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UVU To Present Second Annual Chinese Studies Conference

1 March 2013 No Comment

March 1, 2013

For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807

Written by: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807

Utah Valley University’s College of Humanities & Social Sciences will present the second annual Chinese Studies Conference, “China & The Asian Pacific Region: The New U.S. Focus,” March 7-8 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the UVU Library’s Timpanogos Room (fourth floor).

In November 2011, President Barrack Obama announced that the Asia-Pacific region was a top U.S. strategic priority. In January 2012, Obama said the U.S. military was switching its focus to that Asia-Pacific region, and, in June 2012, declared that America would shift the bulk of its naval fleet to the Pacific by 2020 among other things to secure trade routes. This also indicates how important, from an economic standpoint, China has become to the U.S. both as global manufacturer and as a selling market.

The interdisciplinary conference features more than 20 experts from a broad array of fields to discuss China’s role in Asia and the world, its relationship with the U.S., and how this affects Utah and the Chinese studies and language programs at UVU and other institutions in the state.

The conference also will assist local business leaders with ties or interests in China to identify expectations toward new graduates and what potential hires need to learn to be successful in the China-related job market. Utah scholars will report on concrete examples of how they helped college graduates build start-up companies in China and how they helped their students network with contacts in China.

“This conference represents a continuation of UVU’s Strategic Chinese Initiative,” said David Yells, dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences. “We are working to provide our students and faculty as well as the broader UVU community with opportunities to learn more about China in domains such as education, politics, economics, business and culture. In particular, the conference supports our recently approved minors in Chinese Studies and Chinese Language.”

Guest experts at the conference include Dyikanbaev Kurmanbek, a member of the Kyrgyz Republic Parliament, who will give insights during a panel discussion on the Asian-Turkish connections between the Kyrgyzstani people and the Uyghurs in northwest China. Eric Hyer, an associate professor of political science at BYU, will discuss the heightened profile the U.S. is taking in the Chinese island conflicts as part of an expert panel.

Martin Woesler, a UVU associate professor of Chinese studies and coordinator of the University’s Chinese Studies program, is the chair of the Chinese Studies Conference’s organizing committee. Woesler will talk about the Chinese identity in the 21st century, entitled “The Sino-U.S. Love-Hate Relationship and China’s Rise to Economic Superpower.”

UVU’s Interdisciplinary Studies program, Multicultural Club and Chinese Lunch Club are also helping host the conference.

The event is free to the public but registration is recommended and a voluntary donation, particularly for the concert on the evening of March 7, is encouraged. For more information about the conference, visit http://wiki.vm.rub.de/uvu/index.php/China_and_the_Asia-Pacific. To register, visit uvu.edu/chinesestudies/research/2013_registration.php.

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About UVU

Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to more than 30,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community school, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.

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