China becomes world's 3rd-largest economy, Chinese teachers much needed in India

Friday, January 16, 2009

Two articles today related to China's growing economy and influence:

First an article from the Washington Post on how China has now officially surpassed Germany as the 3rd-largest economy in the world.

While earlier estimates had put growth of China's gross domestic product that year at 11.9 percent, revised figures released by the government statistics bureau Wednesday show that its economy actually expanded by 13 percent to $3.38 trillion. That compares with Germany's 2007 GDP of $3.32 trillion.
Nevertheless, Germany is the country that is leading the way in new technologies such as passive houses and as far as GDP per capita is concerned there's no contest:

Economists said that despite all the wealth implied by such a large GDP, China should still be considered a poor country.

Yi Xianrong, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government-affiliated research group, emphasized that widespread unemployment and rural poverty are still major problems. China's 1.3 billion residents have a per capita GDP of about $2,500 while Germany's 82 million inhabitants enjoy a per capita GDP of $40,400.

In areas closer to home however, China is certainly becoming more influential along with its language, such as in India:

There is a rising demand in India to learn the Chinese language, but New Delhi is hardly issuing visa to teachers from China, says Beijing's top diplomat here.

'There are no native Chinese teachers to teach the language to Indians since April 2008 despite the growing demand to learn the language,' Consul General Mao Siwei said in an interview here.

'The main problem is they don't get Indian visa easily. They are not directly denied the visa but the procedure is delayed for so long that the teachers ultimately give up,' Mao told IANS.

The diplomat said the increasing appeal for Chinese language followed rising trade between India and China in recent years.

'There is a growing demand to learn Chinese among Indian businessmen because English is not our national language and not the medium for instruction too. Very few Chinese in China understand English.'
Chinese is still not that popular here in Korea, because to be honest people just aren't that enthralled with the country. In fact, there is less fascination with China in places like Korea that are right next door because 1) Asian countries as a rule simply aren't that fascinated with other Asian countries, and 2) Anything negative that comes from China makes the country look worse in the eyes of the people over here. Things such as spring dust storms blowing in from the west across the sea into Korea and turning the sky into a kind of yellowish haze are one example, as well as the recent melamine scare and other problems with product that come up now and again. It's this low GDP per capita and an overall blah image in Asia (not bad mind you, just ho-hum overall) that will require the most effort to change.

I expect that Chinese will attain the status of a powerful regional language however, and that will be good for IALs as a whole.


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