The rise of China as both an economic and political power has provoked intense interest in the West.
Daily discussions in the US and Europe reflect on the rapid emergence of China's industrial might and potential on the world stage. Much of this discussion seems to be underscored by deep anxiety, however.
The Beijing Olympics provided a focus whereby this anxiety seemed to intensify. Some have raised concerns about a rise of 'China-bashing'. Has it become 'fashionable' to portray China as an 'evil' empire as a means playing up the comparative virtue of the West?
Talk of the impressive acceleration of China's productivity is invariably accompanied by environmental concerns, particularly with regard to pollution and China's increasing demand for material improvements leading to greater energy consumption.
The political character of the Chinese regime is also a cause for concern, with passions raised particularly with regard to the lack of free speech in China, abuses of human rights in Tibet, and alleged complicity with atrocities in Darfur and Zimbabwe, as China plays an ever greater international role.
To what extent is the expansion of China's productive capabilities to be welcomed? Can China provide an example of how to transform less developed parts of the world? Or is the growth of China a threat to the international order and humanity more broadly? Are Western observers right to fear the rise of China?
Is the discussion about China sufficiently objective, or has it rather become a focus for concerns within the West, such as our own ambivalent attitude to economic growth, and fears about our changing place in the world?- NY Salon
Elizabeth Economy is Director of Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and an expert on China-U.S. relations and Chinese domestic and foreign policy, with particular focus on the environment.
She periodically consults for agencies of the U.S. government and has lectured or taught at several American universities, including Johns Hopkins University (1997) and the University of Washington (1993-1994).
In 1990, Economy was honored with an SSRC-MacArthur Dissertation Fellowship in International Peace and Security Studies.
She studied at Swarthmore College and Stanford University and received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Charles Freeman joined USTR on April 15, 2002, as Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade representative responsible for the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Mongolia.
An Attorney by training, Mr. freeman has had a wide-ranging career, much of it engaged with Asia-Pacific business and economic development issues. Immediately prior to joining USTR he served as Legislative Counsel for Senator Frank H. Murkowski (R-AK), advising on international trade and other non-domestic issues with a regional focus on East Asia. He previously had been Director of the Asia Foundation's economic reform programs in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan; before that was Director of the International Herald Tribune's Asia-Pacific program of international trade and investment conferences; and before that was Director of emerging market trading and research for Schooner Capital corporation. Earlier in his career he practiced venture capital and securities law at Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault in Boston.
Mr. Freeman received his J.D. from Boston University School of Law, where he was an editor of the Law Review and graduated with honors. He earned a B.A. from Tufts University in Asian Studies, concentrating in Economics, also with honors. He also studied at Fudan University in Shanghai and at the Taipei Language Institute. He speaks Mandarin Chinese.
Brooke Gladstone is an American journalist and media analyst. She is host and managing editor of the National Public Radio newsmagazine, On the Media, and has been a contributor to The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Observer, and Slate. Gladstone lectures at universities and conferences and has appeared on PBS's Bill Moyers Journal and CNN's Reliable Sources (and once filled in for Charlie Rose on PBS's Charlie Rose Show.) She is widely quoted as an expert on press trends.
Alan Miller is Director of The NY Salon. He also is the co-founder of London's Truman Brewery and Vibe Bar.
Miller is also a film director and writer.
Brendan O'Neill is the editor of spiked. He started his career in journalism at spiked's predecessor, Living Marxism, until it was forced to close in 2000 following a notorious libel action brought by ITN.
O'Neill writes widely for publications on both sides of the Atlantic. His journalism has been published in the New Statesman, the Spectator, the Guardian, The Sunday Times, the British Journalism Review, the Press Gazette and the Catholic Herald in Britain. He is also a feature-writer for the Christian Science Monitor in America and for the BBC in Britain.
He writes a weekly blog for the Guardian website, Comment Is Free.
He is a British correspondent for the Polish political weekly PrzeKroj, and has written for newspapers and magazines in Australia, South Africa, Canada, India, Germany, France, Italy and Denmark. His work covers everything from war and terrorism to free speech and junk food. He was a consultant for the book Human, published by Dorling Kindersley and winner of the British Medical Association Medical Book Award 2005.