Upcoming Event at Wilson Center: China and Latin America: Seeking a Path to Sustainable Development

China and Latin America: Seeking a Path to Sustainable Development

Co-sponsored by the China Environment Forum and Latin America Program

The rise of China has been a boon to the economies of Latin America for more than a decade, with Chinese investment particularly active in the energy and mining sectors. However, these investments have triggered a new round of environmental degradation and social conflict, which many Latin American governments have failed to manage properly.

At this meeting, speakers will debut a new report that examines not only the environmental conflicts linked to Chinese investment, but also highlight innovative steps taken by Latin American governments and Chinese companies in search of a more balanced approach to commodity-led growth and sustainable development.


Kevin P. Gallagher

Boston University

Cynthia Sanborn

University of the Pacific, Lima, Peru

Rebecca Ray

Boston University


Jennifer Turner

Director of China Environment Forum, Wilson Center

Media guests, including TV crews, are welcome and should RSVP directly to Susan.Shifflett@wilsoncenter.orgMedia bringing heavy electronics MUST indicate this in their response so they may be cleared through our building security and allowed entrance. Please err toward responding if you would like to attend.

Join the conversation on Twitter by following @WilsonCEF and find related coverage on our blog.

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Thursday April 16 , 2015
10:00 am – 12:00 am
5th Floor Conference Room
Wilson Center
Ronald Reagan Building and
International Trade Center
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania, Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
Phone: 202.691.4000

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Georgetown University Department of English and School of Foreign Service In Partnership with the Embassy of India present:




Monday, April 20, 2015 at 6:00 in Copley Formal Lounge

RSVP HERE  |  Reception with catered Indian snacks


Indian cinema has been a powerful engine for social change in a dynamic culture, both reflecting and inspiring new modes of action in a unique colonial modernity. This event considers the momentous changes in the representation of women over the last century of Indian cinema, with particular references to gender dynamics and the relationship of images to reality today.


Kavita Daiya, Associate Prof. of English at George Washington University.

Leena Jayaswal, is a full-time professor of Film and Media Arts at American University where she is head of the photography concentration.

Shareen Joshi, Assistant Professor of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.

Mubbashir Rizvi, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Georgetown University.

Henry Schwarz, Professor of English, Georgetown University, where he was Director of the Program on Justice and Peace from 1999-2007.

Ajanta Sircar, Dept. of English and School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, is currently the ICCR Chair of Indian Film and Literature. 

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made by Thursday, April 16, 2015 to Ben Zimmerman via email at bwz2@georgetown.edu or phone at 202-687-7889. A good faith effort will be made to fulfill requests made less than a week before the event

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Georgetown Law Event: Institutes of International Economic Law Workshop

Georgetown Institute of International Economic Law

cordially invites you to presentations entitled

Developing Countries and the Work of the Advisory Centre on WTO Law


Appellate Body Report, Argentina – Measures Affecting the Importation of Goods


Fernando Pierola

Senior Counsel at the Advisory Centre on WTO Law

April 8, 2015, 4:00pm to 5:30pm in McDonough 588

RSVP to katie.evans@law.georgetown.edu

For IIEL’s student fellows, there is an additional reason to attend Wednesday’s program – the Advisory Centre on WTO Law is a possible employer and Fernando has agreed to talk about the Centre’s hiring process.

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Asia Society eNews, March 24, 2015

Dear Friends,

Please see eNews on March 24 2015 from Asia Society titled Lee Kuan Yew Remembered; North Korea Undercover; A Chinese Musical Master, Onstage. You can find a full version of eNews here:


Law Asia Institute has a copy of Suki Kim’s book about North Korea. If you are interested in reviewing the book, please feel free to contact Brenda Moore at moorebp@law.georgetown.edu.

Lee Kuan Yew Remembered; North Korea Undercover; A Chinese Musical Master, Onstage

Posted in East Asia (Excluding China), Greater China Area, Resource for Research | Leave a comment

Access to Justice–Notes after Pro Bono Trip to New Orleans

(Chenying Tan, Research Assistant at Georgetown University Law Center)

During this year’s spring break, I had the pleasure of serving as a volunteer working full-time in New Orleans Pro Bono Project.  This trip not only reminded me of why I studied law in the first place, but more importantly, it reminded us lawyers that we must take our responsibility to promote access to justice.

I took great pride in my work on pro bono matters. Prior to coming to New Orleans, I studied family law in university, working on book theory, but to see the succession and divorce process first-hand in office was different and exciting.  Almost every day I went on many field trips, contacted and met with clients, listened to their stories, examined family relationships, and prepared for affidavits of small succession or judicial succession that bring a fair result for them. The work gave me great pleasure because I knew I was helping to reshape a broken family or making a positive difference in someone’s life and if without my help they would not have changed.

The spring break pro bono trip showed me the very humanity side of law.  Serving as a volunteer for one week is easy, but what was difficult was getting involved in pro bono work though one’s career as a lawyer, for it requires one to put social interest ahead of one’s personal interest. Admittedly, nowadays, it is hard to engage new attorneys in pro bono service when the world is full of fancy opportunities of working for high salaries.  Even in law firms, under the well recognized notion of chasing money, it is hard for fee earners to work passionately and tirelessly on pro bono cases while under law firms’ billing pressure.  Despite those facts, we are grateful to see that many law school graduates chose to help low-income individuals over serving in profitable business organizations.  I was deeply touched by personal stories of many staff attorneys who worked for a long time at New Orleans Pro Bono Projects and at Children’s Center.  Some of them had graduated from prominent law schools, and been admitted to several states’ bars, and now are back to the community they care about.  Rachael Piercy, the director of New Orleans Pro Bono Project said that:  “it is true we have a lousy payment, but this is what I love to do!”

In my home country China, there are not many opportunities to do such pro bono work.  The biggest challenge is that lawyers lack motivation to devote part of their time to legal aid service.  Actually, nonprofit organizations and associations in law schools play the majority role in Chinese legal aid area.  Thanks to them, people living in remote and under-developed places of China could learn basic legal principles gradually over these years. Due to legal restrictions, NGOs and students association cannot provide legal aid in litigation areas.  The 2013 amendment of Civil Procedure Law of China directs that without a license, one could not represent clients in court. Thereby, the society calls for more law firms and lawyers to take social responsibility and play an active role in filling the justice gap by providing pro bono service to some of society’s most vulnerable members, who could not afford to hire a licensed lawyer.  Sometimes we lawyers get lost in cases and forget that many of us chose to come to law school to help less fortunate people and to shape the environment.

The trip to New Orleans had commemorative meaning because this year marks the 10th year after Hurricane Katrina.  While houses can be rebuilt in a few months, it takes more time to rebuild the heart and soul of a community.  John Donne said, “no man is an island, entire of itself”.  We live, after all, in a world where people rely on each other.  The “bell” tolls for us, and for the world.


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Georgetown Institute for Global History & The SFS Asian Studies Program

cordially invites you to a presentation entitled



Tsering Shakya

Canadian Chair in Religion and Contemporary Society in Asia, Institute for Asian Research at the University of British Columbia

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM (EDT)

Intercultural Center (ICC) 662

Georgetown University
Washington, DC 20007

 In 1792 Emperor Qianlong introduced the Golden Urn (Lottery) system for the selection of high ranking Tibetan and Mongolian Trulkus, (reincarnate lamas).   Recently, the PRC government used the Golden Urn for the selection of the 11th Panchen Lama in order to demonstrate China’s claims of sovereignty over Tibet.  Most studies focus on when the Golden Urn method was used;  in this talk, Tsering Shakya will examine the reason why this method of selection was used.

RSVP here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/why-the-golden-urn-qing-use-of-the-trulku-selection-system-in-the-18th-century-tibet-and-mongolia-tickets-12840350835?aff=es2&rank=1

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March 25, China Law Talk: Chinese Administrative Law Reform after the Communist Party’s Fourth Plenum


Posted in News About Sources of Chinese Law, Non-Georgetown Events of Interest | Leave a comment

Sending Lucky Money via WeChat—A Highlight of 2015 Chinese New Year

March 6, 2015

(By Chenying Tan, Research Assistant of Law-Asia)

Eating dumplings, appreciating dragon dance and texting greetings to friends are what Chinese usually do to celebrate Lunar New Year. In February 2015, thousand-year-old festival traditions were vibrated by a new activity—sending lucky money (cash-filled virtual red envelops, or Hongbao) by mobile phones, and it went viral in China two days before New Year’s Eve.

WeChat, a mobile app like WhatsApp, launched a new feature that allowed its users to send and receive lucky money by linking up their bank accounts to WeChat’s digital wallet. Users may either send lucky money directly to other WeChat users who have also linked their bank accounts to WeChat, or, by spice things up, wrap a number of red envelopes and distributed them randomly among users in a chat group. Because chances of getting a red envelope are limited, users in the same chat group usually have to compete for lucky money.

Technology has changed the way Chinese celebrate their Lunar New Year. While in Chinese culture, receiving lucky money is a privilege of children, WeChat nowadays attracts people of all ages to enjoy this festival activity, as parents are sending money to children, husband to wife, bosses to employers and friends to friends. Moreover, lucky money not only brings material value to receivers, but is a way of showing best wishes and respect to others. Particularly, by competing in claiming money in a chat group, more people became active in online social media, sharing and spreading enjoyment with WeChat friends.

There is no denying the fact that Wechat’s developer–Tencent Company, a Chinese internet giant is the biggest winner in the lucky money game. While WeChat users are allowed to cash lucky money, most people prefer maintaining money in WeChat digital wallet or making a payment in online stores, which are also sponsored by Tencent. By directing people to use its personal finance products, Tencent made their first success in attempt to leverage its dominance in social network and e-commerce, and unlocking more possibilities in China’s internet finance, or more exactly, mobile finance, which is regarded as one of emerging industries in the near future.

The idea of offline-to-online money transfer was originated from Tencent’s long-time rival–Alibaba, which allowed users to send lucky money through its payment platform Alipay on last New Year’s Eve. Yet, due to a small number of users and a strict banking regulation, Alibaba’s lucky money activity did not receive much attention. On the contrary, WeChat app owns an estimated 500 million registered users in China and 20 millions users overseas. By linking a networking platform with digital wallet, Wechat won five million banking accounts in two days. According a report from Xinhua Agency, more than five million people participated in the lucky money activity before New Year’s Eve. At its peak hours, over 121,000 red envelopes were being claimed within five minute, generating more than one billion cash flow.

While people are still immersing themselves in the red envelope bombs, some scholars and lawyers have raised legal problems and risks arising out of mobile money transfers. For instance, some argues that lucky money offers a concealed way of conducting business bribery; others worry about tax and interest issues of money retained in Wechat account and a possibility of personal information leakage.

By a way of defending Alibaba’s dominance, Jack Ma, the president of Alibaba, announced that he dropped his Wechat account. Alibaba and Tencent have been competing with each other in mobile-app-based service for a long time, ranging from digital wallet to cab networking. Whether or not WeChat has become a real threat to Alibaba’s territory of internet business, the competition between two giants will undoubtedly promote China’s internet finance market and ultimately benefit users.

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