Friday, September 19, 2003

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It's so pleasant to be an MS in Chinese Studies. First off, by virtue of having commited to an MS my classmates are decidedly more studious than undergrads. Add to this the fact that conversations tend to migrate towards China topics sooner or later, which I'm both interested and confident in, and you get a very fertile and stimulating life.

This morning I heard the US ambassador to China speak at Hutchins Hall, in the UMich Law School. Here is a quick summary of what I caught, so I can write my Chinese homework on it later:

After 9/11, China stood by the US and helped by: closing the border to Afghanistan, sending a rep to Pakistan to urge them to distance themselves from the terrorists, and cooperating in securing ports and searching US-bound cargo containers. China did this to help the US, but also out of self-interest. China has problems with terrorists too, but the US says they should not use it as an excuse to harass ethnic minorities. China has advanced a lot since -namehere- went to China first in the 1970's: they now have 2 public stock exchanges, they entered the WTO, laws concerning village elections, entrepreneurs (*coughcapitalistscough*) joining the CCP. US interests in China have also advanced, from a 3 person commercial attache in the ambassador's garage when he got there to a 60 person office (biggest US commercial attache office in the world) these days. Told a story about to Wuhan railway and Alabama lawyers suing for $80 million, in order to illustrate points about odious debts and the Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976.

OK, will finish this later. Gotta run.

For people having problems with emacs and the backspace key, emacs thinking that the backspace key is Ctrl-h (or C-h, or ^H), I found the following in a Linux Keyboard HOWTO:

(keyboard-translate ?\C-h ?\C-?)
(keyboard-translate ?\C-? ?\C-h)

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