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An Introduction and Brief Itinerary

Very early this Friday (March 11), a group of 18 professors and staff from Indiana University, state business executives and journalists will leave for a whirlwind, eight-day trip to southeast China. For many of us, this will be our first experience in a place that has fascinated us our entire lives.

Planned by two research centers at IU Bloomington, our activities will include a two-day conference at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, as well as meetings with government officials from Hangzhou and Zhejiang Province.

We also will visit the offices of — China’s largest online-commerce site – and several bio-science, electronics manufacturing and automotive companies in and around near Hangzhou and Shanghai (Our final three days will be spent in the business hub of Shanghai).

Among those going are faculty from IU’s Kelley School of Business, the IU School of Journalism, the IU Maurer School of Law and the departments of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Sociology and Political Science in the IU College of Arts and Sciences.

“This trip represents the second in a series of conferences conducted with IU’s strategic partner, Zhejiang University, about two hours southeast of Shanghai, in the heart of China’s most entrepreneurial region,” said Scott Kennedy, director of the Research Center on Chinese Politics (RCCPB) and Business and one of the trip’s organizers.

In April of 2009, RCCPB and the Kelley School’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), hosted a major conference in Indianapolis and Bloomington that attracted nearly 300 American and Chinese scholars and business people and officials from China. CIBER is co-organizing the 2011 trip and conference.

A new dimension for the conference series and a larger project for the RCCPB has been to help journalists from Indiana to better understand how China impacts their readers. Greg Andrews, managing editor of the Indianapolis Business Journal, and Chris Fyall, a reporter at the (Bloomington) Herald-Times, will participate at the conference and report from China.

At the conference, professors Lars Willnat and Emily Metzgar from the School of Journalism will present findings from a new national survey of how Americans feel about China.

The delegation also will include Benjamin Shobert, managing director of Teleos Inc; Mat Orrego, president and chief executive officer of Cornerstone Information Systems; and R. Matthew Neff, president and CEO of University Health Management Inc.

A major goal for this blog and the trip in general is to help all Hoosiers better understand China and how its relationships with the people in Indiana are changing. Based on my previous experiences in India and Korea, I know that my world view is in for a major change.

Please check in frequently and join me on this adventure.

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Comment by Online University USA on July 24, 2011 4:01 pm

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