The SMU Tower Center Sun & Star Program held its first China Symposium March 15-16, “The China Challenge: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific.” Read Highland Capital Management Tower Scholar Tim Smith’s top five takeaways from the panels.
Tower Center Fellow Jieun Pyun wrote an article for the George W. Bush Presidential Center about the low and diminishing levels of freedom in Burma, North Korea, and other Asian countries. A new report from Freedom House found that global freedom has declined for the 12th consecutive year.
“It is our moral responsibility to stand with the 2.5 billion people whose human rights are being violated,” Pyun wrote.
Read her full essay here.
The SMU Tower Center and Asian Studies hosted Perry Link, author and translator of many influential works on Chinese language, literature, human rights and cultural history, at SMU Feb. 8 for the program “The Life and Ideas of Liu Xiaobo.” Liu Xiaobo was China’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate before he died in July while still serving a prison sentence for inciting subversion of the state. He was an outspoken critic of both the West and China, a poet, and a scholar. HCM Tower Scholar Destiny Rose Murphy interviewed Link about his research into Xiaobo’s life before the program.
The SMU Tower Center Sun & Star Program on Japan and East Asia partnered with the SMU Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center for an all-day discussion of the Japan-Mexico-Texas economic and political relationship Jan. 30.
The SMU Tower Center Sun & Star Japan-East Asia Program hosted the discussion “Japan-U.S. Relations in the Changing World” featuring Naoyuki Agawa, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, Jan. 30. SMU Junior and HCM Tower Scholar Destiny Rose Murphy wrote about her experience at the event.
North Korea has developed nuclear capabilities that the United States assumed was out of reach for the isolated country in such a short period of time. Its advancement has changed the dialogue of policy toward the country for both the United States and China. Ken Jimbo, associate professor at Keio University, visited the SMU Tower Center to discuss Asia’s nuclear challenge in the first event of the semester Jan. 8.
China’s rapid economic development has stunned theorists everywhere. After all, economic success isn’t supposed to be possible under a dictatorship, and yet over the past 30 years China has managed to pull 800 million people out of poverty through national development alone, while still maintaining its autocratic regime. In 1980, China was an impoverished country, with a GDP lower than traditionally poor countries like Chad and Malawi. Today, its global prowess has Americans worried about losing their number-one slot.
The ORIX Americas Miyauchi Charitable Foundation has agreed to fund a scholarship for SMU students who participate in the SMU-in-Japan study abroad program at Kwansei Gakuin University (KGU). The grant will be $20,000 per year, beginning in 2018, for five years. The scholarship, founded in the SMU Tower Center Sun & Star Program on Japan and East Asia, intends to commemorate Dr. H Neill McFarland’s contribution to U.S.-Japan relations by building ties between SMU and KGU.
Hiroki Takeuchi, Tower Center Senior Fellow and Director of the Sun & Star Program, was quoted in an article in the South China Morning Post about the possible future of Chinese President Xi Jingping. Takeuchi believes that even though it’s possible that President Xi will seek out a third term, it is more likely that he will abstain due to the Chinese political norm that shuns such a prolonged presidency.
“The act of seeking a third term itself will undermine the institutional mechanism that supports the resilience of one-party rule,” Takeuchi said.
Read the article here.
The Tower Center Sun & Star Japan East Asia Program held a discussion Sept. 7 with SMU Anthropology Assistant Professor Nicolas Sternsdorff Cisterna examining how citizens banded together to demand safe food after the 2011 nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan.