NPR recently had a series of reports called “China: Beyond Borders.” The reports about the extent of China’s reach are very informative. The series covered many aspects of the issues at hand. I knew China reaches around the world, but I did not know to what depth and how far. The series brought reports from countries neighboring China, to South America and Africa.
The discussion “China’s Growing Reach Spans Continents” was part of the program “Talk of the Nation.” The discussion included Rob Gifford, the Shanghai correspondent for NPR. Rob Gifford also presented a series called “One the Road in China” and wrote the book “China Road,” which has been recommended to me as good reading about China.
After listening to NPR’s reports, I think there are quite a few themes in China’s rise and how other countries are responding to this situation. Since historically China has been victim to the might of other countries, China does not see itself as an aggressor. However, the economic rise of China in other countries is making the world wary. The Chinese way of business can lead to violations in labor laws and safety. It can also mean the introduction of counterfeit goods and corruption. China is using soft power to temper fears of its fast economic rise. Confucius Institutes are opened by the Chinese government to teach language and culture. China’s growth also extends to the military and nationalism, which can also be frightening to other countries. However, a common thought is that until China can take care of its political issues, human rights issues, and internal issues, the rest of the world does not need to be afraid.