May 2,

No. 7

AMS Weekly Newsletter
Supporting the development of the future stewards of U.S.-China relations
While China rests for the Labor Day holiday, we bring you our week in review. As always, please forward to your friends/students/哥们 and click the link at the end of this newsletter to support us with a tax-deductible contribution. Every little bit helps (as do the big bits of course)! 
Weekly Readings
With U.S. President Barack Obama traveling in Asia, it seems an opportune time to compare and contrast U.S. and Chinese voices about U.S. policy in Asia. The constant struggle of reassurance in which Washington is engaged places the United States in awkward position where Asian states may be tempted to read a zero-sum game: reassure China and the allies go wanting; reassure the allies and China thinks containment. This week's readings include a bit of commentary on President Obama's trip from both sides of the Pacific and includes a nice summary piece of how active the United States has been in Asia since the "pivot" was announced.

Press Briefing by Ben Rhodes and Evan Medeiros, April 27, 2014

"The False Song of the Pivot Deniers," Foreign Policy, April 25, 2014

"What Obama Should Say About China in Japan," ChinaFile Conversation, April 22, 2014

"美国总统亚洲行: 无论是谁,别想多了," People's Daily, April 24, 2014

"奥巴马亚洲之行的战略意图," 学习时报 [Study Times], April 28, 2014

"奥巴马亚洲行有三大看点,TPP是关键," Global Times News Portal, April 23, 2014

Special Xinhua News Site on President Obama's Asia Trip 

Language-learning Resources
Italki is a great website to find language partners and practice your language skills. There are many Chinese native speakers on italki and many are willing to speak to you over Skype to help you practice your Chinese. An additional benefit is that you can search for informal or professional tutors to give you lessons. If you are willing to pay extra for tutoring, you can easily find a professional tutor to give you classes for under 10 dollars an hour.
Weibo Watch

A culture clash has Hong Kong and mainland Chinese netizens trading verbal insults on weibo and other social media platforms. The dispute was started by a video of a vacationing mainland Chinese couple allowing their toddler to urinate on a Hong Kong street. Things turned ugly when a Hong Kong resident called out the parents and then tried to snap a picture. The video first went viral among Hong Kong netizens who saw it as one more example of mainland Chinese coming to their city and treating it like a dump. This in turn led to a series of pictures of Hong Kong residents pretending to defecate in the street on pictures of mainland figures such as Mao Zedong.

Mainland netizens have been outraged at how the couple and their child were treated and by the subsequent response from Hong Kong netizens. Currently there is a popular suggestion on weibo that mainland netizens should take a vacation with their children to Hong Kong so their kids can defecate there. The arguments have only spiraled downwards from there.

While a little strange, the dispute is important not because it illustrates the major differences between Hong Kong and mainland cultures, but because it divides the two sides at a time when Beijing is trying to increase its influence in Hong Kong. Beijing has recently invested heavily into its plan to vet all future candidates for Hong Kong's Chief Executive before they are added to the ballot, which many locals regard as an invasion into Hong Kong's affairs. The weibo argument will only serve as a further example to skeptical Hong Kong residents that they are being "invaded" by mainlanders who don't share in their culture or values.

See the video here and comments here.
俗语 in Xi Jinping's speeches




Translation: Each place has its own unique flavors


Explanation: Nothing particularly deep from the Chairman this week. On Labor Day Eve, Chairman Xi was in Xinjiang speaking with workers at the Xinjiang Fruit Industry Company. While tasting their dried apricots he used the phrase
别有风味 to describe the unique local flavor of the delicious desiccated delicacies. 别有风味 can be used at the end of a sentence to remark how each place has its own unique qualities.

Original quotation:
新华网北京430日电 据新华社"新华视点"微博报道,习近平28日下午来到位于乌鲁木齐的新疆果业集团有限公司。展厅内干果产品琳琅满目,总书记边听介绍边应邀品尝,称赞树上干杏"别有风味"、若羌枣"味道好"。拿起袋装葡萄干,问:"没用化肥吧?"看到一包和田大枣标价190元,他又马上问老百姓能得到多少收益。

Documentary of the Week
This week's documentary is "The Inside Story of Chiang Kai-Shek's Relations with American Presidents," which should serve as a reminder that U.S.-China relations has not always meant U.S.-P.R.C. relations. For all of Chiang's faults, he was a remarkable figure, whose pride, stubbornness, and nationalism made him a force with which to be reckoned and a not-always-welcome interlocutor. Chiang's almost delusional belief in the Republic of China and its claim to sovereignty over Chinese territory was one of the key factors in keeping both sides of the Taiwan Strait tied together, creating the situation of today. Here is the first part in a series on Chiang's interactions with his U.S. counterparts.
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