WE WANT TO SEE PEOPLE ACROSS THE WORLD THRIVE
Since China is changing the world, people need to change if they are to thrive.
We enable people to change by making China accessible to them.
China is no longer over there as a possibility for the future;
it is over here as a reality now.
Three realities will have greater impact on the standard of living of this generation in the West than any other: China’s power, its prevalence, and its position in relation to us.
- Power - China is the superpower of the 21st century and the second largest economy in the world – and it is still growing.
- Prevalence - one in five human beings is Chinese. Mandarin is the world’s most spoken language. China is producing three times as many graduates a year than its nearest competitor, the US.
- Position - all Chinese children learn English from age 7. The Chinese language internet is already larger than the English language internet, and social media usage is twice that of the US.
China approaches the world with two eyes open;
the West thinks it is the world and looks out with one eye shut.
And then it calls the Chinese inscrutable.
The power and prevalence of China – and its potential as a market for the West – have been extensively discussed; what has not been comprehensively addressed is how we ensure that China is favourably positioned towards us and that we are appropriately positioned to engage with China to our mutual benefit.
The West tends to view Chinese culture as remote and detached; Mandarin is written off as too difficult to learn; media reports on China are marked by tones of fear and suspicion. In the meantime, the Chinese are going to the moon. Will there still be a place for us when they get there?
If we will not prepare ourselves to engage with China, then we had better learn how to ask in Mandarin, “Do you want noodles with that?”
The single factor that will affect our standard of living in the West more than any other is not China per se but whether or not the world that China is recreating is accessible to us.