For a downloadable version of the calendar of events, please 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.
On November 29, 2011 Professor Kodama Kanako of Chiba University gave a talk on “ecological migration” in Inner Mongolia. Professor Kodama conducted many research trips to Ejine Banner in western Inner Mongolia between 2003 and 2010, and is an expert on the history and ecology of Mongol pastoralism.
Curiously enough, the Chinese policy of “ecological migration” originated with concerns about periodic dust storms sweeping through Beijing. Officials had long worried about the environmental and public health consequences of these storms, but especially strong storms in 2001, the year Beijing was chosen as the site for the 2008 Olympics, gave the matter a new urgency. The dust storms were known to be caused by desertification in western Inner Mongolia, more than a thousand kilometers from Beijing. “Sand comes from Ejine,” a popular television show in 2000, fixed the region in the minds of many citizens as the source of the problem. Policymakers attributed the desertification to overgrazing by Mongol pastoralists, and chose “ecological migration” - shifting pastoralists away from the region and into other sources of livelihood - as the policy to address land degradation. The government induced some Mongols to turn to settled livestock farming, while others were moved to towns and encouraged to find work there.
Yet the resettlement did not solve the problem of desertification or reduce dust storms. As Kodama pointed out, this was because excessive agricultural water use, and not overgrazing, was and remains the principal cause of land degradation. In fact the shift of many Mongols in the region from pastoralism to fixed livestock farming and the planting of cash crops increased the stress on the falling water table. Despite evidence that the policy has not worked, the government continues to emphasize ecological migration. Professor Kodama explained the persistence of the policies in two ways: higher-level officials have remained skeptical that pastoralism is more ecologically appropriate than settled agriculture in a region where water is so scarce, and reports of “success” in resettling pastoralists have obscured the reality of the policy's unintended consequences.
Professor Kodama’s talk about western Inner Mongolia thus had much to teach listeners about the weather in China’s capital region, public health, cultural politics, and even policymaking processes in China.
This event was organized by the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business, the Department of Central Eurasian Studies, the East Asian Studies Center, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs' Governance & Management Speakers Series, the Department of Anthropology, and the ANU-IU Pan Asia Institute.
On November 11, Professor Andrew Kipnis of Australian National University delivered a Center-sponsored talk titled “Chinese nation-building as, instead of, and before globalization.” The title accurately conveyed the paradox at the heart of his talk: the processes of globalization widely blamed for eroding national borders and local cultures throughout the world have elicited nation-building responses in China. At the same time, and more surprisingly, in some ways Chinese nation-building has proceeded through globalization.
In accounting for this puzzle, Kipnis invoked the work of anthropologist Thomas Hylland Ericksen, who identified disembedding, acceleration, standardization, interconnectedness, and mixing as key features of globalization. Drawing on his extensive fieldwork in China, Kipnis showed how each of these facets of globalization has had a nation-strengthening Chinese counterpart. Like people all over the world, citizens in China are leaving their villages and towns of origin, traveling more widely to study, marry, and work than ever before. The pace of that travel has sped up remarkably, as Kipnis illustrated by noting that a trip to one of his fieldsites in rural Shandong had taken 3 days in the 1980s, but now requires only 6 hours. The standardization of education, language, national identification cards, and even restaurant chains in China have made it easier for many citizens to relocate and put down roots throughout the country.
Together these processes have led to unprecedented interconnectedness within China. In the Mao era many observers spoke of the “cellularization” of Chinese social life, with peasants confined to communes and urban workers living in all-encompassing work units. In the 1980s, even after a decade of market reforms, transportation bottlenecks and internal protectionist barriers left many regions in China better connected with the outside world than with each other. Economists now calculate that increased marketization and massive investments in road, rail, and air networks have entirely reversed that configuration, leaving China’s regions much more interconnected than ever before. Many analysts have identified international remittances as both a sign of, and a spur to, globalization. In many countries funds sent home by emigres employed abroad contribute substantially to national income. In India in 2006 for instance, international remittances totaled $20 billion; yet in that year in China, internal remittances amounted to $30 billion.
As with remittances, so with tourism. Where once China was mainly a destination for international tourists, the country now has many times more domestic tourists than international visitors. Northerners travel to the south to sample “authentic” local culture and cuisine, and vice versa. McDonald’s, KFC, and Starbucks have spread widely in China, but instead of the “McWorldization” predicted by globalization doomsayers, Chinese have turned the local branches of these global companies to their own purposes, making them transnational corporations with Chinese characteristics. In sum, Kipnis showed that the very transformations critics of globalization have blamed for the loss of local particularities and the homogenization of the world have, in China, either been met with – or egged on – the enhancement of Chinese “national” culture and identity.
RCCPB would like to thank all who attended this event that was co-sponsored along with the Pan-Asia Institute, East Asia Studies Center, and the National Committee on United-States China Relations.
Dec. 2011: Kennedy interviewed on China’s market economy status
RCCPB Director was interviewed by Michelle Lai of the Blue Ocean Network (BON) about China’s effort to be recognized as a market economy on the heels of its 10th anniversary as a member of the World Trade Organization. The story, available here, was broadcast in early December on satellite programming available in the United States and Asia-Pacific region.
Nov. 12, 2011: Kennedy speaks at Caixin Summit
RCCPB Director Scott Kennedy spoke at Caixin Media’s annual summit, one of the top business conferences held in China. Kennedy spoke on the panel on “Green Modernization – the Next 10 Years,” together with representatives from Rio Tinto, Citibank, and a local private equity company. Kennedy stressed that going green will require going beyond government-mandated standards. Green certification programs for products and construction, well developed in the United States, are just in their infancy in China, but hold a great deal of promise in reducing energy usage and increasing efficiency, all the while contributing to economic growth. Kennedy also suggested that Chinese consumers use their market power to push domestic and foreign product suppliers to raise the environmental protection standards of their goods. A “China effect” could be just as positive in promoting green modernization as the well-known “California effect.” Here are links to more coverage of the conference and the Green Modernization panel. A PDF version of his PowerPoint presentation is available here.
October 2011: RCCPB Welcomes new Advisory Board member and Senior Associates
The RCCPB is delighted to announce several additions to the center family. Daniel B. Wright, who is founder, President and CEO of the US-China strategic advisory firm, the Greenpoint Group, has joined the RCCPB Advisory Board. He has three decades of China experience building bridges between people, resources, and public policy between the United States and China. Dr. Wright was formerly Senior Vice President and China practice head of the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm. Previously, he served at the U.S. Treasury Department as Managing Director for China and the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED), providing strategic counsel to the Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. and SED Special Envoy Alan F. Holmer for this Cabinet-level exchange with China. Prior to this, Dr. Wright served as Vice President of the National Bureau of Asian Research, Executive Director of Johns Hopkins University SAIS’s Hopkins-Nanjing Center, Fellow with the Institute of Current World Affairs, and Visiting Scholar at Qinghua University’s School of Public Policy and Management. Dr. Wright earned his Ph.D. and M.A. from Johns Hopkins University SAIS, M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary, and B.A. from Vanderbilt University. He studied Chinese and Chinese literature at Beijing University, the Beijing Foreign Language Institute, and the Beijing Languages Institute.
Two Indiana University faculty members from the School of Journalism have become Senior Associates of the center. Before joining IU in 2009, Lars Wilnat taught for 12 years at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and for four years at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has also taught as a guest professor in Singapore, Malaysia, and Switzerland. His research interests include media effects on political attitudes, theoretical aspects of public opinion formation, and political effects of global communication. His main research activities, however, focus on political communication issues in Asia — an area of the world where media, politics and culture mix in fascinating ways. And Emily Metzgar, who received her doctorate in media and public affairs from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication, Her conducts research on public diplomacy, political communication and social media. She is a former U.S. diplomat with additional professional experience at the National Defense University and the United States Institute of Peace. She is also an alumnus of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. She has extensive writing and editing experience and in addition to academic and professional publications, she served as a community columnist for the Shreveport (LA) Times from 2003 through 2007. Metzgar’s work has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times and International Herald Tribune. Wilnat and Lars have been conducting a joint study on how the American media shapes Americans’ attitudes toward China.
Andrew Kennedy (Ph.D., Harvard University), an international relations specialist at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, is a visiting scholar at the RCCPB's Beijing office for 10 days during September 2011. He is in China doing research on China's strategic emerging sectors. A Lecturer in ANU's Crawford School of Economics and Government, Kennedy's research interests include the international relations of China and India, energy security, and US-China relations. His first book, The International Ambitions of Mao and Nehru: National Efficacy Beliefs and the Making of Foreign Policy, will soon be released by Cambridge University Press (http://cambridgeuniversitypress.us/aus/catalogue/print.asp?isbn=9780521193511&print=y)
The RCCPB’s Initiative on China and Global Governance is well underway, with over 30 scholars from around the world carrying out research on a diverse set of topics. Two scholars recently spent several weeks as visiting scholars the RCCPB’s office in Bloomington. Tu Xinquan, Associate Dean of the China Institute for WTO Studies at the University of International Business and Economics, spent all of April in the US conducting research on government procurement. In addition to his time in Bloomington, he made a research trip to Washington, DC, and presented some initial findings at a conference on the WTO held at the University of Arkansas. Wang Yong, an international relations specialist at Peking University’s School of International Relations, visited IU-Bloomington, Washington, DC, New York, and Toronto, in July and August as part of his Initiative project on China’s growing role in the World Trade Organization. And Professor Cheng Dawei from the Economics Department at Renmin University spent a week in Washington, DC, conducting interviews with industry associations and lobbyists as part of her project on the “industrial diplomacy” (产业) of Chinese business associations.
Indiana University Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson visited the RCCPB’s Beijing office on May 25, 2011. While there, she had discussions with UIBE China Institute of WTO Studies Dean Zhang Hanlin and UIBE Vice President for International Affairs Lin Junkui about the RCCPB and potential broader collaboration between the two universities. She was accompanied by her husband, IU Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Dennis Senchuk.
Indiana University alumna Dr. Jean Oi, William Haas Professor in Chinese Politics, Department of Political Science, Stanford University, delivered her talk titled “In Search of Good Governance and Public Goods in Rural China” at the Indiana Memorial Union on April 15th. Professor discussed the ongoing transformation occurring in rural China and the challenges faced by the central government as pushes forward a policy to move the rural population into new Rural Communities “shequ” (农村社区). In an attempt to solve issues such as mostly old and very young rural populations – due to the migration of working age adults to coastal cities - as well as new pressures on land use, the central government has been establishing “shequ” pilot programs in various counties throughout rural China. The relocation of the rural population to new modern apartments has not occurred without problems. Existing citizenship and rights linked to the current “hukou” system has led to a growing conflict between the center and localities due to the localities quick implementation of the “shequ” as a way to generate revenue. The abolition of fees and cuts in revenue for agricultural townships and villages has prompted these localities to find new sources of revenue and one of these sources includes amassing land. The consolidation and acquisition of land by townships and villages to promote development has occurred by way of moving the rural populations into these new modern apartments under the auspices of the “shequ”. In the end professor Oi asserts the rethinking of fiscal systems that have confronted this transformation might be necessary and the rural “shequ” is unlikely to be the final answer to the new challenges of governance in rural China.
Barry Naughton, one of the country’s leading economists on China, participated0 in the 2011 Roundtable on Lessons from Post-Communism, held on April 8, 2011, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, on the IU-Bloomington campus, in the Indiana Memorial Union, Stateroom East. For more on Naughton and the day’s discussion topic, visit their website: http://www.iub.edu/~reeiweb/events/2011_post_communism.shtml
Gao Bingzhong, an anthropologist and director of the Center for Civil Society Studies at Peking University, and currently a visiting scholar at Ball State University, spoke at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, on Friday, April 8, 1:30-2:45 pm, in Room SPEA 204 (IDS). His lecture was entitled, “A New Landscape of Chinese Civil Society: Its Cooperative Nature.” Here is the abstract for his talk: “If we focus our attention on cooperation between and among NPOs rather than on questions such as how many NPOs exist and how they survive by legitimizing themselves, we can see a different landscape of Chinese civil society. This talk will present three cases of cooperation: 1) the event against dam construction in Nujiang River; 2) “New Citizen project” launched by Narada Foundation; and 3) Dragon Tablet Fair in a village connecting the local society. Then I will discuss how these horizontal social links differ from the vertical administrative links, weaving a new landscape of Chinese civil society on the basis of a quite independent social sector.”
The RCCPB and Center for International Business Education & Research (CIBER) led a successful 8-day study tour to China. Click here for complete coverage.
Award-winning author and Washington Post reporter John Pomfret visited Indiana University February 3-4, 2011, to give two speeches and meet with fellow journalists.
In the evening on February 3rd, before an audience of more than 100 students, faculty and other community members at IU's School of Journalism, Pomfret discussed a journalistic career that took him to wars in the Congo and Yugoslavia and gave him unique perspective into China's dramatic transformations. In 1980 Pomfret was one of the first American exchange students to go to mainland China, and in early 1981 he was given the unique opportunity of living with Chinese students in a normal dormitory at Nanjing University. Pomfret shared stories of the many cultural discoveries he and his six roommates made as they explored their differing habits and life experiences.
Pomfret's career later took him from a small California newspaper to the Associated Press and then the Washington Post. Because of his language abilities he returned to China in the late 1980's only to be kicked out following the Spring 1989 protests. After covering conflicts in Africa and the former Yugoslavia, he went back to Beijing in 1998 where he then served as Washington Post bureau chief for seven years and reconnected with his college roommates in a country vastly different from the one he encountered in 1980. Pomfret fielded a variety of questions, and when he was asked about changes in the Chinese media, he noted that the 1990's featured growth in bold, cross-border journalism, while the internet has also created new ways to publicize scandals and stories of official corruption. Pomfret advised aspiring journalists to "make their own serendipity" by combining several skills, such as languages and issue expertise to successfully compete in the new and more challenging business of journalism.
On Friday, February 4th, Pomfret spoke in Indianapolis in the IU Kelley School of Business facilities to a group composed of faculty, graduate students, businesspeople and journalists about China's "Going Out" (走出去) strategy. Though usually associated only with business, Pomfret explained how it also includes the media, education, and science and technology. According to Pomfret, China's ambitious efforts have met with mixed results. For example, China Radio International bought a radio station in Galveston, Texas, but its signal is only received by a small population and cannot be heard in the nearby city of Houston. CCTV, which can be watched in the United States, is buried among many stations and shows. Pomfret said China's foreign investments have increased substantially over the last decade, with most going to countries with significant natural resources. Chinese investments in the United States can be divided between those that are politically motivated, those that seek to obtain technology to bring back to China, and those that seek to integrate the US into their global production network and sell products within the United States. The first kind of investments are rapidly declining and the second are not sustainable because they meet with substantial US opposition. The third approach has the greatest chances of success, and he identified the auto parts manufacturer Wanxiang, whose US headquarters are in Elgin, Illinois, as a typical example.
In addition to his lectures, Pomfret also met privately with Midwest journalists who hope to increase their own reporting about China. Two of them, Chris Fyall of the Bloomington Herald-Times and Greg Andrews of the Indiana Business Journal, will be joining a study tour to China led by the RCCPB and IU's Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) in mid-March.
Pomfret's visit was sponsored by IU's Research Center for Chinese Politics & Business; the IU School of Journalism; and the National Committee on US-China Relations' Public Intellectuals Program, which is funded by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Starr Foundation.
On January 24, 2011, the RCCPB and the China Institute for WTO Studies at the University of International Business & Economics (对外经贸大学中国WTO研究院) signed a memorandum of understanding to promote institutional and research cooperation over the next three years. Starting May 1, 2011, the RCCPB will open an office within the WTO Institute on UIBE's Beijing campus. To be staffed by the RCCPB director, Scott Kennedy, and support personnel, the office will facilitate the RCCPB's research initiatives and outreach efforts. In addition, the WTO Institute has become a "strategic partner" for the RCCPB's Initiative on China and Global Governance. Cooperation will include research, data-sharing, visiting scholars, conferences, publications, and fundraising. The RCCPB and WTO Institute will jointly host a conference this coming Fall on the 10th anniversary of China's entry into the WTO.
The WTO Institute is China's leading scholarly organization focused on China's participation in global trade and economic affairs. Its director is Zhang Hanlin (张汉林), and its deputy director is Tu Xinquan (屠新泉). Founded in 1951 and located in central Beijing, UIBE is one of China's premier universities, with a full range of disciplines and programs. It has an extensive array of cooperative programs with leading universities around the world.
In middle December, the RCCPB released its Fall 2010 newsletter. In this issue, you will see the RCCPB's past and future events and recent publications. For a copy of this newletter, please click here.
On November 15, the RCCPB hosted a talk by Dr. Edward Steinfeld on his new book, Playing Our Game: Why China's Rise Doesn't Threaten the West. Almost forty faculty, students and members of the community crowded into a room in the Kelley School of Business on IU's Bloomington campus to listen to Steinfeld explain how China has gradually but fundamentally changed its economic and political institutions in order to be able to successfully link the country to the global economy. These reforms have moved Chinese to participate in global capitalism according to rules set by the West, not China. By examining the development of the power supply for Apple products, whose research, design, manufacturing, assembly, and sales are spread across multiple companies in several countries, he showed how we need to shift from seeing China and other countries as having distinct economies and instead viewing how they are intimately interlinked in every aspect of the product cycle. In response to a question on Chinese industrial upgrading, Steinfeld observed that new government initiatives in large projects in clean energy and high-speed rail may enable Chinese companies to take the lead in developing these technologies as they become more mature.
Dr. Edward Steinfeld speaking about his new book, Playing Out game: Why China's Rise Doesn't
Threaten the West. November 15, 2010
On November 3, Indiana University's East Asian Studies Center and the RCCPB co-hosted a symposium on the East Asian Developmental State on IU's Bloomington campus. Roughly fifty Indiana University students, faculty and community members attended the two-hour event, which explored the role of government intervention in economic development in Japan, South Korea, China and the countries of Southeast Asia. Professor Rick Doner of the Department of Political Science at Emory University provided an overview for how to assess the developmental state model. Doner suggested it was important to evaluate the capacity of state institutions to facilitate information exchange between business and government, as well as the state's ability to monitor private sector actors and enforce reciprocity. Doner emphasized that not all states may be capable of creating developmental institutions and that their capacity to do so was increasingly limited by globalization, which has led to the fragmentation of the industry value chains and the growing importance of migrant labor.
Indiana University Professor Gregory Kasza suggested that early Japanese economic development was not aided by a developmental state, contrary to the famous thesis of economic historian Alexander Gerschenkron that late developers require an interventionist, authoritarian state to industrialize. In Professor Kasza's view, Japanese industrialization through 1930 occurred under a small, quasi-democratic state that intervened only lightly in the economy and practiced free trade.
Indiana University's Heon Joo Jung examined the question of whether or not democratization and globalization had transformed South Korea from a paradigmatic developmental state into a more liberal or regulatory model. Jung suggested that elements of the developmental state could still be identified, such as government control over the bureaucracy, the centralization of economic planning in the executive, as well as a willingness to tolerate government interventions in the market. Turning to China, Indiana University's Scott Kennedy, director of the RCCPB, highlighted some of the unusual features of the Chinese developmental experience. The Chinese economy has been more open to foreign investment than its neighbors, has experienced high levels of corruption, had a highly fragmented bureaucracy and industrial policies that were often ignored by market and state actors. Nevertheless, the Chinese economy has enjoyed extraordinary success, which Kennedy partially attributed to a meritocratic party-state system that incentivized officials to maintain social stability, foster industrial development and encourage export and employment growth.
The panelists fielded questions on methodological approaches to studying state learning, the role of state-directed finance, and the causes of difficult factory working conditions in some East Asian countries.
On October 20, Professor Yang Zhongdong, a visiting scholar at the University of Southern California shared his analysis of Xinjiang’s history and inter-ethnic relations with a group of more than thirty Indiana University students and faculty. The talk, hosted by the RCCPB and held on IU-Bloomington campus, began with an overview of the historical relationship between the peoples and societies of Xinjiang and various historical Chinese dynasties and cultures. Yang argued that it was misleading to use the language of “ethnic conflict” when describing episodes of violence between Han Chinese and Uighurs in Xinjiang. Instead, Yang advocated using the framework of “mass incidents” because these protest incidents and episodes of violence can not be correctly analyzed as ethnic phenomena. In Yang’s view, these incidents are very similar to those that have occurred elsewhere in China that were organized by various Han Chinese groups with perceived grievances. After the talk, Yang fielded questions on his method of historical analysis, the impact of these incidents on US-China relations, and the importance of Xinjiang’s historical connectedness to “China proper” in understanding contemporary issues.
On September 23, RCCPB senior associate and Indiana University Associate professor Ethan Michelson gave a talk on his survey research into rural conflict and local government in five rural Chinese counties at the Maurer School of Law on the IU-Bloomington campus. Dr. Michelson, who holds appointments in the departments of Sociology and East Asian Languages and Cultures, as well as the Maurer School of Law, shared with IU faculty, students and members of the community preliminary findings that challenge received notions of rising discontent in the Chinese countryside. Michelson, who conducted survey research in five rural counties in both 2002 and 2010, found growing levels of confidence and trust in local government, and accredited these improvements in state-society relations to central government policies that transformed the role of local governments from being extractors of resources into being the providers of social benefits. The "New Rural Construction" policies that were phased in by the Hu/Wen administration in the mid-2000's include infrastructure investments, the waiving of agricultural taxes and school fees, a new cooperative medical system, a guaranteed minimum income, and consumer and agricultural subsidies. Survey respondents widely perceived these policies to have improved the welfare of their communities, and Michelson identified a concomitant decline in almost all forms of state-society conflict as well as social conflict more generally. Michelson fielded methodological questions on his project and noted that both the 2002 and 2010 surveys were conducted during the Chinese New Years in order to include rural migrants and avoid skewing the survey results. When questioned on how to square his results with government data indicating a rising number of mass protest incidents, Michelson pointed out that increased protest may reflect greater trust in the responsiveness of government rather than rising discontent. Michelson noted that of his five survey sites, it was the site that featured the most intense protests (surrounding a heavily polluting coal mine) where overall levels of satisfaction and trust in government were the highest.
More than fifty people attended a talk by Dr. Hongying Wang on China's civil service reform, hosted by the RCCPB on the IU-Bloomington campus on September 16. Dr. Wang, who is an associate professor of political science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, shared with IU faculty, students, and members of the community her cutting-edge research into the Chinese central government's use and adaptation of a variety of Western institutions in its ongoing civil service reform. Using a comparative approach, Professor Wang documented that China’s civil service reforms, embodied in the 2005 Civil Service Law, varyingly adopted features from Western systems, from full adoption to partial adoption to outright rejection. She suggested that the process has been affected by a variety of factors, including interest group politics, the perceptions of reforms' impact on regime stability, and the prevalence of a certain practice across advanced Western countries. Dr. Wang encouraged attendees to consider what choices they would make on controversial questions such as equalizing the age of retirement across genders. She also fielded questions from participants on research methods, the degree of path dependence in Chinese institutional reform, and new protections offered government whistle-blowers.
RCCPB Senior Associate Ho-fung Hung’s paper, “Global Crisis, China, and the Strange Death of the East Asian Developmental Model,” was presented at the conference, “The Global Economic Crisis: Perceptions and Impacts,” organized by the World Society Foundation, Zurich, Switzerland. The paper won the first prize (USD $10,000) of the Foundation’s Research Paper Award 2010.
RCCPB issued working papers on Chinese labor tensions. For a copy of the papers, please click here.
The RCCPB now recruits interns. Please see the advertisement for details.
RCCPB senior associate Marc J. Dollinger et al. published an article, "Extending the Resource-based View to the Mega-event: Entrepreneurial Rents and Innovation", in Management and Organization Review. This article extends the Dyer-Singh-Lavie synthesis by considering the special circumstances arising from the relationships, alliances, and networks of a mega-event, using the Beijing Olympics as a case for our analyses. The mega-event that is organized as a cartel increases the pricing power of the participants, produces relational rent, and is an ideal venue to introduce innovations. The authors discuss six factors that can influence the rent creation and capture from a mega-event and offer related propositions: periodicity, event location, governance structure, media coverage, network connectivity, and membership rules. They identify four innovation types associated with such mega-events and contend that the same factors can affect the entrepreneurial rent creation and capture within these innovation types. For a copy of the article, please click here.
The RCCPB has been awarded a three-year $250,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to support research on global governance and the establishment of a permanent presence for the center in Beijing starting in the summer of 2010. The grant has been matched by commitments from 15 units within IU totaling almost $450,000.
China’s rapid economic rise necessarily requires its government, industry, and other stakeholders to play a larger role in managing the world’s affairs, whether it be in trade, finance, technology, energy, or health. The initiative will include research carried out by experts from the US, China, and Europe; workshops and conferences in China, the US, and Geneva; the creation of an experts dialogue group, and an industry-government roundtable. The initiative will be distinctive in its effort to examine China’s role in global governance from several perspectives: the extent to which China meets its international obligations, its ability to cooperate with others in addressing global problems, and its effectiveness in promoting its interests through global governance institutions. A summary of the initiative is available here.
The RCCPB is extremely grateful to the Luce Foundation for its generous support of the center’s vision. It is also deeply indebted to Indiana University for further support that will provide a solid foundation for the center to develop in the years ahead. Contributing units include: the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Office of the Provost, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the Maurer School of Law, the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, the IUPUI Office of International Affairs, the East Asian Studies Center, the Kelley School of Business. In addition, the RCCPB will receive administrative support from the Consortium for Education and Social Science Research and share resources with the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.
"This grant will help the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business to expand its capabilities and establish a much-needed permanent presence in China, which, in turn, will provide many outstanding benefits to our faculty, students and visiting scholars," said IU President Michael McRobbie. "Additionally, it will help the center more effectively bring together industry experts and policymakers, as well as scholars from other U.S. universities and across China, to address issues of importance to the world's economy, environment, public health and security." The university’s complete statement about the grant is available here. A print version is available here.
On March 23rd, RCCPB Director Scott Kennedy was interviewed on Los Angeles-based KPFK radio’s “Daily Briefing” Program about Google’s decision to partially reduce its direct presence in mainland China. Kennedy emphasized that Google’s decision to challenge the Chinese government’s policy requiring it to self-censor its search engine in China is closely connected to Google’s business fortunes in the country. Its low market share in China and the small proportion of its business dependent on China were central to Google’s decision. He also stressed that other foreign businesses operating in China who do not follow Google’s strategy are not necessarily compromising their ethics and in most cases are being good corporate citizens. The interview can be downloaded or listened to via streaming link, about 25 minutes into the program.
Sara Friedman, associate professor of anthropology at Indiana University, has been awarded a 2010 Summer Stipend for Collaborative Research and Creative Activity by Indiana University’s Office of the Vice Provost for Research. The award will allow Friedman to complete field research for her book project, Exceptional Citizens: Chinese Marital Immigrants, Contested Borders, and National Anxieties Across the Taiwan Strait. The RCCPB is serving as Friedman’s institutional host for the award and will provide logistical help during her fieldwork and an intellectual community with whom she can her findings.
Ho-fung Hung’s article on China’s economic imbalance and US-China relation published in the New Left Review last November received a great deal of attention in the US and Asia. It was translated into Chinese and appeared in Economic Observer, a leading financial newspaper in China. This Chinese translation was also reprinted in the February issue of Xinhua Monthly, a key official publication of the Chinese government with policy significance. For a copy of the Chinese version of this article, click here.
Peter S. Goodman, national economic reporter for the New York Times, visited the Midwest at the end of February to participate in the center’s media seminar, “US-China Relations: What’s the Big Story and How Do I Cover It?” The purpose of the program was to help local print, TV, and radio journalists better understand ongoing issues in US-China relations and develop strategies for reporting on these issues in ways that are meaningful to their audience. Goodman served as Shanghai bureau chief and Asia economics reporter for the Washington Post from 2002 to 2006. On Sunday, February 28th, Goodman met with six Bloomington-area journalists, IU School of Journalism Dean Brad Hamm, and members of the business community. On Monday, March 1st, Goodman gave a luncheon address to the Louisville Committee on Foreign Relations and then joined in a roundtable discussion with RCCPB Director Scott Kennedy and Wang Bing, a former journalist with the Financial Times of London and Caijing, China’s leading business news magazine. His book, Past Due: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy (Times Books, 2009), chronicles the roots and consequences of the Great Recession, exploring the technology bubble of the 1990s, China's breakneck development, and the American real estate bubble. The program was supported by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations' Public Intellectuals Program, which is funded by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Starr Foundation.
RCCPB Senior Associate Ho-fung Hung has been named a recipient of IU’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. During the past year Hung has published a book, China and the Transformation of Global Capital (Johns Hopkins University Press) (click here), and published several articles. The award carries a small monetary prize, but more importantly, it confirms what we at the RCCPB already know: Ho-fung Hung is a rising star.
Senior Associate Ho-fung Hung contributed a commentary, available here, on the links between Han chauvinism and Chinese nationalism to the New York Times blog, “Room for Debate.”
Senior Associate Ho-fung Hung and Director Scott Kennedy published commentaries about different aspects of China’s economy.
In his article, “America’s Head Servant? The PRC’s Dilemma in the Global Crisis,” published in the November-December 2009 issue of the New Left Review . Hung argues that China’s reaction to the global financial crisis has intensified pre-existing problems the economy faces and that resolving them will be difficult for China’s leadership as currently constituted to undertake. His article has received a great deal of attention in China, and was recently translated and appeared in Economic Observer (中国经济观察报), for a copy click here.
Kennedy provided a contribution to the blog The China Beat surrounding Caijing, China’s leading business news magazine. Whereas much of the reporting about the resignation of the editorial staff highlights an increase in media controls, Kennedy suggests the transition signals an savvy strategic act by those promoting a more liberal China.
Over 300 people attended the program, "US-China Business Cooperation in the 21st Century: Opportunities and Challenges for Entrepreneurs" which was held April 15-17, 2009, in Indianapolis and Bloomington. The first two days revolved around panels that discussed a wide variety of issues, including lessons from successful Chinese and American entrepreneurs, regional entrepreneurship trends, emerging business opportunities with China, economic and political obstacles to cooperation, and regional support for business ties. Over a dozen American and Chinese business leaders spoke. Among the firms represented were: Baker & Daniels, Acorn Campus Ventures, Cornerstone Information Systems, Crown Bioscience, DragonBridge Capital, Eli Lilly, LHP Technology, New Garden Educational Group, Nico Neuroscience, Ningguo Anning Textiles, Pacific World Trade, Silk Road Group, Simon Property Group, and SouFun Holdings. Government officials who spoke include: Indianapolis Mayor Gregory Ballard, Columbus Indiana Mayor Fred Armstrong, and Consul General of the PRC in Chicago Huang Ping. Day 3 of the program included an entrepreneurship law clinic workshop; tours of Cook Pharmica (Bloomington), Cummins (Coilumbus), and the Fedex Express hub (Indianapolis); and a presentation by SouFun Holdings President and CEO Vincent Mo.
The keynote address at the first day's luncheon was given by Michael Barbalas, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in China. He stressed that the opportunities in China for the United States will continue to grow rapidly for the next three decades. For a copy of his presentation, click here. Day-2's luncheon keynote was given by James Zukin, a partner at the investment bank Houlihan, Lokey, Howard and Zukin. His address, "The Great Unwind and Its Impact on China," discussed the ongoing process of deleveraging among financial institutions, the need for greater transparency and regulatory reform of financial markets, and the consequences for China's own economic future. For a copy of his presentation, click here.
The conference garned substantial media attention. For a press release by IU's Media Relations, click here. For an interview on "Inside Indiana Business" with RCCPB Director Scott Kennedy previewing the conference, click here. Another preview story was carried in the IBJ Daily . The conference's exclusive Chinese media partner, Caijing Magazine (财经), ran three stories about the conference, on the first day's participants (here), on AmCham President Michael Barbalas's keynote speech (here), and Stonebridge International Daniel Wright's briefing on US-China relations (here). The Indiana edition of The Duowei Times (多维时报), a newspaper for the overseas Chinese community, featured a report of the conference on the front page of their April 17, 2009, edition. For a copy of their story, click here. IU International, the news magazine of the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, also reported on this conference. For a copy of the report, click here.
Senior Associate Ho-fung Hung is participating in the conference, "Regional Powers, New Developmental States, and Global Governance: BRICSA in the New World Order” at the Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University. The conference will bring together academics and policy makers to discuss the future of global governance in the context of the rise of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
RCCPB Senior Associate Ho-fung Hung appeared on November 6 and once again on January 21 on a public affairs program of RTHK, the official radio station of Hong Kong, to discuss President Obama's economic and Asia policies and the implications of his presidency for China.
Former RCCPB postdoctoral fellow, Junmin Wang, now an assistant professor at the University of Memphis, is publishing an article entitled, "Global-Market Buiding as State Building: China's Entry into the WTO and Market Reforms of China's Tobacco Industry," in the top-tier journal, Theory & Society (Vol. 28, No. 2), 2009, pp. 165-194. Unlike many who see globalization as weakening China's state apparatus, Wang shows how the re-configuration and empowerment of government bureaucracies has been central to the tobacco sector's success in a more open environment. For the text, click here.
On January 17, the Chinese newpaper 21st Century Economic Herald (21世纪经济报道) published an indepth interview with RCCPB Director Scott Kennedy about business lobbying in China. For the web link, click here. For the PDF, click here.
RCCPB Director Scott Kennedy on December 12, 2008, spoke at the annual Forecast and Strategies Conference hosted by Caijing magazine. Considered the most prestigious annual business conference in China, he participated on the panel about political trends. Kennedy emphasized that the government needed to adopt further reforms related to industry associations in order for them to be more effective advocates for their members and make a more lasting contribution to China’s economic development.
RCCPB Director Scott Kennedy spoke at two major conferences in Beijing. On December 2nd, he made a presentation on the relationship between standards and innovation to the "US-China Conference on Innovation and Commercialization," hosted by the US Departments of State and Commerce and PRC Ministry of Science & Technology. The conference was part of of the US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue process. On December 12, Kennedy discussed the growth of business lobbying in China and the need for reform of the country's industry associations to the "Caijing Annual Conference 2009: Forecasts and Strategies."
RCCPB Advisory Board member Benjamin Shobert published an important analysis of an ongoing campaign critical of Wal-Mart and China in the December 12 edition of the Asia Times. Shobert is managing director of Teleos, Inc, an Indianapolis-based consulting firm. To view his article, click here.
RCCPB Offers Postdoctoral Fellowship in China's Political Economy
The Research Center for Chinese Politics & Business (RCCPB) at Indiana University seeks applications for a 2009-10 academic year postdoctoral fellowship. Interested applicants should have a research agenda closely related to the Center's mission of furthering understanding of issues that meet at the intersection of Chinese politics and the business world. To be eligible, applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree awarded between June 2007 and August 2009 in political science, sociology, economics, law, or business; and engage in research which involves field work in China and the use of Chinese-language sources. The Fellow will be expected to be in residence at IU-Bloomington during the academic year and participate in RCCPB activities while pursuing their own research and writing projects. The award carries a stipend of $35,000 plus benefits, an office, and access to IU's library and other resources. To apply, applicants should provide a CV, a graduate school transcript, a dissertation abstract, a writing sample, a letter of interest that explains how the fellowship would aid their research agenda, and (sent separately) two letters of recommendation. All materials should be sent by Friday, January 30, 2009, by email to the attention of Scott Kennedy, Director, RCCPB, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The announcement is also available here.
RCCPB Director Scott Kennedy presented the paper, "The Myth of the Beijing Consensus" at a conference held at the University of Denver in late May. The Beijing Consensus concept suggests that China's development has proceeded according to a formula different from conventional economic principles and represents a challenge to institutions of global governance such as the WTO. Kennedy's paper argues that the Beijing Consensus mischaracterizes China's development experience and is rooted in a mistaken understanding of the Washington Consensus. For a copy of his paper, click here.
RCCPB Senior Associates Marjorie Lyles and Dan Li, both with IU's Kelley School of Business, have received support for their research project on Chinese outward foreign direct investment. With the center's facilitation, IU's Office of the Vice President for International Affairs provided a seed grant of $3,500 for field research this project as well as provided support for Professor Li to spend 1-2 months at Zhejiang University, in Hangzhou, China. Their project represents the launching of the RCCPB's Initiative in Chinese Entrepreneurship, which aims to examine the economic and political circumstances that shape business opportunities for Chinese entrepreneurs at home and abroad.
RCCPB Senior Associate Ho-fung Hung, an assistant professor in IU's Departments of Sociology and East Asian Languages & Cultures, has had his article, "Agricultural Revolution and Elite Reproduction in Qing China" accepted by the American Sociological Review. It will appear in the ASR's August 2008 issue. Hung is also currently revising an edited book manuscript, China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism.
RCCPB Senior Associate Ho-fung Hung and Director Scott Kennedy were interviewed by columnist Josh Peter of Yahoo! Sports about their views regarding calls to boycott the Beijing Olympics. For the text of the story, click here.
RCCPB Director Scott Kennedy was selected as a recipient of Fulbright Research Award. For the 2008-09 academic year, he plans to be based at Beijing University's School of International Studies, where he will conduct research for his project, "Mandarins Playing Capitalist Games: How China is Reshaping Global Governance." Rather than focus on the degree to which China complies with its international commitments, this project analyzes how well Chinese agencies and companies "play the game" of employing the existing rules of the global economy to their advantage and, when they do not like the rules, attempt to change them. Areas of focus include fair trade, setting technical standards, credit risk analysis, competition policy, commodity markets, and the Doha Round. Attention is paid to both how these regimes unfold within China and how Chinese participate in the regimes internationally.
The March 2008 issue of The China Quarterly carries articles by RCCPB Senior Associate Ethan Michelson and Director Scott Kennedy. Michelson's article, "Justice from Above or Below? Popular Strategies for Resolving Grievnances in Rural China," draws on a large-scale survey to show that Chinese individuals with grievances obtain more satisfactory outcomes to their problems through local resolution paths than by appealing to higher authorities. Kennedy's article, "China's Emerging Credit Rating Industry: The Official Foundations of Private Authority," documents the gradual reforms of China's bond market and the parallel rise of domestic credit rating agencies. It shows how the emergence of local rating companies, which is in part due to the efforts of the more market-friendly elements of the bureaucracy, is a good bellweather for the Chinese state's attitude toward private authority more generally. For the journal's table of contents, click here.
After interviewing at several schools in the United States and Asia, RCCPB Postdoctoral Fellow Junmin Wang has accepted a tenure-track position in the Department of Sociology at the University of Memphis.
RCCPB Senior Associate Ethan Michelson has given several lectures this fall around the country on his research. On October 13 he presented a paper on popular perceptions of the legal system at a conference on "Chinese Justice" at Harvard Universtity. On November 2 he presented a paper on conflict generated by China's family planning policies at a conference on China's "Growing Pains" at Stanford University. On November 16 he gave two lectures at Missouri Southern State University as part of its "China Semester." On November 26 he gave a talk on Chinese lawyers at the Yale Law School's China Law Center.
RCCPB Visiting Scholar Deng Guosheng (邓国胜) has just been recognized for his outstanding work by China's Ministry of Civil Affairs. His article, "Analysis of the Characteristics and Value of Non-Enterprise Organizations in China" (中国民办非企业单位特征与价值分析) won second place for the ministry's Civil Affairs Policy and Theory Research" award (民政政策与理论研究). This award is one of the highest achievements for those who conduct research on civil affairs in China.
RCCPB Director Scott Kennedy and University of Oregon Professor Richard P. Suttmeier are heading up a project organized by the Seattle-based National Bureau of Asian Research on the sources and implications of Chinese efforts to develop new technical standards for information technologies as part of the country's broader strategy to promote innovation. The most recent stage of the project was the conference, "Technical Standards and Innovation in China: Public Policy and the Role of Stakeholders," to be held in Beijing, on October 29, 2007. The meeting will bring together experts from academia, industry, government, and standards development organizations to discuss the rapid development of new standards within China and growing Chinese involvement in international standards bodies such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Following the conference, Kennedy, Suttmeier, and Tsinghua University Professor Su Jun will co-author an NBR policy report that will be presented to the business and policy communities in the United States, China, and elsewhere. Partnership organizations for the conference include Tsinghua University, the EU-China Trade Project, and the United States Information Technology Office (USITO). For more on NBR's project, see its website. For a draft agenda of the conference, click here.
Ho-fung Hung, RCCPB Senior Associate and Assistant Professor in the Departments of Sociology and East Asian Languages & Cultures, will deliver a lecture entitled, "Can China Survive Success? The Political Economy of a Development Miracle," on Friday, October 26, 12:00 noon - 1:30 pm in SPEA Room 278. The lecture summarizes the findings of Professor Hung's latest publication, "Rise of China and the Global Overaccumulation Crisis," which will appear in the May 2008 issue of Review of International Political Economy. By examining China's developmental miracle in comparative and historical perspectives, he argues the socio-political order that makes the miracle possible is also the origin of China's economic imbalances. Despite the strong fundamentals of the Chinese economy, its developmental miracle is hardly sustainable without a major restructuring of its socio-political order.
RCCPB Director Scott Kennedy gave the keynote address to the the annual meeting of the Indiana Association of Family and Consumer Sciences on September 27, 2007, in Indianapolis. The title of his talk was, "Made in China: Is the American Consumer Safe?" He emphasized that the Chinese government and producers, multinational firms, and the United States government all share responsibility for the current situation. Product safety is worst in sectors with the smallest profit margins, and the Chinese government has been much more vigilent in development regulatory regimes that help companies than in fostering regimes that discipline industry. In addition, a global production chain has not been accompanied by an equally well developed transnational regulation and oversight, by either governments or companies, creating an "international governance deficit" for product standards and safety. Improving this situation will require extensive efforts in China and elsewhere.
RCCP Senior Associate Ethan Michelson just published an important article on the difficulties lawyers face in China in one of the country's most prestigious sociology journal: "Lawyers, Political Embeddedness, and Institutional Continuity in China's Transition from Socialism." American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 113, No. 2 (September 2007), pp. 352-414. An assistant professor in IU's Department of Sociology, Michelson is also presenting the paper, "Dispute Processing in Urban and Rural China: Findings from Two Surveys," at the Conference on Dispute Resolution in China, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, on September 18, 2007. The goal of the conference is to examine law in operation, drawing on recent empirical work that explores the way conflicts are addressed across a range of public and private fora, and/or exploring the development of mechanisms that seek to address citizen complaints and concerns. In particular, participants seek to shed light on two main debates: the role of law more generally, and dispute resolution more particularly, with respect to economic development (efficiency) and social justice (equity).
RCCPB Director Scott Kennedy was interviewed in June by Warwick Commission Director Richard Higgott about China's integration in the global economy and participation in the WTO. The commission, based at Warwick University, is charged with "examining the global trading system and making recommendations about its future shape and direction." To watch the interview, click here.
Junmin Wang, who holds a doctorate in sociology from New York University, was appointed the 2007-08 Postdoctoral Fellow in Chinese Political Economy.