November 17,

No. 30

AMS Weekly Newsletter
Supporting the development of the future stewards of U.S.-China relations
AMS is seeking paid interns! 
Help spread the word by forwarding via the link at the bottom of this newsletter.

The American Mandarin Society ( is seeking two interns (paid) for 20 hours per week. Advanced Chinese language skills are critical, as is enthusiasm for the mission and vision of the American Mandarin Society. Applicants should have a strong interest in policy issues and should feel comfortable reading Chinese-language policy documents and websites. They should also have a passion for Chinese language learning and language skill development. Strong writing, research, and interpersonal skills are also important. Facility with social media is essential and web development skills are a major plus.


Length of internship is negotiable with the applicants. Hours will be approximately 20 hours per week, timing flexible. Much of the work can be done remotely but will require some regular meetings in person in College Park, MD and Washington D.C.


Please email your cover letter (in the body of the email) with resume attached to . Deadline for applicants is November 30. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.

Weekly Readings
This week's readings draw the Obama-Xi press conference together with a recent Chris Buckley piece and a Zheng Yongnian essay on Xi Jinping's domestic achievements and vision. Between the three readings, they provide a comprehensive update of Xi Jinping's policies and prospects within the current milieu. For the United States, a strong and effective President Xi is a mixed blessing. Although his vision of Asia may be problematic in Washington, Xi also may be a leader capable of striking a meaningful bargain without fear of internal political reprisal.

Weibo Watch

November 11 is Single's Day in China--it's 11/11, four "sticks" all on their own--also known as Bachelor's Day (光棍节). For Jack Ma, it may as well be Christmas. Lonely hearts purchased USD 9.3 billion in tablets, mobile phones, and other gifts to themselves on Tmall and Taobao, online shopping portals owned by Ma's company Alibaba. Some singles even made shrines to Ma, with offerings of potato chips and cigarettes for their commercial god.

Divine status was hard-won, with campaigns on Weibo discussions like Tmall's "Double Eleven" (#双十一#), still the hottest topic one day after the holiday. Buyer's remorse has kicked in for some: "From now on, if it costs over five kuai, leave me out of it," laments 梦想家阿黄 ( on the discussion page. Others, like 李乾要發財, remind their fellow singletons that "we ought to thank the men behind Jack Ma" who toiled to deliver all their purchases (

俗语 in Xi Jinping's Speeches


Translation: to go fast, travel alone; to go far, go with others

This is fast becoming one of Xi's favorite proverbs. Xi has used this on a number of occasions now. To our knowledge it is typically credited as an "African proverb" but we do not know its actual origins. Xi used this two days ago at the G20 Summit in Brisbane.


Documentary of the Week

One of the most influential Chinese families of the 20th Century was the Soong (宋) family through the six offspring of the American-educated, Hakka, Methodist minister Charlie Soong. The three sons, including T.V. Soong, were senior officials in the Republic of China government. The three daughters, Soong Ai-ling (宋蔼龄), Soong Ching-ling (宋庆龄), and Soong May-ling ( 宋美龄), attended Wesleyan College, married well (the latter two to Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek, respectively), and became political figures in their own right. This week's documentary provides a mainland perspective on the three sisters, their lives, and their influence.

Upcoming Events

San Diego:
In the News...

AMS executive director Nathaniel Ahrens was featured in the China Daily last Friday.

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