House of Cards: China's Development and Its Hidden Issues

Talk by Prof. William Yu, UCLA Anderson Forecsat; Prof. Yunxiang Yan, UCLA Department of Anthropology

Sunday, May 04, 2014
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Kerckhoff Stateroom (131, 133, 135)

The STAMP China Forum and the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies present a talk about China's recent developments and some hidden issues in HOUSE OF CARDS, an American political drama television series, developed and produced by Beau Willimon.

William Yu, Economist, UCLA Anderson Forecast
Yunxiang Yan, Professor, UCLA Anthropology; Director, Center for Chinese Studies

William Yu joined the UCLA Anderson Forecast in 2011 as an economist. At Forecast he focuses on the economic modeling and forecasting of Los Angeles economy. He also conducts research and forecast on Asian emerging economies, especially China, and their impacts on the US economy. His research interests include a wide range of economic and financial issues, such as time series econometrics, stock, bond, real estate, and commodity price dynamics, human capital, early childhood education, and economic sustainability. He has published over a dozen research articles in Journal of Forecasting, International Journal of Forecasting, Journal of International Money and Finance, Journal of Health Care Finance, Journal of Education Finance, Economic Affairs, and Global Economic Review, etc. He is a presenter at the Los Angeles Mayor’s Economic Conference and has been cited in the national and local media including Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, U-T San Diego, LA Daily News, LA Daily Breeze, NBC, ABC, CNBC, and CNN as well as various local Chinese media.

He received his bachelor’s degree in finance from National Taiwan University in 1995 and was an analyst in Fubon Financial Holding in Taipei from 1997 to 2000. In 2006, he received his Ph.D. degree in economics from the University of Washington where he was also an economics instructor and won two distinguished teaching awards. In 2006, he worked for the Frank Russell Investment Group for Treasury and corporate yields modeling and forecasting. From 2006 to 2011, he served as an assistant and an associate professor of economics at Winona State University where he taught courses including international economics, forecasting methods, intermediate macroeconomics, introductory macroeconomics, money and banking, and Asian economies.

Yunxiang Yan was born in Beijing, China. In 1966, like some 200,000 other people nationwide, he involuntarily became an impoverished villager when his family was expelled from the city to a remote village due to his father’s political opinions. In the same year, he was forced to drop out of primary school and to work as a shepherd, farmer, and seasonal manual laborer in rural China until 1978. As a young political outcast living and working in two villages during this 12-year period, he had more opportunities than many of my peers to experience the devastating economic hardships (including famine) and the brutal political oppression under radical Maoism. Regardless, he benefited a great deal from living at the very bottom rungs of society as he learned directly from everyday life what really matters to ordinary people, experiencing their struggles for subsistence and meaning in life and sharing their efforts to cope with radical and rapid social changes, while at the same time attempting to maintain, sometimes with great difficulty, a proper sense of the self.

This long-term experience in village life engendered a strong commitment to equitably represent the lives of ordinary people (especially Chinese peasants) in Yan's academic work after he was admitted as an undergraduate in 1978. During his undergraduate and masters’ career, Yan was trained and worked as a literary scholar at Peking University (1978-86), with a focus on folklore and mythology. However, to better study the everyday life of ordinary people and rural society, he changed my field to anthropology in 1986 and received a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Harvard University in 1993. After teaching anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (1993-94) and Johns Hopkins University (1994-96), in 1996, Yan the UCLA Department of Anthropology and have been happily living and working in Los Angeles ever since.

About S.T.A.M.P. UCLA China Forum
STAMP UCLA China Forum, founded in winter of 2013, is the first China Forum organized by students in UCLA, dedicated to providing students insights about Chinese issues, inspiring young generation to care about social issues, promoting dialogue between the young generation in US and China and fostering our practical, independent and critical thinking, through hosting weekly discussion and periodical conferences. Through the lens of a group of inspired and passionate youth, STAMP team wants to bring some in depth thinking about the biggest rising power in the world to some new directions. Website

Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies, The STAMP China Forum