Confucius Institute offers second speaker on modern China - Sept. 24, 2010

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

Monday, Sept. 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

UAA/APU Consortium Library, Room 307

China's Legal System: Rule of Law or Rule by Law
Presented by Prof. Susan H Whiting

Susan H. Whiting is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and an adjunct associate professor at the School of Law and the Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington. She is a specialist on Chinese political economy currently studying matters relating to property rights, contracts and dispute resolution.

Since the mid-1990s China has undertaken a very ambitious official program of establishing the "rule of law," but a more accurate description might be "rule by law."  The ambitious program of the People's Republic of China is designed to get Chinese citizens to try to use law, especially for resolving disputes. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail, but reasons for success or failure vary, and can often be found in the inadequacies of the new legal framework. Prof. Whiting focuses particularly on the highly contentious issue of farmers' land rights as well as wider examples, including migrants and victims of pollution.

Friday, Sept. 24, 6-8 p.m.

Fine Arts Bldg., Room 150

China in 2010: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Presented by Prof. Terry Weidner

Terry Weidner is director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at the University of Montana. He served as political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and Chinese political and economic analyst for the Foreign Broadcast Information Service in Washington, D.C. He has a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Davis.

During the last two decades, China has undergone a tremendous transformation and now stands poised to become the world's second largest economy. This has brought previously unknown levels of prosperity to hundreds of millions of Chinese and the creation of wealth never before seen in human history. That's the good news. This tremendous growth has also brought with it social, cultural, environmental and other problems. Obviously this concerns the Chinese people but with China's vital presence in the global economy, do we need to be worried, too?

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