Shawn Shieh of the China Development Brief ended the first session by introducing recent philanthropic trends in China.
The next segment of the conference saw the individual Philanthropy Initiative scholars introducing their own projects. Their research will explore a wide range of topics including corporate social responsibility, Chinese NGO activities, philanthropy funding patterns and organizational structure for non-profit groups. The conference closed with a discussion of the Initiative’s own future philanthropic activity. The Initiative scholars plan to meet again in Beijing for Summer 2014 and during November 2014 in Indianapolis.
December 2, 2013: RCCPB searching for Webmaster to begin in January
The RCCPB is now hiring for a part-time Webmaster based at its Bloomington, Indiana office. The Webmaster is responsible for updating and developing the Center’s website, maintaining the Center’s contact database, and assisting with varied communications tasks. The RCCPB Webmaster will have the excellent opportunities to build their web design portfolio in a dynamic and pathbreaking organization.
Click here for a detailed job description. Please direct all inquiries to Roy Hooper, Center Coordinator at email@example.com. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position has been filled.
November 18, 2013: RCCPB Director op-ed piece featured in Wall Street Journal
RCCPB Director Scott Kennedy’s op-ed piece on the implications of the decision by Chinese Communist Party’s Third Plenum to pursue an economic reform agenda was featured in November 18th’s Wall Street Journal. Click here for the text of the article.
November 1, 2013: Givens Discusses the Lawyers that Sue the Chinese State
The lawyers that regularly sue the Chinese state are the usually the same lawyers defending it on the next case, according to Dr. John Givens. Although “human rights lawyers” receive the lion’s share of media attention, in fact, they account for a small percentage of the total number of cases brought against units of the Chinese government. Most of the lawsuits brought against the Chinese state, like demolition compensation (拆迁补偿) cases, fall under the category of administrative law. The lawyers that successfully pursue these cases with frequency have the political capital to shield themselves from retribution. These lawyers protect themselves and make success more likely by using a number of strategies like suing across local or provincial boundaries, simultaneously suing several governmental units, and leveraging media pressure.
Speaker: John Wagner Givens is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Center for Asian Democracy at the University of Louisville. His research, based on two years of fieldwork and 175 interviews, is about lawyers who sue the Chinese state. He also consults for a non-profit organization that works with Chinese lawyers.
John Givens, "Suing Dragons? Taking the Chinese State to Court"
John Givens, Question and Answer.
October 2013October 28, 2013: 7th Annual China Town Hall Explores Broad Range of Issues
The RCCPB, East Asian Studies Center, and Chinese Flagship Center collaborated to host the annual National Committee on United States-China Relations’ China Town Hall Event. The evening began with Dong Wenqi’s presentation on “The Historical Development and Current Status of Chinese Non-Profit Organizations”. Prof. Dong discussed the philosophical underpinnings of civil society in China, the current state of the non-profit Chinese sector, and the future of non-profit organizations in China. Gardner Bovingdon then delivered a lecture titled “China, the International Community, and the Problems of Borders”. His presentation explored China’s various border disputes with neighboring countries and their implications for Chinese domestic and foreign policy.
In her opening remarks, Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright stressed the importance of the US-China relationship and discussed the means by which the two countries can constructively engage. The following question-and-answer session covered a span of topics ranging from the “China Dream” to the growing role of China in the Middle East. Following the telecast, Prof. Bovingdon delivered closing remarks. He cautioned that scholars of international policy issues should critically examine notions of American values and American indispensability in the international system. Prof. Bovingdon also praised Former Secretary of State Albright’s candid discussion and deep understanding of the wide range of relevant policy issues.
Dr. Wenqi Dong is an Associate Professor with the School of Public Administation at Central South University in China. Her research interests include non-profit marketing, the Chinese welfare security apparatus, and the third sector. She is current a visiting research scholar at IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Dr. Dong has published two books: Study on the Co-marketing of Non-profit Organizations and Community Public Management, and more than twenty papers.
Gardner Bovingdon is Associate Professor in the departments of Central Eurasian Studies, International Studies, and East Asian Languages and Cultures. He is also adjunct in the departments of Political Science and History. He specializes in the study of identity politics and territorial conflict with a focus on China, Taiwan, and Central Asia. He has written a number of articles and book chapters on politics in Xinjiang, historiography, and China's policies toward non-Hans. His book, The Uyghurs: Strangers in Their Own Land, was published by Columbia in 2010. He is now conducting research on national identity and urban planning in Kazakhstan.
Wenqi Dong, “The Historical Development and Current Status of Chinese Non-Profit Organizations”
Gardner Bovingdon, “China, the International Community,and the Problem of Borders”
Madeline Albright, “Issues in US-China Relations”
October 7, 2013: Weston Discusses the History of Chinese Journalists
By illuminating the lives and deaths of reporters in the late 1920’s, Prof. Tim Weston explained the role of journalists in China as they transformed from crude writers into intellectual reporters and heroic martyrs of state repression. New ideas about journalists and the news began to arise in China following the overthrow of the imperial system in 1911. While Chinese “journalists” existed before this period, the idea of the journalist as a professional and neutral reporter was comparatively new. The idea that newsprint should be created with social scientific methods of interviewing and an emphasis on objectivity emerged with the elevation of republican and liberal ideals by intellectuals of the period.
Speaker: Tim Weston is Associate Professor in the Department of History and Associate Director of the Center for Asian Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is author of The Power of Position: Beijing University, Intellectuals and Chinese Political Culture, 1898-1929 (2004), and co-editor of China Beyond the Headlines (2000), China’s Transformations: The Stories Beyond the Headlines (2007), and China in and Beyond the Headlines (2012).
Timothy Weston, "The Reporter in Life and Death in Early Republican China"
Timothy Weston, Questions and Answers.
August 2013: RCCPB Searching for Center Coordinator and Communications Director
The RCCPB is now hiring for two positions, a Center Coordinator and a Communications Director. Both positions are based in Bloomington, Indiana. The Center Coordinator will be responsible for managing the Indiana office and organizing the RCCPB's events in the US and China. The Communications Director will manage the center's diverse communications needs, including its database, publications, and web site. Click here for detailed job announcements. Interested candidates should apply through Jobs@IU, http://jobs.iu.edu. Review of applications will begin on September 5 for the Center Coordinator, September 6 for the Communications Director, and continue until the positions are full.
August 2013: Coverage on Philanthropy Initiative Grants
RCCPB Director Scott Kennedy and Angela Bies, Director of International Programs, in the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, have been awarded grants for a new Initiative on Philanthropy in China. The initiative will include research projects by 11 scholars, workshops and conferences, publications, a new course, student internships, and carrying out a philanthropic activity to address a social problem in China.
The Henry Luce Foundation has provided an award of $300,000, and the Ford Foundation another for $109,000. For the Indiana University press release, click here.The grants were also reported by Inside Indiana Business, click here. For more about the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, click here.
April 2013: RCCPB sponsors successful conference on China in Africa
The RCCPB teamed up with IUPUI and the Sagamore Institute to sponsor the conference, “China in Africa: A New Model of International Development?” Held at the Sagmore Institute in Indianapolis on April 26th, the conference’s opening remarks were given by Donald Cassell, director of Sagamore’s Africa portfolio. He proposed that China and Africa should promote a peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial relationship. He was followed by Ian McIntosh, the Director of International Partnership at IUPUI and Dr. Zao Xu, the director of the Confucius Institute.
The main part of conference consisted of two panels. In the first, Deborah Brautigam, Professor of International Development and Comparative Politics at Johns Hopkins, stated that the Western view of China being a threat and new colonist of African nations is often inaccurate. She discussed Chinese pragmatism and instances of their effective developmental measures in African countries while pointing out alarming problems that the Chinese brought to the continent such as arm transfers and environmental problems. In the afternoon panel, Michael Fairbanks, co-founder of Seven Fund and Senior Economic Advisor to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, stated that while China has African strategies, Africa does not have a China strategy. In order to gain more bargaining power, African countries should unite and make collective policy towards China. The conference generated a broad discussion from the discussants at the two panels and the audience including Dr. Chen, from the Heritage Group, who shared his experience as a businessman working in Africa.
April 2013: Media Coverage on RCCPB Policy Recommendations Report on Global Governance
In April 2013, Scott Kennedy and He Fan released and presented a co-authored report offering policy recommendations on how to move forward global governance in the 21st century. Entitled, The United States, China, and Global Governance: A New Agenda for a New Era (中美两国与全球治理：新时代的新议题), the report holds that there is a significant global governance deficit, and that both China and United States need to be more responsible stakeholders of the international system. Kennedy and Fan offer specific recommendations related to strengthening global governance in general and with regard to international trade, cross-border investment, and global finance.
This report was presented at four events in New York City, Washington D.C., and Beijing. Please see below for links to podcasts, webcasts, and international media coverage:
National Committee on US-China Relations (Link)
AmCham China (Link)
Kissinger Center for China and the United States (Link)
National Committee on US-China Relations (Link)
March 26, 2013: Caterpillar Shows How to make Inroads in Asia
On March 25, 2013, Kevin Thieneman, who until recently headed Caterpillar’s business in China, India, and ASEAN, shared his experience of conducting business in Asia with a campus-wide audience. He introduced Caterpillar’s strategies and business models in different countries as well as the effort to influence countries’ policies that are relevant to Caterpillar’s products and business. He especially emphasized the importance of a growing China, which accounts for 46% of the global construction equipment market. He introduced four stages of Caterpillar’s growth in China, transforming from equipment sales to bringing Caterpillar’s business models to China. Caterpillar now has 25 facilities and employees 15,000 people in China. He also discussed the new trend of Chinese going abroad to invest, and mentioned that they need help to extend their overseas market share. He also gave interesting anecdotes about cultural sensitivity when doing business in China; for example, after hearing input from local employees, Caterpillar changed its mission statement from “win in China” to “win with China” to ensure that others did not see Caterpillar as overly aggressive.
This event was highlighted by active involvement from the audience. Mr. Thieneman answered interesting questions from the audience such as how China’s weak protection of intellectual property rights affects their business in China and how Caterpillar differentiates its global market. Mr. Thieneman, who is an alumnus of Indiana University and is now President of Caterpillar Forest Products based in LaGrange, Georgia, expressed his desire to expand ties between his company and IU and welcomed students to join the company in the future.
The RCCPB recorded parts of this event, the clips are available below.
Kevin Theneman, colloquium speech.
Kevin Theneman, Questions and Answers.
January 25, 2013: 7th and final Chinese Industry-US Government Roundtable
The RCCPB hosted the 7th and final Chinese Industry-US Government Roundtable on January 25, 2013, in Beijing, at the Kempinski Hotel. The purpose of the series has been to provide a platform for sharing views and building friendships between two groups who have insufficient opportunities to get to know each other. Since July 2010, the center has brought together a total of 19 US embassy officials, 24 Chinese business people, and 3 independent experts to participate in the roundtable. Most participants have attended more than one event. The industry participants represent a wide variety of sectors and come from around the country.
Roundtable topics have included innovation and intellectual property rights, global rebalancing, state-owned enterprises, the 12th Five-Year Plan, foreign investment, and strategic emerging industries. The final roundtable focused on what steps need to occur for the US-China relationship to be strengthened in the future. The ties created through the roundtable have created greater opportunities for understanding between the two countries, and participants promised to share the positive experience of the roundtable with others from their home country.
The roundtable series was graciously supported through a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. The RCCPB is now developing plans for a new series of activities that will continue to bring together important segments of American and Chinese societies.
November 12, 2012: Howson critiques China’s insider trading laws enforcement
On November 12, the RCCPB hosted its last colloquium of the semester, a talk by University of Michigan Law Professor Nicholas Howson, on the problems of China’s insider trading laws. His presentation challenged the legitimacy of China’s insider trading enforcement, arguing that the guidance that the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) is relying on itself is unlawful and unenforceable. He explained to the audience that this is because the CSRC’s own guidance is inconsistent with the People’s Republic of China (PRC)’s statute on insider trading prohibition laid out in the 2006 Securities Law. The guidance that the agency currently relies on is ultra vires, going beyond the limited object of the relevant statutory authorization.
Dr. Howson’s also pointed out that despite this unlawful enforcement mechanism, individuals and firms that are regulated have showed a remarkable tolerance to CSRC’s regulation. This demonstrates the weakness of the rule of law in China. He noted, though, that the CSRC itself has recently recognized this deficiency, and may take steps to bring its enforcement back in line with Chinese statutes.
October 29, 2012: CHINA Town Hall--Successful Global Communication
On October 29, 2012, the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business (RCCPB), East Asian Studies Center (EASC), and the Center for Chinese Language Pedagogy (CCLP) co-hosted the annual China Town Hall. Organized and sponsored by the National Committee on US-China Relations, the event featured an address by American Ambassador to China Gary Locke broadcast to over 50 locations throughout the United States, accompanied by speeches given experts at each of these locations. For more information please visit the event's official website (click here).
At IU, Vivian Ling of the CCLP presided over the evening. The program began with a lecture by doctoral student Zhao Shuang, who spoke in Chinese as part of the CCLP’s Chinese Tidings Lecture series on “Opportunities and Challenges in US-China Relations.” She discussed the importance of US-China relations in world politics and provided an overview of issues and problems in US-China relations. The second part of the event featured the RCCPB Director Scott Kennedy, who looked at the relationship from the perspective of an American who lives in China. Professor Kennedy discussed the sources of mistrust between the US and China, providing examples on why this mistrust may exist, and shared his experience in working in the field of US-China relations.
In his remarks, beamed from Beijing, Ambassador Locke tried to reassure the Chinese and others of the America’s good intentions in working with the Chinese government to address current economic challenges and to promote stability of the Asian-Pacific Region. He also stressed that his team would continue to press the Chinese government for more market access and for making the Renminbi’s value more market-driven. Ambassador Locke answered questions about Chinese currency, Chinese leadership, the South China Sea, Tibet, trade, and other issues from a nation-wide audience.
“Chinese American Talks,” a student group in the Kelley School of Business, recorded the event and produced the short video clips below:
Zhao Shuang, "China-US relations: Opportunities and Challenges."
Scott Kennedy, US-China Relations: Viewed from an American in Beijing.
Ambassador Gary Locke, National Speaker (via webcast).
September 21, 2012: Morton Calls China Strategic Reformer on Global Governance of Food Security
Katherine Morton, Associate Dean for Research in the College of Asia and the Pacific and Senior Fellow in the Department of International Relations at the Australian National University, paid a one-week visit to the RCCPB in Indiana in mid-September. The highlight of her visit was a talk, given on September 21st, which focused on China’s role in the global governance of food security. Dr. Morton placed China’s participation in global food security regime into a broader debate about whether China is a status-quo power or a challenger to the current international system. Through discussing a variety of governmental policies and behavior, she concluded that China does not stand opposed to international food regime, nor does it stand by as a passive taker of international rules. Rather, China appears to be pursuing a pragmatic strategy of seeking to bring about substantial reforms.
Dr. Morton’s presentation summarized the findings of her recent working paper [Click Here] she completed as part of the RCCPB’s Initiative on China and Global Governance.
In her talk, Dr. Morton reviewed the evolution of the global food governance regime, which has gradually changed from a product of two major world wars aiming to combat world hunger to a more fragmented system, which struggles to strike a balance between trade and the humanitarian and strategic interests of donors. This fragmentation she argues brings an opportunity for China to “shape both the normative and practical aspects of the global agenda.”
Dr. Morton argued that China’s emerging role in global food security governance is driven by its domestic dynamics. On the one hand, China realized its self-reliance thanks to its economic reform and technology innovation. On the other hand, China is increasingly food insecure because of increased shortages of land, water, and labor. This also led to a new element of Chinese policy-outsourcing farmland. However, she indicated that outsourcing in remote areas such as Africa has reignited debates in China’s central policymaking circle because of its high cost. Dr. Morton also discussed China’s distinct pattern in food aid and agricultural assistance from other developed countries, such as the United States and commented on China’s position change from a doubter to a strong advocate of global governance of food security.
August 2012: Article on the Center's Beijing office published by George Vlahakis
On August 30, a new article titled “On the scene in Beijing” was published on the blog site IU Inc. about the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business. Written by George Vlahakis, the article talks about the RCCPB’s office in Beijing and discusses the increasingly important role it plays in the community of scholars and stakeholders in China. To read the complete article, please click here.
IU Inc. is a blog that provides news and views about the many ways that IU, its faculty, and students are engaged in international partnerships and research. It is a part of a larger university-wide blog effort, Viewpoints.
April 20, 2012: Tim Oakes discusses tourism and religion in China
On April 20, the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business hosted its final colloquium of the semester, a talk by University of Colorado geographer and China specialist Tim Oakes. Oakes spoke to a group of 30 students, faculty and community members at Indiana University, Bloomington, about his most recent co-edited volume, Faiths on Display: Religion, Tourism, and the Chinese State, and his field research in ancient tunpu villages in the southwestern province of Guizhou. Oakes focused his remarks on the practice of dixi, a ritual performance that is an important element in the local tourism industry. Oakes analyzed the ethnic, political and commercial dimensions of dixi performances, and suggested that although contemporary practices differ in important respects from earlier, historical forms, the practices of dixi performance today should not be viewed as inauthentic. Oakes answered a range of questions from audience members, including a question on the impact of market forces in shaping cultural practices, and the involvement of the government in regulating dixi performance, and whether Miao minority groups in Guizhou also practiced dixi. Oakes noted that historically, dixi was identified with the Han descendants of Ming dynasty soldiers sent to the Guizhou area in the 1300's to defeat the remnants of the Mongolian Yuan dynasty. Nevertheless in recent years, some Miao villages had begun performing dixi in the hopes of reviving the vitality and economic fortunes of their relatively disadvantaged communities.
April 13, 2012: Dickson gave talk on changes to China's development model
On April 13, 2012, Bruce Dickson, a member of the RCCPB advisory board and Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University, gave a talk at Indiana University on recent changes to the Chinese economic model. Dickson, whose most recent book, Allies of the State was published in 2010, discussed the attempts of China's government to shift the country away from reliance on cheap labor and exports to a more sophisticated, innovative economy that featured Chinese national champions with global brand names and a high capacity for autonomous technological innovation. Dickson also highlighted a number of challenges China and its leaders face, including the need to respond to foreign protectionism, reassure global consumers of the safety of Chinese products, and respond to the rising expectations of the emerging Chinese middle class. Dickson answered questions from the audience of around thirty students, faculty and community members on a wide range of topics, including among others, the challenge of defining the middle class in a country such as China, the recent controversies surrounding former Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai, and the impact of foreign pressure on the domestic Chinese reform process.
Feb 23: Blum speaks on Chinese higher education
On February 23, the RCCPB hosted a talk on Indiana University Bloomington campus by the University of Notre Dame's Susan Blum on her ongoing research into the expansion of mass higher education in China. Blum, who is Chair of Notre Dame's Anthropology department, traced the development of China's system of education from imperial times through the present. Especially since the 1990's, the Chinese system of higher education has grown dramatically and the country now boasts the world's largest tertiary system of higher education in terms of total number of students and number of institutions of higher learning. Blum discussed changes to the system of education, including the proliferation of private and specialized training institutions, as well as changes in the financing of higher education. Blum emphasized that while a world-class education is now available for many affluent Chinese, especially in the developed coastal provinces, inequality in access remains a pressing concern, as it is in much of the rest of the world. Blum answered numerous questions from the audience, including questions on popular media portrayals of Chinese youth and college life, access to higher education for minority groups, and experimental changes in school curriculum.
Jan 2012: Dan Rosen speaks at Indiana University on the prospects of Chinese direct investment
On January 27, 2012, the RCCPB hosted Daniel Rosen, who gave a talk on the IU-Bloomington campus on the prospects and challenges of increased Chinese foreign direct investment in the United States. Rosen, who is an adjunct professor at Columbia University, principle of the Rhodium Group, and a fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics, shared the results of a multi-year study into the growth of Chinese foreign direct investment in the United States, which has risen to more than $6 billion in 2010. These capital inflows are widely underestimated by official data, which mistakenly attributes to other countries much of the investment flowing into the United States from China.
Chinese investment is directed to a variety of sectors and is geographically dispersed, thus benefiting Americans across all regions of the country. Rosen cautioned the audience that while the potential for future Chinese investment may be large, attracting investment depends on sustaining Americans' commitment to economic openness, free trade, and educational excellence. Rosen also noted that there was as yet little evidence to suggest that Chinese foreign investment was being diverted to the European Union or other advanced economies as a result of American trade protectionism or limits on Chinese investment. In fact, Rosen showed that American authorities have imposed relatively more restrictions on investment from such long-standing American allies as the United Kingdom, Israel and Australia than on China. More information on the study is available on the Rhodium Group's website.