China can refer to a number of things. Geopolitically, there are now two entities, which refer to themselves as "China", mainly as a result of an unfinished civil war:
- The Republic of China, nowadays commonly known as "Taiwan", is where the National Government of the Republic of China retreated following their defeat by the Communists in 1949. It's territory de facto comprises the island of Taiwan and several other small outlying islands, but de jure includes the mainland, Outer Mongolia, and other disputed areas.
- The People's Republic of China, which is more closely synonymous with "China", is the name of the Communist government that won the civil war on the mainland. Its territories de facto include mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, but not the disputed mainland territories that the ROC claims. It de jure claims Taiwan, but has never exercised sovereignty or jurisdiction over the island.
China and Columbia
Columbia University and China go back a long way. While Columbia was not the first American universities to admit Chinese students (that was Yale), Columbia's ties with the Chinese intellectual community produced some rather prominent people. They included:
- Hu Shih, PhD 1917 - Student of John Dewey and prominent Chinese intellectual
- V. K. Wellington Koo, CC 1908, PhD 1912 - Chinese Ambassador, Foreign Minister, Premier, and Interim President
- Zhou Ziqi - Chinese President
CHiNA? has nothing to do with China.
There are a number of student organizations which have to do with China. Note that the following list attempts to be as inclusive as possible -- it makes no judgments whatsoever as to what constitutes "China". In general, student organizations are split up in two categories: one, clubs for students from China studying overseas, mostly graduate students, and two, clubs for students of Chinese descent, mostly undergraduates.
- Asia-Pacific Development Society (CUASIA) is a student organization affiliated with Columbia University. They create international programs to promote cultural exchange between the citizens in the United States and those in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Asian American Alliance - a pan-Asian student-interest group that is politically active in stuff like multiculturalism and diversity and affirmative action.
- Chinese Christian Fellowship at Columbia University
- Columbia Chinese Bible Study Group
- Columbia University Medical Center Chinese Students and Scholars Association
- Chinese Students and Scholars Association - club for Chinese students from China. An "arm of the Chinese government" mainly dedicated to trumpeting Chinese nationalism and harassing Falun Gong. Up until an administrative-forced restructure (that saw the removal of Chinese consulate officials from its advisory board), the club was organized along Communist Party-lines, with "section chiefs".
- Chinese Students Club - club for students of Chinese descent, but not necessarily from China. Mainly concerned about Chinese culture.
- Future China Initiative seeks enlightenment of Chinese people, and to call for a rational formation of Chinese communities.
- Greater China Initiative, run by SIPA students.
- Greater China Society, run by B-school students.
- Hong Kong Students and Scholars Society is an organisation dedicated to supporting Hong Kong students at Columbia, though students need not have any affiliation whatsoever with Hong Kong to join.
- Jubilation!- Christian a cappella group. Though not specified as Chinese group, a majority of its members are Chinese.
- Taiwanese Student Association - club for Taiwanese students from Taiwan.
- Taiwanese American Students Association - club for students of Taiwanese descent.