• English Conversation Classes: Talking about the Rise of China

    The future of China, and it’s role in world economics and politics is increasingly a topic of conversation, not just in my English conversation classes, but everywhere you go. In this TED Talk, Martin Jacques talks about why westerners misunderstand China, and tries to give us ideas to help us understand it better.

    He says many things about China and its future that could be considered controversial, including that: “The arrival of countries like China… represents the most important single act of democratization in the last 200 years.”

    Why should you listen to Martin Jacques?

    Martin Jacques is the author of When China Rules the World: The Rise of the Middle Kingdom and the End of the Western World. He is a visiting senior fellow at the London School of Economics, IDEAS, a centre for the study of international affairs, diplomacy and grand strategy, and a visiting research fellow at the LSE’s Asia Research Centre. He is a columnist for the Guardian and the New Statesman.

    His interest in East Asia began in 1993 with a holiday in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. After that, he found every reason or excuse he could find to spend time in the region, be it personal, for newspaper articles or television programs. In 1977, he became editor of Marxism Today, a post he held for fourteen years, transforming what was an obscure and dull journal into the most influential political publication in Britain, read and respected on the right and left alike.

    In 1991, he closed Marxism Today and in 1994 became the deputy editor of the Independent newspaper, a post he held until 1996. In 1993 he co-founded the think-tank Demos.

    Watch the video below, to hear Jacques. If you would like to take a class based on this video, contact us.

    1. How does Jacques say the economic crisis has changed projections for the future of China’s economy?
    2. In what two ways does he say China will change the world?
    3. What does he think is the problem with the way westerners understand China?
    4. What does he say is the most important political value in China?
    5. Why does he say the world will become increasingly unfamiliar to us?
    6. What does he say about Europe and it’s future?
    7. Where should you go, according to Martin, if you want to see the future?
    8. What problem does China have the the U.S. does not have?
    9. What does he say our attitude should be toward China’s future?
    10. Why does he say that the rise of China and India represents the most important democratization of the last 200 years?


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