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The Chinafornia Newsletter 2.15.17 -- Why California is the living laboratory for US-China ties

Welcome to the 13th edition of The Chinafornia Newsletter, your weekly digest of news connecting the
February 15 · Issue #13 · View online
Matt Sheehan's Newsletter
Welcome to the 13th edition of The Chinafornia Newsletter, your weekly digest of news connecting the Golden State and the Middle Kingdom.
Hi all,
This week I had the pleasure of being interviewed in The Diplomat about Chinafornia and the state’s unique role in US-China relations under Trump.
Here is a link to the full interview, and below is the heart of the Chinafornia thesis as outlined in the piece:
“As the top destination for investors, students, tourists, and home-buyers, California is the living laboratory for this new era of U.S.-China relations.
Chinese developments are transforming California skylines, and the state was the destination for one-third of Chinese home-buyers in the U.S. – a group that spent $27.3 billion annually around the country. Chinese entrepreneurs are bringing a flood of capital and talent into Silicon Valley, and opportunities in the booming Chinese box office have Hollywood desperate to please Chinese censors and moviegoers. Over 50,000 Chinese students at California universities spent approximately $1.8 billion in the state, changing the equation for how California funds its public universities. Even in climate policy, California led the way in forging partnerships with Chinese policymakers that shaped China’s own carbon markets
This is a real opportunity to build a more localized and productive relationship, one that focuses on creating jobs, housing and educational opportunities. But it’s also a risky time. As China’s footprint here grows, so does the likelihood of a local backlash – against Chinese home-buyers, corporations, or even students. The key task in the years ahead is to make sure that these new ties really work to benefit average Americans.” (Link to full interview here)
Thanks for all your support and feedback as I grow the newsletter and spread these ideas. It is both super helpful and really encouraging when folks share the newsletter with friends and on social media.
Full links below, and this week’s must reads here:
1. China Film Insider and Variety on Hollywood’s attempt to pry Chinese markets open further when the two countries negotiate film quotas.
2. New York Times piece on Taco Bell’s tricky expansion in China
3. Culture Corner: “Uber Rap” by Melo. It doesn’t get more Chinafornia than this.
The Chinafornia Newsletter is created by me, Matt Sheehan. I spent over five years in mainland China, including two as The Huffington Post’s first-ever China correspondent. I’m now back in my native California consulting on China-related projects and writing a book on Chinafornia.
You can read some of my best work on my own website: An Optimist’s Guide to China. Follow me on Twitter @mattsheehan88 and feel free to email me at

Plan for $10 Billion Chip Plant Shows China’s Growing Pull - The New York Times
Asian Tech Titans Take a Page From Trump’s Book - The New York Times
A Long Way From Mexico: Company Bets China Has an Appetite for Taco Bell - The New York Times
Signs From China Suggest A Good Deal For Hollywood on Imports | China Film Insider
After stumbling in 2016, China's movie industry is back in business
With 'The Great Wall' Comes Great Challenges as China's Influence in Hollywood Grows - NBC News
xXx Marks The Spot | China Film Insider
Columbia’s Chinese Students Targeted by Racist Vandalism | Sixth Tone
Chinese students in the US are using "inclusion" and "diversity" to oppose a Dalai Lama graduation speech — Quartz
Old Chinatown, New Chinatown
San Francisco to Become First Major U.S. City to Install 'Comfort Women' Memorial - NBC News
The Beltway and Beijing
With Trump’s win in China, will Trump toilets get flushed? - The Washington Post
Did Xi Just Outmaneuver Trump? | ChinaFile
The Most Dangerous Man in Trump World? - POLITICO Magazine
Xi Jinping’s Economic Policy in the Run-up to the 19th Party Congress: The Gift from Donald Trump | Hoover Institution
Jobs and Events
Asian Art Museum | Unearthing Han Tombs
Going Global: An Evening for Entrepreneurs by Tencent WeStart
Product Lead - China Job at Airbnb in SF
Golden Oldie
The Animator Who Created “Monster Hunt” - The New Yorker
Culture Corner
Chinese Uber Rap China - Melo
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