Thursday, November 18, 2004

A new prima donna begins to take the stage

An interesting article in today's New York Times on China's rising influence in Asia (at the expense of the U.S.). Amazing how the little things - cultural exchanges, language programs, encouraging students to study abroad - can make such a difference in the perception of one's country. China's influence is growing as the U.S.'s wanes, in part also due to the U.S. drawing its wagons close and turning inward. Cutting back Voice of America's funding, making studying abroad in the States people forget that the source of America's strength comes from the continual flow of foreign brains? Let's think about one of the hottest IPOs this year, which has as co-founder a foreign student. My own parents are themselves an example of America's reliance on foreign students to supply the demand for scientists and engineers. Condi, you reading?

Actually, I didn't mean to rant on about just the U.S. Taiwan is just as guilty - the government cut funding that supports Chinese language study here years ago, and that will really hurt Taiwan as it tries to carve a place for itself in the future. In general, you can tell where China scholars and policy makers learned their Chinese because of their views on the Taiwan-China situation. Gotta start influencing people while they're young...

1 comment:

kuri* said...

I agree.

It's interesting how long-term an impact positive experiences can be. An aquaintance of mine went to the U.S. for an exchange program 20 or 30 years ago, when it was still rare and expensive to do so. She still keeps in touch with her American host family.