October 18,

No. 26

AMS Weekly Newsletter
Supporting the development of the future stewards of U.S.-China relations
Announcing our new AMS San Diego Chapter!

We have been getting lots of requests to start chapters in other cities besides DC, so we are excited to announce that we are starting our first new chapter in 圣地亚哥! AMS San Diego already has a great line-up of speakers so stay tuned for those announcements. San Diego is run by Jude Blanchette, assistant director of UCSD's 21st Century China Program. He can be reached at jblanchette@ucsd.edu. We have started a San Diego group in the Groups section of the website, but event announcements will still go to everybody. Join the group to be on the list for broader San Diego China-related announcements and discussions.
If you are interested in starting an AMS chapter somewhere, email Nat Ahrens at nat@mandarinsociety.us.

Weekly Readings
Last month, a Defense Department consultant published an op-ed "Misunderstanding China" in the Wall Street Journal, attacking the China-watching community (of which he is a member) for describing China to policymakers through rose-tinted glasses. This is not a novel argument, and several academics have advanced various forms of it over the years. However, the op-ed is cause for reflection. For a meatier analysis of watching China, we also attach three CIA articles reviewing developments in China and discussing the meaning of quality analysis. 


Weibo Watch
Beijing subway fares could double soon, with higher fares for longer trips. The municipal government is considering two different plans: a base ticket price of 2 yuan with an average of 4.3 yuan, or a base of 3 yuan with an average of 4.4 yuan. Discounts will be available for frequent commuters. 

The city is soliciting denizens for their preference of pricing scheme, bringing the topic to the top of hot.weibo.com over the past few days. Some users are fine with any fare hike. "It's fair to raise prices. It'll be fine as long as you can get everyone to accept it," writes --小绿豆的太阳花-- (http://weibo.com/1642088277/Bd4QXCvjs). "It's still pretty cheap!" cheers 蒙面采花大盗 (http://weibo.com/1644114654/BrmlXdjVq). But not everyone is happy. "Suddenly, the cost of public transportation from Shijiazhuang doesn't seem too far off," says L-LRy. 

The Beijing News has created a discussion page for the pricing schemes: #北京公交地铁调价#.
Xi Jinping's speeches

A change from our normal postings, here is a link to China-watching extraordinaire Chris Buckley's latest piece on Xi Jinping's rhetoric. Buckley offers a strong argument for why an education in Chinese literature is important to understanding China today. Xi is not the first leader, nor are his speech writers the first, to draw heavily on classical allusions. Mao used historical and literary references to convey his thoughts, and Lin Biao's notebooks revealed someone who studiously read those for little other reason to figure out what Mao intended. Regardless, this piece is a must-read as a place to understand Xi's Chinese Communist Party and Xi's China.


"Leader Taps Into Chinese Classics in Seeking to Cement Power," New York Times, October 11, 2014

Documentary of the Week

This week's documentary is an interview with journalist and TV hostess Chai Jing (柴静). This short video offers insight into China's journalism business from the perspective of someone who has made it----not to be confused with an investigative journalist who has risked their well-being at the hands of local authorities. Chai Jing has been on air since she first had a radio show in high school in Hunan, so, by any measure, Ms. Chai combines ambition and competence. 

Upcoming Event in DC

Join us October 27 at 5:30pm for a lecture, in Chinese of course, by CSIS visiting scholar Dr. Jie Bai entitled "China's Foreign Policy of Regional Cooperation." Dr. Bai previously served in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she was a deputy director in the Department of Policy Planning, specializing in international relations and Chinese foreign policy. Dr. Bai lived in North Korea for 7 years and is also a great source for grounded and informed thinking on the situation there. This should be a stimulating lecture and discussion, so hope to see many of you there! RSVP at the link above.

About Bai Jie:

Bai Jie is a visiting scholar in the CSIS Freeman Chair in China Studies, focusing on regional security, U.S. foreign policy, and China-U.S. relations in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly Northeast and Southeast Asia. Prior to joining CSIS, she served in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she was a deputy director in the Department of Policy Planning, specializing in international relations and Chinese foreign policy. She worked in the Department of Asian Affairs from 2003 to 2007, focusing on the Six-Party Talks, China-ASEAN relations, and regional cooperation in East Asia. In 2005-2006, she served as assistant to former vice premier and foreign minister Qian Qichen, who was the Chinese representative to the China-ASEAN Eminent Persons Group at that time. She also served in the Chinese mission to the European Union and the Chinese embassy in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Dr. Bai earned her bachelor's degree from the Kim Il Song University of the DPRK and her master's degree and Ph.D. from Peking University of China. She is the author of My Observations on the Korean Peninsula (World Affairs Press, 2013).

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