Category Archives: China & East Asia
“The Chinese Model of Democracy is a Major Competitor to Liberal Democracy”
“Religion and New Realities, Moscow, Kiev, and Shanghai”
“Iowa’s Role in Agriculture and International trade: Why Tariffs and Trade Agreements Matter”
Chad Hart is an extension economist and associate professor of economics at Iowa State University. Chad is a native of southwest Missouri, growing up on a rural homestead near Stark City, Missouri. He received his Ph.D. in economics and statistics in 1999 from Iowa State University. His work has concentrated on crop marketing, crop insurance, international trade agreements, and bioenergy policy. Chad is also a partner in FarmRisk, an Iowa firm that develops revenue insurance products for agriculture.
Over the course of the past couple of years, there has been a lot of conversation about international trade and the benefits/costs from it. From the renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the volley of tariff announcements between the U.S. and China, international trade policy is in a state of flux. That uncertainty has direct and indirect impacts for the Iowa economy, as Iowa’s (and the U.S.) agriculture sector has developed to meet international needs. In this discussion, we will explore the current set of trade agreements, disputes, and organizations; examine how Iowa agriculture fits in the global economic system; and outline the benefits and costs from international trade.
“Hollowing Out the Middle: Chinese and American Rural Depopulation”
Rubie Watson is a social anthropologist, now retired. She received her Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and has taught at the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University. She is author of “Inequality among Brothers: Class and Kinship in South China” and has co-authored and edited books on Chinese society and culture. Rubie is the former Director of Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology. Currently, she is writing a book tentatively entitled “The Closers: Institutional Collapse in the Rural Midwest.” She grew up on a small Illinois farm and now lives in Iowa City and rural Illinois.
The U.S., China, and many other countries are experiencing significant rural depopulation. Recent changes in demographic trends will be discussed as well as consequences of depopulation on rural society and culture.
“Political Conflicts Among Ethnic Minorities in China”
Elise Pizzi is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa. Currently, she is teaching a graduate level course on Chinese Politics and an undergraduate course on Comparative Environmental Policy. Past courses she Elise taught at the University of Iowa concerned political violence and global development. She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Colorado in 2015. Before attending graduate school, she taught English in Sichuan, China and spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Georgia (2005-2007). Her research primarily focuses on less developed regions and countries, in particular in China. She studies distributive politics, including government provision of public goods and services, and natural resource management. Her ongoing research focuses on ethnic politics and poverty alleviation in rural China. Elise received a Fulbright grant to study drinking water access in rural China in 2013. She regularly returns to China for ongoing research and to indulge her love of spicy sour soup.
Who are China’s ethnic minorities? Professor Pizzi will discuss the identity and political status of China’s ethnic minority groups and minority autonomous regions. She also will present ongoing research related to political action by ethnic minorities in China.
“Why the Japanese School Year Begins in Cherry Blossom Time”
Karen Wachsmuth will share her recent experiences as a Fulbright International Education Administrator awardee to Japan. While in the country, she met with Ministry of Education officials, top-level university administrators, professors, high school teachers, guidance counselors, students, and job placement agencies. She will share with us how their differing viewpoints reflected unique and sometimes contradictory aspects of Japanese culture and history. She will also discuss the context of her travels to Hiroshima, Tokyo, and Kyoto, which took place during a year in which U.S.-Japan relations were undergoing epic, positive change.
Wachsmuth is a Juilliard-trained conductor, musician, and scholar. Under her dynamic and innovative leadership as the UI Fulbright Program Advisor, the University of Iowa was named a top producer of Fulbright students for 2016-17, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. This is the second year in a row that UI has achieved this elite ranking.
Reminder: If you have not already done so, please renew your ICFRC membership.
“Avian Flue H7N9 and the Risk of the Next Great Pandemic”
Hans House is Professor, and Vice Chair for Education, Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Iowa. He received his undergraduate degree, Cum Laude, in Marine Biology from University of Southern California. He then received his MD degree from USC in 1997. He subsequently received a Diploma of Tropical Medicine from the London School of Tropical Medicine, and an MA in Academic Medicine from the Keck School of Medicine at USC. Dr. House holds Board Certifications as Diplomate American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Emergency Medicine.
Avian Flu was first identified in Hong Kong in 1997. Despite fears that this virus might mutate and spread rapidly around the world, it has smoldered and persisted in nature, eventually causing a few hundred deaths. More recently, a new strain, H7N9, has become established in China and has led to five seasonal waves of illness. How do new strains develop? What factors lead to their severity or spread? Why do they always seem to start in East Asia? I will explore the nature of the influenza virus and examine the latest epidemiological evidence, trying to determine the risk of H9N9 developing into the next great pandemic.
Reminder: If you have not already done so, please remember to renew your ICFRC membership.
“Culinary Nationalism: Fighting with Food”
James Watson was one of the first students to study Chinese at the University of Iowa, earning a B.A. in 1965, and received his Ph.D. in 1972 at UC Berkeley. He was, until his retirement in 2011, Fairbank Professor of Chinese Society and Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. He also taught at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies and the Universities of Pittsburgh, Hawaii, and Houston. Together with Dr. Rubie Watson, he has conducted anthropological research in Hong Kong’s New Territories since the late 1960s. His publications include Emigration and the Chinese Lineage, Kinship Organization in China, Death Ritual in Chinese Society, The Cultural Economy of Food and Eating, and Golden Arches East: McDonald’s in East Asia. The Watsons’ current project is a jointly authored book entitled The Last Colony: Everyday Life in British Hong Kong, 1898-1997.
In an ever globalizing world, food still operates today as a way of expressing cultural distinction and nationalism. Through globalization, distinct culinary practices are being shared and exchanged in an international market, competing against one another. James Watson will discuss the idea of Culinary Nationalism including the impact of rice, the global anti-GMO food movement, as well as “American” fast foods and food conglomerates. He will also share his insight into the effect food globalization will have on countries like China. Will China “eat our lunch in respect to food globalization?”
“Bushido (Samurai Spirit) in Modern Japanese Culture, Sports, and Military”
Masamichi “Masa” Yamamoto is a lawyer qualified in New York, an Adjunct Lecturer of Keio University Law School in Japan, and a former Deputy Director of the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission of Japan. He is currently enrolled in the S.J.D. program of the University of Iowa College of Law, focusing on his dissertation about international securities enforcement. He has an extensive background in both law and business, working for a Japanese company, U.S. law firms, a French company, and the Japanese government. He received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School and LL.B. and B.A. from Keio University.
Bushido is a code of moral principles that the knights (Samurai or Bushi) were required or instructed to observe. It is not a written code, but an organic growth of decades and centuries of military career. Although there are no more Samurai in Japan today, Bushido is deep-rooted in modern Japanese people in both positive and negative ways. Masa will describe how Bushido was born and developed and explain how Bushido has influenced modern Japan by illustrating recent issues in culture, sports, and military.
“The Evolving Global Commercial Aircraft Industry; Emerging Competitors from China and Russia”
This presentation will provide an overview of the current global commercial aircraft industry and potential future evolution. The current Mainline aircraft market is dominated by Boeing and Airbus, while Bombardier and Embraer dominate in the Regional category. The lecture will cover new entrants such as Japan’s Mitsubishi Aircraft, China’s Commercial Aircraft Corporation, and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation. A future scenario on the potential challenge posed by a combined effort from China and Russia will also be discussed.
David Wu is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Iowa with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto. With an extensive background in aerospace material design, he has held management positions at engineering firms for the last three decades. He received his MBA from Arizona State University in 1997 and has expertise in strategic development, product marketing, and international
“Murder to Justice—Iowa to China: A Cross-National Collaboration”
“Tong Shao, a Chinese student, attending Iowa State University, was murdered in September 2014. Her body was found on September 26, 2014 in Iowa City where her boyfriend, Xiangnan Li, lived. The police investigation lead to the Johnson County Attorney’s Office obtaining an arrest warrant for Xiangnan Li, for the murder of Tong Shao. Mr. Li, a Chinese student at the University of Iowa, fled back to China within 2 days of when Tong Shao was last seen alive. Because the United States does not have an extradition treaty with China, there were fears that Mr. Li would not be brought to justice. Not to be deterred, Iowa authorities requested the Chinese prosecute Mr. Li in China for Tong Shao’s death. Iowa City Police Det. David Gonzalez, Det. Andy Rich, Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness, and Assistant County Attorney Elizabeth Dupuich will discuss the investigation of Ms. Shao’s death, how they coordinated with Chinese authorities to have Mr. Li found and prosecuted in China, and the actual trial in China.
Janet Lyness is serving her third term as Johnson County Attorney, having been first elected in 2006. Prior to that she was an Assistant Johnson County Attorney, working in both the criminal and civil divisions. She clerked from the Seventh Judicial District Court of Iowa following law school. Janet received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Iowa and her law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council.
Liz Dupuich has been with the Johnson County Attorney’s Office since November of 2013. She currently supervises the marijuana diversion program, is the lead prosecutor assigned to the Johnson County Drug Treatment Court, and prosecutes a majority of the Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Cases in Johnson County. Prior to coming to Johnson County, Liz worked as a Deputy District Attorney with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and as a Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice.
Det. Rich has been with the Iowa City Police Department for 13 years and has been assigned to the investigations division for 5 years of his 13 years as a police officer. Det. Rich is currently assigned to Investigation Division working general crimes. Det. Rich has worked in the following capacities: patrol division, sex crimes, financial crimes, crimes against children, violent crimes, death investigations and robberies. Det. Rich is also a board member with the Iowa Sex Crimes Investigators Association.
Det. Gonzalez has been with the Iowa City Police Department for 21 years and has been assigned to investigations division for 16 of his 20 years as a police officer. Det. Gonzalez is currently assigned to the investigations division working general crimes. Det. Gonzalez is currently a board member with the IDIA (Iowa Death Investigators Association).
“Chinese Political Culture and Authoritarian Regime Resiliency”
Traditionalism. Communism. Liberalism.
All these values and more are evident in current Chinese political culture, but with the coming of China’s political modernization or lack thereof the cohesion of these ideologies will forever change the future of China and her global influence. ICFRC presents a master of the Chinese political landscape, UI Professor Wenfang Tang, who will address the current trends, existing government and future predictions.
Wenfang Tang is Stanley Hua Hsia Professor of Political Science and International Studies. His current research focuses on public opinion and political change in contemporary China, as well as comparative political behavior. He has authored and coauthored several books published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Stanford University Press, and many articles in academic journals icluding American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Public Policy, China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, among others.
Mandela Washington Fellows: Tochukwu Ikpegbu, Ameth Diallo, and Stephennette Taylor, Tuesday July 12, 2016
“China’s Emerging Influence in Africa”
The U.S. State Department’s Mandela Washington Fellowship, started in 2014
as part of the Young African Leaders Initiative created by President Obama, empowers young people from Sub-Saharan Africa through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. This year the Fellowship is providing 1,000 young ambassadors with the opportunity to hone their skills at U.S. higher education institutions. The Iowa delegation of Fellows will spend six weeks in Iowa taking entrepreneurial classes and touring the state.
Tochukwu Ikpegbu is a mechanical/production engineer from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka with over seven years experience in pork production. He has won two national awards and hopes to apply his experience into growing local businesses to reduce youth unemployment.
Ameth Diallo is a PhD student in African and Comparative Literature at Université Gaston Berger. In 2014 he ventured into an agricultural-based project in the Senegalese River Valley which earned him the Jeunes Agriculteurs prize and a grant from the US Agency for International Development. Diallo is currently working on a project he hopes to implement in his home village of Koalack.
Stephennette Taylor holds a Master of Business Administration in Accounting and a postgraduate diploma in Procurement Management. Taylor has several years experience as a manager at New World Finance and envisions establishing a microfinance bank to support agricultural products and rural emerging markets.
“U.S.—China Cyber Agreement: Is It Enough of a Good Thing?”
Cybertheft is a popular issue. I will offer my reflections on the continued need for concrete action to match the rhetoric of the norm against cybertheft. Informed observers have not yet detected a decline in the intrusions from China focused on U.S. business. Now is the time for the Administration to return to the sanctions process that was reported to be close to completion before the Xi visit several months ago.
Adam Bobrow is the President, CEO and Founder of Resilience Strategies, a strategic consultancy based in Maryland. Foresight provides advice to clients on the impact of government policy decisions and strategic decisions, particularly cyber-enabled enhancements to their products and services. Adam was recognized for his cybersecurity expertise as a Senior Fellow at the George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. Adam served the Obama Administration in a variety of positions over five years. Most recently, he was the international lead for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Adam is an attorney, having received his JD from Washington University in St. Louis and is a member of the DC Bar. Adam’s undergraduate degree is in Chinese language from Georgetown University.
“An Interest Group with Chinese Characteristics—The Role of National Oil Companies in the South China Sea”
Jeffrey Ding was born in Shanghai, China and raised in Iowa City since age three. Jeffrey is a UI Senior majoring in Political Science, Economics and Chinese. Jeffrey is the recipient of several prestigious academic awards including the Truman and Udall Scholarships, a Boren Scholar, and this fall he will begin two years as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.
Oftentimes, when American observers view Chinese foreign policy, the message from Beijing is interpreted as homogeneous – in line with a party – state that closes off channels for dissent. In fact, multiple interests multiply along increasing globalization, and more and more interest groups are influencing China’s foreign policy decisions. One of these powerful groups is composed of the powerful state-owned oil companies. This presentation will shed light how these companies play a role in the escalation of the South China Sea disputes.
“Visionaries to the Grand Celebration in Beijing—The Iowa Xi Jinping Story”
“For me, you are America,” then-Vice President of China, Xi Jinping, told Sarah Lande during a 2012 return visit to Muscatine, Iowa. This visit brought Muscatine to the national spotlight, but the visionaries behind this landmark event and the benefits enjoyed by Iowa as a result are less widely known. These visionaries, such as Governor Bob Ray, Paul Engle, and Herbert Hoover laid the groundwork for Iowa-China cultural exchanges and international cooperation. Sarah Lande will reflect upon those who started it all, the recent celebration commemorating Iowa-China relations, and what the future holds for the two of us together.
Former President and Executive Director of the Iowa Sister States organization, Sarah Lande in 1985 facilitated a visit to Muscatine by a delegation of the Chinese government including Xi Jinping (then an up-and-coming agricultural official from Hebei Province). In February of 2012, Sarah and her husband, Roger, hosted a tender reunion in their Muscatine home with old friends including Xi Jinping. Later that year, Xi in kind hosted Sarah and other Iowa friends in China, and he has since become President of the country. For her diplomatic endeavors, in 2013 Sarah was named an “Honorary Friendship Ambassador” by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. Beyond this, she has proactively served the Muscatine community throughout her lifetime. Sarah is a recipient of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Service from the University of Iowa, from which she graduated with her BA and MBA degrees.
Thirty years after Methyl IsoCyanate (MIC) leaked from the Union Carbide (now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company) pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, the disaster has claimed over 25,000 lives and over 150,000 people are chronically ill. Water and soil contamination from the abandoned factory have multiplied the impact of the disaster and have left women and children particularly vulnerable. The Bhopali survivors have waged a 30-year struggle for justice on a transnational scale, seeking adequate compensation, medical care, clean water and a comprehensive cleanup of the abandoned factory and its surroundings. Renu Pariyadath will discuss the disaster’s continuing health impacts in Bhopal today and the status of the transnational campaign produced in its wake.
Renu Pariyadath is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Communication Studies Department at the University of Iowa with a minor in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies. Renu researches migrant activism within the Indian diaspora and has been a volunteer with the international movement for justice surrounding the Bhopal gas disaster for over three years. She is interested in the barriers to and the possibilities for forging a transnational environmental and reproductive justice movement in the context of the Bhopal disaster. Renu is the Chapter and Volunteer Coordinator of the Association for India’s Development (AID-US) and former Community Outreach Coordinator for the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB). She got involved with the ICJB in 2012 when she visited Bhopal for her Ph.D. field research supported by the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research.
Will Hong Kong remain a distinctive, quasi-autonomous outpost on the southern tip of China, or will it become just another Chinese city? This talk explores the history and cultural traditions of Hong Kong in an attempt to understand the recent pro-democracy demonstrations: Why now? Who are the leaders? What do ordinary people in Hong Kong think about their future as citizens of China? The speaker, an anthropologist, seeks answers in Hong Kong’s ethnic and linguistic distinctiveness (Cantonese combined with English) and its legacy of British colonialism (1842-1997).
James Watson was one of the first students to study Chinese at the University of Iowa (BA 1965) and received his PhD (1972) at the Univ. of California at Berkeley. He was, until his retirement in 2011, Fairbank Professor of Chinese Society and Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. Watson also taught at the University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies) and the Universities of Pittsburgh, Hawaii, and Houston. Together with Dr. Rubie Watson, he has conducted anthropological research in Hong Kong’s New Territories since the late 1960s. His publications include Emigration and the Chinese Lineage, Kinship Organization in China, Death Ritual in Chinese Society, The Cultural Economy of Food and Eating, and Golden Arches East: McDonald’s in East Asia. The Watsons’ current project is a jointly authored book entitled The Last Colony: Everyday Life in British Hong Kong, 1898-1997.
“Elephants, Ivory & Yao Ming”
Africa’s remaining elephants are being machine-gunned so China’s burgeoning middle class can buy ivory knick-knacks for their living rooms. Can 7’6” former center of the Houston Rockets, Yao Ming, save the day? Ambassador McMullen will explore the fate of Africa’s elephants in the hands of a former NBA star.
McMullen, currently a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Iowa, served as U.S. Ambassador to the State of Eritrea. Ron has over 30 years of diplomatic experience and has lived, worked, or traveled in 91 countries. In Burma he worked closely with Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and pro-democracy groups. While posted in Fiji he helped prevent civil conflict after an armed takeover of parliament. He was shot at during a riot in Sri Lanka and helped train mongooses to detect heroin. He survived a voodoo curse in the Dominican Republic and took Hillary Clinton on a tour of South Africa’s Robben Island with Nelson Mandela. Between foreign assignments, Ron served for three years as Visiting Professor at the Military Academy at West Point, where he taught International Relations and Comparative Politics. He was Diplomat-In-Residence at the University of Texas at Austin 2010-2012. He has authored many scholarly works and is a three-time recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award. A native of Northwood, Iowa, he earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Iowa.