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With China hosting the 2008 Olympic Games, the public has a growing appetite for expert perspective on the complex and often misunderstood country – from its history and culture to its politics and economy. UC Irvine faculty can provide that perspective.
CHINA’S POLITICS, SOCIETY & CULTURE
GLOBAL SPREAD OF CHINESE CULTURE
“The Beijing Olympics will give the world an opportunity to learn a lot about China. What I worry about is that we may be tempted to put what we learn into the oversimplified categories that have often shaped American perceptions of China.” — Jeffrey Wasserstrom
Jeffrey Wasserstrom is an expert on contemporary social, cultural and political issues in China, and has traveled, taught and studied extensively in the country over the last 20 years. A professor of history, he is the author of China’s Brave New World – And Other Tales for Global Times. The collection of essays focuses on the cultural significance of globalization, such as the opening of Starbucks and McDonald’s franchises there. He can provide insight into how America’s perceptions of China have evolved. Wasserstrom writes regularly for China Beat, a popular blog covering Chinese culture, the Beijing Olympics and Chinese/Tibetan relations among other topics. Wasserstrom has consulted on two award-winning documentaries, “The Gate of Heavenly Peace” and “Morning Sun” about the People’s Republic of China. He has written for Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times and the Asian edition of the Wall Street Journal. Contact Wasserstrom at 949-824-0391 or email@example.com.
Wang Feng, professor and sociology chair at UCI, studies China’s social and demographic changes. His current research focuses on the demographic dilemmas facing China after more than two decades of the one-child policy, such as the shrinking workforce, skyrocketing senior citizen population and disproportionate numbers of men to women. Additionally, Wang is interested in China’s rising social and economic inequalities, and is the author of Boundaries and Categories: Rising Inequality in Post-socialist Urban China and co-editor of Creating Wealth and Poverty in Post-socialist China. Contact Wang at 949-824-1417 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Industrialization is always a dirty process, no matter where you do it. Unfortunately, China is industrializing on an enormous scale, and at a time when better, cleaner technologies exist. But they are expensive, and the question is, who will pay for it? Is China going to pay for it? Is the rest of the world going to help? Or will we just argue about it while the world gets hotter and hotter?” — Kenneth Pomeranz
Kenneth Pomeranz, Chancellor’s Professor of History, researches labor, rural society, environmental change and economic development in China. He says visitors at the Beijing Olympics will see that city officials have tried to clean up pollution for the Games but warns that Beijing does not represent necessarily urban life in other Chinese cities. It’s not infrequent for cities in Northern China to disappear from satellite images for days at a time because of air pollution. Pomeranz’s publications include The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy, which looks at why sustained industrial growth began in northwestern Europe rather than East Asia. Pomeranz also has researched the history of popular religion in China. He is working on a book about the history of Chinese political economy as well as a book about the goddess of Taishan, a once-popular deity who is today almost unknown outside of rural Northern China. An ancient temple to the goddess was unearthed during construction of the Olympic Village. Pomeranz is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science and also writes for the China Beat blog, named one of the “Best of the China Blogs” by the Wall Street Journal. Contact Pomeranz at 949-824-5169 or email@example.com.
Peter Navarro is an economics professor at The Merage School of Business and author of The Coming China Wars: Where They Will Be Fought, How They Can Be Won. His expertise includes U.S.-China trade policy and unfair trading practices such as currency manipulation; energy and natural resources; counterfeiting and piracy; pollution issues related to the Olympics; Chinese militarization; and Chinese space exploration. His op-ed articles have appeared in Barron's, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, and Washington Post. He has appeared on major network news shows and CNN and is a regular CNBC contributor. Contact Navarro at 949-357-9330 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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