Battle for China
The rise of China as an economic and political power is the subject of much debate in the West. The dramatic awakening of the ‘sleeping giant’ seems to provoke as much fear as admiration. Concerns range from whether rapid industrialisation will lead to social inequality and environmental destruction to the regime’s use of censorship and its role on the world stage. Now – on the eve of the Beijing Olympics – Western criticisms of China have intensified, especially in relation to human rights and Tibet. But when does valid criticism turn into demonisation? Some commentators have noted that China-bashing is the new Olympic sport. This day of discussions aims to provide some balance and allow participants to reflect on and debate some of the key themes associated with China Now.
What effect has China’s development had on the rest of the world, and how is it likely to influence things in the future?
Can China continue its phenomenal growth pattern in the face of its considerable challenges?
Is the prospect of China as a superpower one we in the West should fear or welcome?
Is the unprecedented development in China a cause for celebration or anxiety?
What do cultural shifts in China – from enthusiasm for vast futuristic cityscapes to its embrace of Western classical music – tell us about modern China?
Is it legitimate to use the Beijing Olympics as an opportunity to challenge the regime over China’s rapid growth, pollution levels, and its role in Africa, or do such complaints smack of hypocrisy and moral grandstanding?