Summary of “China increasingly challenges American dominance of science”

The Spanish geneticist struggled to renew his visa and was even detained for two hours of questioning at a New York City airport after he returned from a trip abroad. In 2012, he made the surprising decision to leave his Ivy League research position and move to China.
The United States spends half a trillion dollars a year on scientific research – more than any other nation on Earth – but China has pulled into second place, with the European Union third and Japan a distant fourth.
China is on track to surpass the United States by the end of this year, according to the National Science Board.
Recent restrictions on H-1B visas sent a message to Chinese graduate students that “It’s time to go home when you finish your degree.” Since 1979, China and the United States have maintained a bilateral agreement, the Cooperation in Science and Technology, to jointly study fields like biomedicine and high-energy physics.
“At this rate, China may soon eclipse the U.S.,” Sen. Bill Nelson warned at a January congressional hearing on the state of American science, “And we will lose the competitive advantage that has made us the most powerful economy in the world.”
“When the program came out in 2008, it was almost perfect timing because of the global economic crisis,” said Cong Cao, who studies Chinese science policy at the University of Nottingham in Ningbo, China.
According to National Science Foundation statistics, China has almost caught up to the United States in its annual number of doctoral degrees in science and engineering, with 34,000 vs. the United States’ 40,000.
While China recently surpassed the United States in sheer volume of scientific papers published, U.S. papers were cited by other researchers more often.

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Summary of “How China acquires ‘the crown jewels’ of U.S. technology”

At a hearing in January, Heath Tarbert, the Treasury Department assistant secretary overseeing CFIUS, testified that allowing foreign countries to invest in U.S. technology without making sufficient background checks “Will have a real cost in American lives in any conflict.”
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Congress renewed its interest in CFIUS, passing legislation that instructed the committee to consider a deal’s effect on “Homeland security” and “Critical industries,” a notable change, according to Rosenzweig, the DHS official who worked with CFIUS during the George W. Bush administration.
The committee’s staffing and resources have not kept pace with the growing workload, multiple people who work with CFIUS told POLITICO. While the Treasury Department has been hiring staffers and contractors to help handle the record workload, the committee’s overall resources are subject to the whims of the individual agencies involved in the process, said Stephen Heifetz, who oversaw the CFIUS work at DHS during the second Bush administration.
The most common foreign investor that hits the CFIUS radar is now China.
In March, Trump blocked the purchase of the chipmaker Qualcomm by Singapore-based Broadcom Ltd. CFIUS said such a move could weaken Qualcomm, and thereby the United States, as it vies with foreign rivals such as China’s Huawei Technologies to develop the next generation of wireless technology known as 5G. To national security leaders CFIUS is still only scratching the surface of China’s ambitions to acquire U.S. technology, noting that traditional sale-and-purchase agreements to obtain a U.S. company aren’t the only ways to gain access to cutting-edge technology.
Traditionally, courts have defined control of a company as “The ability to direct management to make certain decisions.” But a former Treasury Department official said CFIUS needs to focus on “Beneficial ownership,” defined as having the ability to obtain technology from the firm, rather than overall decision-making power.
A sharper focus on bankruptcy cases, particularly in making sure CFIUS scrutinizes investors to ties to foreign governments, is desperately needed, said a former Pentagon official who is still involved in CFIUS cases.
Lengthening the CFIUS review time – currently 30 days, but set to extend to 45 days under the new bill – could damage the “Brittle process” of early-stage fundraising, said Nicholson, who encouraged lawmakers to focus on expanding CFIUS powers in other areas, such as bankruptcy courts.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Sprout God, Porcelain Mamba, And Six-Step LeBron: The Stories Behind China’s Best NBA Nicknames”

At their best, Chinese nicknames always seem to combine both affection and shade, producing monikers that both fans and haters can get behind.
So without further ado, here are some of the best nicknames for the players remaining in the 2018 NBA playoffs, with detailed explanations of why Chinese people find these names so funny.
LeBron James probably is best known as 詹皇, which is an attempt to directly translate his English nickname “King James.” The phonetic spelling of “James” in Chinese is 詹姆士, and means “Emperor” so this nickname means “Emperor James.”
Others have focused on LeBron’s propensity to travel without getting called for it, dubbing him “Six-Step Bron”, using three characters that also sound like “LeBron,” as well as “King of the Crabs”, coined after LeBron tried to claim that his traveling was a legal “Crab dribble.”
Some LeBron haters feel that LeBron not only gets away with traveling, but also too often is awarded free throws for minimal touching, so they’ve nicknamed him “Zhan Tianyou” which is the name of a famous Chinese railroad engineer in the 1800s, but also means “Heaven Protects James.” “Heaven,” in this case, alludes to the NBA commissioner.
Steph Curry probably has more nicknames than any current NBA player except for LeBron.
Many of these nicknames play on his relatively small size for a basketball player, including “The Elementary School Student” and 萌神, which literally translates as “Sprout God,” but might more naturally be translated as “Adorable God,” since the Chinese character for “Sprout” is a reference to the Japanese concept of “Moe”, describing feelings of affection and protectiveness for small, cute things.
Another nickname for Klay is the “Soup God”, because the first character of “Thompson” happens to be the character for “Soup,” and he is considered a basketball god.

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Summary of “Every Culture Appropriates”

Customs we may think of as immemorially inherent in one culture very often originated in that culture’s own history of empire and domination.
The Chinese dress young Kezia Daum wanted to wear to prom originated in a brutal act of imperialism, but not by any western people.
They have a morality tale to tell, one of Western victimization of non-Western peoples-a victimization so extreme that it is triggered by a Western girl’s purchase of a Chinese dress designed precisely so that Chinese girls could live more like Western girls.
Why not? The would-be culture police build their whole philosophy on a single assumption of extreme chauvinism: that Western culture is universal-indeed the only universal culture.
Western technology, the Western emphasis on individual autonomy and equal human dignity, and even such oddly specific Western practices as death-metal music-the cultural police take all this for granted as thoroughly as a fish takes for granted the water in its fishbowl.
The various coverings voluntarily adopted by some women in North America and Western Europe evolved in societies where 90 percent of the population still agrees that women must obey their husbands at all times.
Their individual decision to wear a traditional garment has already changed that garment’s cultural context and put it to a new and very Western use.
The Western culture of personal autonomy and equal dignity is a precious thing precisely because it is not universal.

The orginal article.

Summary of “White House Considers Restricting Chinese Researchers Over Espionage Fears”

The administration is expected to detail new plans for restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States by the end of May. Congress is also considering giving the United States broader authority to restrict Chinese investments.
The Committee of 100, a group of prominent Chinese-Americans, has denounced government assertions that Chinese professors, scientists and students in the United States may be gathering intelligence for the Chinese government as “Disturbing and prejudicial” and warned that it has overtones of anti-Japanese sentiment that was rampant during World War II.”To target a whole group of people as being subject to greater suspicion, based purely on race and national origin, and in advance of any facts or evidence, goes against the fundamental American ideals of the presumption of innocence, due process and equal protection for all. It also fans the flames of hysteria,” the group said in a statement.
Administration officials have been debating restricting visas offered to Chinese nationals for months as part of the broad package of measures targeting China economically.
If the proposal is approved by the Commerce Department, and ultimately by Mr. Trump, American companies and universities would be required to obtain special licenses for Chinese nationals who have any contact whatsoever with a much wider range of goods – making it harder for Chinese citizens to work on a range of scientific research and product development programs.
The academic community is likely to push back on the administration’s efforts over concerns that tighter controls on Chinese nationals could hurt American universities’ ability to collaborate on cutting-edge research and wind up benefiting China even more.
If the United States makes it harder for aerospace manufacturers, defense contractors and others to employ Chinese nationals, more of these recently trained Chinese graduate students may return to China, taking their skills with them.
Stephen A. Orlins, the president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, said that restricting Chinese researchers would be “Tragic” for American universities.
Even Mr. Smith said he did not support tougher restrictions on Chinese researchers.

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Summary of “Prom Dress That Caused a Furor in U.S. Draws Head-Scratching in China”

Far from being critical of Ms. Daum, who is not Chinese, many people in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan proclaimed her choice of the traditional high-necked dress as a victory for Chinese culture.
“From the perspective of a Chinese person, if a foreign woman wears a qipao and thinks she looks pretty, then why shouldn’t she wear it?”.
The uproar surrounding Ms. Daum’s dress prompted many Chinese to reflect on examples of cultural appropriation in their own country.
Others were quick to point out that the qipao, as it is known in China, was introduced by the Manchus, an ethnic minority group from China’s northeast – implying that the garment was itself appropriated by the majority Han Chinese.
In its original form, the dress was worn in a baggy style, mostly by upper-class women during the Qing dynasty, which ruled China for more than 250 years, until 1912.
“To Chinese, it’s not sacred and it’s not that meaningful,” said Hung Huang, a Beijing-based writer and fashion blogger, in an interview.
The uproar surrounding the prom dress highlights America’s growing – and increasingly complex – conversation about race.
After the release of the movie trailer, another diversity issue arose: Several prominent Asian-Americans criticized the filmmakers for casting Matt Damon in the lead role, as one of the leaders of a Chinese army, likening the decision to “Whitewashing.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “China’s Carmakers Want to Dominate World’s Next Era of Driving”

On a bright spring day in Amsterdam, car buffs stepped inside a blacked-out warehouse to nibble on lamb skewers and sip rhubarb cocktails courtesy of Lynk & Co., which was showing off its new hybrid SUV. What seemed like just another launch of a new vehicle was actually something more: the coming-out party for China’s globally ambitious auto industry.
Li is spearheading China’s aspirations to wedge itself among the big three of the global car industry-the U.S., Germany and Japan-so they become the Big Four.
He’s not alone: At least four Chinese carmakers and three Chinese-owned startups-SF Motors Inc., NIO and Byton-plan to sell cars in the U.S. starting next year.
Carmakers may get better visibility of their futures, and those Chinese companies that fear losing sales at home may sense a greater impetus to go abroad. “They are in a better position now than they ever have been,” Anna-Marie Baisden, head of autos research in London with BMI Research, said of Chinese carmakers.
The creeping global influence of China’s industry isn’t limited to getting their wheels on U.S. and European roads.
“China does intend to lead and dominate the electric-vehicle industry.”
China’s knack for speedy adaptation has put the country in a position to lead the auto industry in new technologies, Toyota Motor Corp.’s China Chief Executive Officer Kazuhiro Kobayashi said.
“Developing new-energy vehicles is the only way for China to move from a big automobile country to a powerful automobile hub,” he said when visiting SAIC Motor Corp., a Shanghai government-owned company that partners with GM and Volkswagen in China.

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Summary of “Why you’ve never heard of the six Chinese men who survived the Titanic”

That man would be one of six Chinese passengers who survived the Titanic, a little-known fact about the historic disaster that has largely remained untold or distorted, owing to a racially hostile environment toward Chinese people in the West at the turn of the 20th century.
For six Chinese passengers who survived the sinking, their ties to the Titanic have all but vanished.
The New Jersey native, who has lived in China for 22 years, had recently researched the Titanic and come across a brief mention of six Chinese survivors.
The invisibility of the six Chinese survivors is such that, even in China, Jones and Schwankert find themselves telling people: Yes, there were Chinese passengers on the Titanic.
A still from “The Six,” an upcoming documentary about the little-known Chinese survivors of the Titanic.
How the eight men responded as the Titanic began taking on water may never be known.
Even after the Carpathia arrived in New York on April 18, 1912, the troubles for the six Chinese men were not over.
“The one dark spot is the fact that in the bottom of one lifeboat which left the Titanic were found, wedged beneath the seats, the bodies of two dead Chinese coolies and eight living ones,” the article stated.

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Summary of “Five ways China’s past has shaped its present”

The author of one of the most important works chronicling China’s past, in the 1st Century BC, he dared to defend a general who had lost a battle.
He left behind a legacy which has shaped the writing of history in China to this day.
Modern China is much more tolerant of religious practice than in the days of Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution – within limits – but past experience makes it cautious about faith-driven movements which could potentially spiral out of control and pose a challenge to the government.
The Taiping rebellion promised to bring a kingdom of heavenly peace to China but actually led to one of the bloodiest civil wars in history, killing as many as 20 million people, according to some accounts.
In 1900, peasant rebels calling themselves Boxers would appear in north China, calling for death to Christian missionaries and converts, the latter being characterised as traitors to China.
Today, on Nanjing Road in that city, you can still see China’s new working and middle class enjoying a wide range of consumer goods as part of China’s contemporary tech-driven economy.
One thing is almost certain – a century from now, China will still be a place of fascination for those who live there and those who live with it, and its rich history will continue to inform its present and future direction.
Prof Rana Mitter is professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at the University of Oxford, and is director of the University China Centre.

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Summary of “Why Chinese Speakers Cut Their Hair Before New Year’s”

English speakers can relish a good pun, and messing around with homophones is a staple of many a clever ad. But Chinese practices take punning to a whole new level-one that reaches deep into a culture where good fortune is persistently courted through positive words and deeds, and misfortune repelled by banishing the negative.
Psycholinguists Michael Yip and Eiling Yee have shared with me their impressions that Chinese speakers are more likely to take pains to clarify the intended meaning of an ambiguous word, even when its meaning should be obvious from the context.
These monosyllables aren’t necessarily stand-alone words, as most words in Chinese are compounds made up of two or more morphemes, each of which is represented by a separate character.
Languages use words to capture reality, and the words we inherit as native speakers might in turn shape our vision of that reality.
Chinese tradition dictates that the words you utter can attract luck-either good or bad-into your life, a tradition that is distilled during New Year celebrations, when all talk of death, disease, or divorce becomes taboo and people shower each other with wishes for good health, wealth, and success.
It would not be surprising to find that words related to luck-and especially to misfortune-fall into the category of attention-grabbing words that Chinese speakers find hard to ignore.
Though no experiments so far have tested this directly, it would provide a neat explanation for why Chinese speakers sidestep certain perfectly ordinary words while being drawn to others, based solely on which emotionally tinged words they sound like.
For example: What does it say about Japanese culture that the language has a special word to describe seeing someone praiseworthy overcoming an obstacle? Do speakers of languages that have a single word for blue and green have trouble distinguishing between these two colors? These questions focus on how languages use words to capture reality and how the words we inherit as native speakers might in turn shape our vision of that reality.

The orginal article.