MN Disaggregation Of Ethnic Data

Production Editor Needed

By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer

The China Center at the University of Minnesota began the yearlong celebration of its 30th anniversary by holding the eight in its series of Bob and Kim Griffin Building U.S.-China Bridges Lectures.  The event also marked the celebration of Chinese New Year.

By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer

The China Center at the University of Minnesota began the yearlong celebration of its 30th anniversary by holding the eight in its series of Bob and Kim Griffin Building U.S.-China Bridges Lectures.  The event also marked the celebration of Chinese New Year.

Prior to the lecture, held at the Ted Mann Concert Hall, the gathering was welcomed by Yongwei Zhang, China Center Director, who in turn introduced Bob Griffin.  At the conclusion of his opening remarks, Griffin then invited Meredith McQuaid, Associate Vice President and Dean, International Programs, University of Minnesota, to introduce the speaker, Rob Gifford.

Rob Gifford served as National Public Radio’s (NPR) China correspondent from 1999-2005 and now serves as London Bureau Chief.  He recently published his first novel, China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power which was the topic of his lecture that and based on a series he produced for NPR: On the Road in China.

 

As Gifford began his talk, he stated that by traveling China’s Route 312 from its start in Shanghai to the Kazakhstan border, he had hoped to get to the heart of the new China.  On these travels, since he speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, he befriended everyone from truckers to traveling salesmen, prostitutes to politicians, in an attempt to answer one big question:  “Which is it going to be for China, greatness or implosion?”

(map of journey?)

Gifford stated that he sought to introduce the people of China and not just let it be “a faceless place” and make China a bit more real.  During his talk, he read several passages from his book that revealed the complicated nature of modern Chinese life with all its contradictions affecting the social and political lives of its citizens.

China is simultaneously experiencing their industrial revolution along with having to adapt to the technological era.  The people are experiencing an identify crisis so it is difficult to determine what their destiny might be.  He offered an analogy that the people may need to slowly let themselves out of their birdcages and for now seek refuge in an aviary.  He also discussed a number fault lines and concluded that it would be very difficult to navigate the 21st Century following a 1950’s system.

Gifford concluded his talk with a question and answer session but was unfortunately limited to the time he was able to participate since the talk was behind schedule and needed to adjourn to allow for reception and book signing that was also part of the event.  Since more than 600 people attended the lecture, it obviously is a topic that reflects a lot of interest.

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CHINAINSIGHT (CI) is published monthly ((except July/August and November/December are combined) by China Insight, Inc., an independent, privately owned company started in 2001 and headquartered in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

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