May China Seminar

May 13, 2021 | 12:00 p.m. HST | Event is free but registration is required

Alison W. Conner
Professor of Law Emerita
William S. Richardson School of Law
University of Hawai`i at Manoa

This talk will introduce three movies made between 1959-1961 by MP&GI (Motion Picture & General Investment) Ltd., a subsidiary of Singapore’s Cathay Organization founded in 1956 by Loke Wan Tho. A competitor of the larger and now better known Shaw Brothers, MP&GI made most of its movies in Mandarin rather than Cantonese, and its films were popular with audiences throughout Southeast Asia as well as in Hong Kong and Taiwan. During its peak years of 1957 to 1964, MP&GI offered viewers a broad range of films, predominantly urban romances, musicals, comedies and social or family dramas, often focusing on the middle class. 

The movies discussed at this seminar provide us with images of education in Hong Kong during a critical time and at three different levels: Education of Love 愛的教育(1961), which is set in primary school; Beauty Parade體育皇后 (also 1961), set in middle school; and Spring Song 青春兒女(1959), which takes place at a university and is probably the first Hong Kong film to depict college life. All three were filmed during a period of educational expansion as well as at the high point of Cathay movies, and they remain of interest even now, with themes that can still resonate with Hong Kong audiences. 

Alison W. Conner is Professor of Law Emerita at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai`i/Mānoa. Before joining the Law School in 1995, she taught law and did research in China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan for twelve years; in 2004, 2014 and 2015 she returned to teach in China, and during 2016 and 2017 she was a visiting scholar in Hong Kong and Taiwan. She writes on Chinese legal history and depictions of the legal system in Chinese movies, including “Don’t Change Your Husband: Divorce in Early Chinese Movies” and “Justice and Law at the (1980) Chinese Movies.” 

April China Seminar



Jaime A. FlorCruz
Adjunct Professor, Peking University
Former Beijing Bureau Chief and
Correspondent for CNN and TIME Magazine

Jaime A. FlorCruz will be joining us from Manila. Please take note that to accommodate the time difference, his China Seminar talk is
scheduled for 2:00 p.m. HST.

Jaime A. FlorCruz  is an adjunct professor at Peking University and a veteran China-watcher.

He was CNN’s Beijing Bureau Chief and correspondent, responsible for strategic planning of the network’s news coverage of China (2001-2014). He served as TIME Magazine’s Beijing Bureau Chief and correspondent (1982-2000) and Newsweek’s Beijing reporter (1981).

Jaime (“Jimi”) FlorCruz, born in the Philippines, was a vocal anti-Marcos activist during his college days and in 1971 he traveled to the People’s Republic of China on a study tour. His three-week tour unexpectedly turned into an open-ended period of political exile in China.

While in China, FlorCruz studied, worked and traveled extensively. He worked for a year (1972) in a state farm in Hunan province, Mao Zedong’s birthplace and also in a fishing corporation in Shandong Province (1973-74). In Beijing, he studied two years of intensive Chinese language at the Beijing Languages Institute (1974-76). He received his B.A. in Chinese history from Peking University (1982) in addition to a major in advertising at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in 1971.

FlorCruz has reported extensively on China since 1981, when he started his journalistic career as a Beijing reporter for Newsweek. In 1982, he joined TIME Magazine’s Beijing bureau, and served as Beijing bureau chief from 1990 to 2000. In 2000, he was the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, the first non-American journalist chosen for the prestigious fellowship.

FlorCruz has witnessed and reported the most significant events of China’s past three decades, including the country’s economic and social reforms, the crackdown on protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989, and the Hong Kong handover in 1997 and 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

He is the co-author of Massacre at Beijing, a book about the 1989 Tiananmen protests (Warner Books, 1989) and Not On Our Watch, a book about campus journalists during the martial law years in the Philippines (2012).

He is writing a book on The Class of 1977, a personal account of the years he lived and worked in China and the time he studied at Peking University (1977-82). He is also researching for a book on the PLARIDEL, the first community newspaper published in his home province of Bulacan during the American Occupation (1907-1914).

March China Seminar

Global Islam and China’s Muslim Problem:  From Confrontation to Sincization in Xinjiang


Dr. Dru C. Gladney
Professor and Chair of Anthropology
Pomona College

This talk examines the rise of the “Xinjiang Problem” in Sino-US relations and the recent events involving the Uyghur in China’s Northwest Region. Some have suggested that China has already engaged in a “genocide” in Xinjiang as early as the July 5, 2009 riots in Urumqi. While the state media attribute the Uyghur activism to radical Islam and separatism, none of the protestors have called for jihad or an independent “Eastern Turkistan,” and the former US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on his last day in office formally listed the treatment of the Uyghur as “genocide.” President Biden’s administration has not backed away from this designation. Internationally, the Uyghur diaspora helped to call global attention to the “education camps” that Chinese media initially denied, then attempted to re-shape as “vocational centers” through carefully edited reporting and selective coverage. This talk suggests that President Xi Jinping’s “Belt and Road Initiative” lies behind China’s increasingly severe treatment of the Uyghur, and sets the harsh policy shift in the context of rising co-dependency between China and the Middle East due to heightened energy and security concerns.

Dr. Dru C. Gladney is Professor and Chair of Anthropology at Pomona College in Claremont, California and recent President of the Pacific Basin Institute. 

In addition to a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Washington, Seattle, Dr. Gladney has three M.A. degrees in religion, philosophy, and anthropology. He has also held faculty positions and post-doctoral fellowships at Cambridge University, Harvard University, China Minzu University, Shanghai University for Politics and Law, the University of Southern California, the University of Hawai’i and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He has authored or edited 6 books and over 100 academic articles, as well as having served as a Senior Fellow at the East-West Center and the inaugural Dean of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. Dr. Gladney’s father, Capt. Benjamin Curtis Gladney, served as a pilot during WWII in the China-Burma-India theatre, successfully completing 60 missions flying the infamous “Hump” air route between Assam, India and Southwest China.