John Pomfret examines the remarkable history of the two-centuries-old relationship between the United States and China, from the Revolutionary War to the present day.
Happy Lunar New Year! 祝你新年快乐！
January 27, 2017
President Donald Trump has stimulated considerable discussion with his tweets regarding China, Taiwan, and the South China Sea. But across America this is the tweet that really has people talking.
Yes, lunar new year is now a national holiday, part of the President’s campaign to Make America Great Again. NOT.
In fact, this Trump tweet didn’t originate on the president’s Android phone, but rather on a Chinese website, one of several, that allows users to emulate @realDonaldTrump and send each other new year’s greetings and more. We made the tweet as a new year's gift to all. Twitter is blocked by the Chinese government’s Great Firewall, but interest in the U.S. election was enormous and awareness of the president’s fondness for Twitter is acute. More than 731 million Chinese use the internet and many are fond of social media, so netizens are manufacturing “Trump tweets” by the thousands. The White House has so far declined comment on the Chinese knock-offs.
Here at the USC U.S.-China Institute, we’re anxious to wish you and your families the very best Year of the Rooster. As is our custom, we’ve collected lunar new year stamps from across the world. You can see them below. We'd love to hear which are your favorites. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or let us know via Twitter or Facebook.
Brick and mortar retailers have been having a difficult time in both the U.S. and China as e-commerce has exploded. Latching on to any potential marketing hook, therefore makes good sense. Here in Southern California, South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa has worked hard to attract and serve both Asian American and Asian visitors. Since 2012 merchants there began to accept Union Pay, the dominant Chinese credit card network. As tourism from China has picked up, other malls began working to capture some of those tourist dollars. They offer entertainment such as lion dances, music, and acrobats. Many malls and retailers, including outlet malls, have also seized upon the red envelope 红包custom and give shoppers envelopes with coupons for free items or discounts.
Los Angeles is the top destination for Chinese tourists. More than one million came here in 2016. Ten years ago, only 320,000 visitors came to the U.S. from mainland China. Nearly ten times that many visited in 2016. Chinese visitors are said to stay longer and spend more than those from other countries. So it’s no surprise that shops would clamor for their business. New York, Chicago, and San Francisco are among the other cities where retailers are hanging up lanterns and decorating windows with roosters.
It may be, however, that those Chinese visiting high-end shops aren’t buying as much as they used to. Chinese buyers consumed one-third of the luxury goods sold worldwide in 2016, according to a December report from Bain and Co. But they are buying more of those goods in China rather than during travels abroad. Part of this stems from the decline in the value of the yuan and China’s overall luxury spending declined in 2016 by $1 billion to $18.2 billion.
Still, theme parks are also using the lunar new year for a marketing push. Universal Studios has a Mandarin-speaking Megatron (from the Transformers films) and Disneyland has Mulan, Mushu, and a new character, Little Lantern in a new performance. Park restaurants are offering Asian fare including dumplings 小笼包.
Interested in what Chinese make of President Trump? Please visit our website or YouTube channel to see a presentation by Yawei Liu, director of the Carter Center’s China program. Prof. Liu notes that given the restrictions on political discussion in China, especially in the long run up to this fall’s 19th Communist Party Congress, many Chinese enjoyed being able to follow and offer opinions about America’s candidates. In addition to looking at social media and state media pronouncements, Liu discussed the views of some particularly influential observers.
On January 13, USC and the China studies field lost an outstanding scholar and mentor and America lost a great citizen diplomat. John “Jack” Wills, Jr. taught at USC for four decades and did much to advance Asian studies at the university. He remained active after his retirement in 2004, carrying out and publishing influential research, organizing and speaking at conferences, and nurturing the next generation of China specialists. Please click here to learn more about this remarkable fellow.
Again, many thanks to all who read and share our newsletter! Special thanks to those who attend our events, watch our videos, and, especially, support us financially. It's easy to send us a hongbao.
Best wishes to all for a safe and productive year. 金鸡贺岁庆吉祥！
The USC U.S.-China Institute
For you: Our Rooster Year stamp collection.
Hong Kong, 2005
Dominica Disney Lunar Calendar
French Polynesia, 1993
Ivory Coast, 2017
Marshall Islands, 2005
Netherlands Antilles, 2005
New Caledonia, 2005
New Zealand, 2017
North Korea, 1993
Saint Kits, 2005
Sierra Leone, 2005
South Africa, 2005
South Korea, 2017
St. Vincent, 2005
United Kingdom, 2017
Screening - Nirvana 走出尘埃
February 2, 2017 - 4:00pm
Wallis Annenberg Hall, ANN 106
Please join the USC U.S.-China Institute for the screening of Nirvana. The screening (Chinese with English subtitles) will be followed by a discussion with director Xie Xiao-dong.
Digital East Asia: Emerging Trends in Public Policy and Regulation
February 10, 2017 - 10:00am
Los Angeles, California
USC East Asian Studies Center is proud to announce a new symposium series on the “Interdisciplinary Study of East Asian Business.” The first symposium will focus on the question of “Digital East Asia” with a broad understanding of the role of business as related to the digital world.
The Perfect Dictatorship: China in the 21st Century
March 2, 2017 - 4:00pm
Los Angeles, California
Please join the USC U.S.-China Institute for a book talk by Stein Ringen. In "The Perfect Dictatorship: China in the 21st Century," Stein examines how China’s distinctive governmental system works and where it may be moving.
Hollywood Made in China
March 9, 2017 - 4:00pm
Los Angeles, California
The USC U.S.-China Institute presents a talk by Aynne Kokas from the University of Virginia. Kokas' new book, "Hollywood Made in China," offers an in-depth look at China’s growing role in the global media industries and how it is shaping Hollywood in the twenty-first century.
The Long US-China Institute invites you to an exciting lineup of events, featuring talks and discussions on contemporary China and its dynamic with the U.S., with focus on defining political, social, and cultural influences.
January 28, 2017 - 12:00am
The short-lived Tokyo magazine Provoke is now recognized as a major achievement in world photography of the last 50 years. Although it existed only for three issues and a mere nine months—November 1968 through August 1969—Provoke crystallized the best of progressive art photography and cultural criticism in Japan during the 1960s and early 1970s. This exhibition is the first anywhere in the world to provide a thorough history of the Provoke movement and to draw out the many connections between photography, political protest, and performance in postwar Japan.
East meets West: Innovative Pedagogies to Bring Asia into the Classroom
February 6, 2017 - 2:30pm
Fort Worth, Texas
An interdisciplinary seminar-style exploration of East Asian civilizations with emphasis on innovative pedagogical tools.
Asia Under The Big Top
October 14, 2016 - February 13, 2017
he Ringling presents the exhibit, "Asia Under the Big Top", exploring how stereotypes and fantasies of Asia played to American audiences under the big top through lithographs printed to advertise American circuses from the last quarter of the 19th century through the first half of the 20th century.
Tales Of Our Time
November 4, 2016 - March 10, 2017
New York, New York
The Guggenheim presents "Tales of Our Time," which will display new works by artists hailing from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. This exhibition will offer a heterogeneous view of contemporary art from China and explore tensions between individual narratives and the constructions of mainstream history
Chen Chan Chen
September 30, 2016 - March 12, 2017
The Honolulu Museum of Art presents the exhibit "Chen Chan Chen," by three artists who grew up during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The idea for the project began when the three participating artists discovered unexpected overlaps among their histories.
Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy: Stories Of Chinese Food And Identity In America
October 6, 2016 - March 26, 2017
New York, New York
The Museum of Chinese in America presents conversations around a dinner table with 34 Chinese and Asian-American chefs. Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy weaves together complex stories through a dynamic video installation featuring pioneering chefs such as Cecilia Chiang, Ken Hom, Anita Lo, Ming Tsai, and Martin Yan; new restaurateurs like Peter Chang, Eddie Huang, Vivian Ku, and Danny Bowien; and persevering home cooks like Ni Biying, Yvette Lee and Ho-chin Yang.
Ferocious Beauty: Wrathful Deities From Tibet And Nepal
November 13, 2016 - April 16, 2017
The Art Walters Museum exhibit, "Ferocious Beauty," presents striking works of Himalayan art depict wrathful Buddhist deities with fearsome qualities.
Hung Liu: Scales Of History
December 7, 2016 - April 30, 2017
The Fresno Art Museum hosts works of Hung Liu. Liu was born in China in 1948 and studied mural painting at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing before immigrating to the United States in 1984.
Xu Bing: Monkeys Grasp For The Moon
November 28, 2016 - Ongoing
The Freer Sackler Gallery presents "Monkeys Grasp for the Moon," a suspended sculpture designed specifically for the Sackler Gallery by Chinese artist Xu Bing (born 1955), as part of an October 2001 exhibition of his work titled Word Play: Contemporary Art by Xu Bing.
Hung Yi: Dragon Fortune
December 12, 2016 - Ongoing
San Francisco, California
The Asian Art Museum presents Dragon Fortune, a hulking, psychedelic dragon painted in every color of the rainbow, from its fiery horns down to its checkered purple sneakers by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi.
Pure Amusements: Chinese Scholar Culture And Emulators
December 24, 2016 - Ongoing
A new installation, Pure Amuseuments features Chinese works ranging from prints to sculpture and furnishings to ceramics drawn from SAM's collection and focused on objects created for, and enjoyed during, the intentional practice of leisure.
Santa Monica, California
Kick-off the Lunar New Year with a celebration of the Year of the Rooster. Also known as the Spring Festival, the celebration will feature entertainment such as the traditional Chinese Lion Dance, Korean Fan Dance, a Chinese classical musical duo, stilt walkers, a Wishing Tree, arts & crafts, a balloon twister, Chinese Dough Art and more!
Chinese New Year Celebration at the Lansu Chinese Garden
January 28 - Feburary 6, 2017
Learn more about Chinese New Year, the most colorful and joyous of all Chinese festivals during Lan Su's two-week celebration.
CIDBIA Lunar New Year Celebration
January 29, 2017 - 11:00am
The Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area will host a Lunar New Year Celebration in Seattle's Chinatown-International District.
Chinese New Year Celebration with the New York Philharmonic
January 31, 2017 - 7:30pm
New York, New York
The New York Philharmonic ushers in the Year of the Rooster with a festive concert featuring Puccini’s ravishing Turandot; beloved Chinese folk and art songs; a new trumpet concerto, Joie Éternelle (Eternal Joy); and Ravel’s immortal Boléro — which crescendos into an auspicious new year of good fortune!
Chinese New Year Festival at the Huntington
February 4, 2017 - 10:00am
San Marino, California
Join the fun as we welcome the Year of the Rooster at The Huntington’s annual Chinese New Year Celebration, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4–5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Golden Dragon Parade & Chinese New Year Festival
February 4, 2017 - 12:00pm
Los Angeles, California
Join in one of L.A.'s oldest traditions at the 118th (count them—118!) annual Chinese New Year parade and festival in Downtown's Chinatown.
Alhambra Lunar New Year Festival
February 11, 2017 - 10:00am
Scope out more than 250 food and craft booths while lion dances, kung fu demonstrations and other performances play out across two stages. This annual street fest takes place on Valley Boulevard in Alhambra between Almansor and Vega streets. The festival follows a three-week art exhibition at Alhambra City Hall.
Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco
February 11, 2017 - 6:00pm
San Francisco, California
Named one of the top ten Parades in the world by IFEA, the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco is one of the few remaining night illuminated Parades in the country.
The USC U.S.-China Institute presents a talk by Lenora Chu, whose new book explores what takes place behind closed classroom doors in China's education system. Chu’s eye-opening investigation challenges assumptions and considers the true value and purpose of education.
The USC U.S.-China Institute, USC Pacific Asia Museum, and USC Shoah Foundation present a screening of the film Above the Drowning Sea, the story of the dramatic escape of European Jews from Nazi-controlled Europe to Shanghai on the eve of World War Two. Followed by a panel conversation.