For Princeton Undergraduates: The PIIRS Global Seminar application period is now open! Professor and Director Yu Xie will be leading his annual Global Seminar in Beijing, which offers an introduction to contemporary Chinese society. In the past, Professor Xie has had such guest lecturers as Jet Li, the Chinese actor and producer, who spoke about his philanthropic activities, and C.H. Tung, the first Chief Executive of Hong Kong, who spoke on Sino-US relations. Other guest lectures have been given by venture capitalists, Chinese health care experts, and visiting professors, among others. Each week, the class focuses on a different Chinese social issue, and explores the issue through lectures, student presentations, and class discussions. Composed of roughly ten to fifteen Princeton students and ten to fifteen Peking University students, the seminar emphasizes understanding through discussions with classmates. In addition to seminar meetings held at Peking University, there will be two weekend excursions outside of Beijing to examine the effects of rapid economic growth on Chinese society as well as regional differences in culture and traditions across China. The first weekend excursion is to the city of Shenzhen located in Guangdong Province. Shenzhen was China's first special economic zone, and is often referred to as "China's Silicon Valley." Shenzhen is home to many of the world's largest cellphone, computer, and microprocessor factories and serves as a hub for Chinese technological innovation. The visit will include tours of the SEG electronics market, the world's largest electronics trading market; Shenzhen Stock Exchange; GAC Motor Trumpchi automotive factory; and the African section of Guangzhou. The second excursion is to Gansu Province, an ethnically diverse region in Western China, where ancient cultures and traditions exist alongside rapid modernization. The excursion includes visits to the Crescent Moon Oasis and Singing Sand Dunes in the Gobi Desert, the Mogao Caves, home to some of the oldest and best preserved Buddhist art in the world, the Yardang National Geopark, and the Labrang Tibetan Monastery in Xiahe County. Information on how to apply here: http://piirs.princeton.edu/study-learn/piirs-global-seminars/2018china.