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China, a Year Later
Shanghai, China. (AP)

A view of Shanghai, China, March 2009. (AP)

China just gets bigger as a global issue, a global power. One year ago this month, we packed up On Point and went on the road to China, broadcasting live for a week from the heart of Shanghai.

Today, we’ll turn our microphones back to China, to look at the big changes of the last year: an earthquake in Sichuan, an epic Olympics in Beijing, and economic meltdown all over.

China’s been hit by the meltdown, too. But it’s also emerged, more clearly than ever, as the cash-rich banker to America — with all that means.

This hour, On Point: One year on, we look back to China.

You can join the conversation. After earthquake and Olympics and economic meltdown, how do you see China now? Still on the rise? On a sidetrack? Treasury to the world? Partner? Or something else?


Anthony Kuhn, Beijing correspondent for National Public Radio.

Joining us from Beijing is Sun Zhe, professor at the Institute for International Studies and director of the Center for U.S.-China relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing. A wise voice last year with us in Shanghai, he is one of China’s leading scholars in the field of U.S.-China relations and American Studies.

And with us from Shanghai is Fang Xinghai, Director General in the Office for Financial Services in the Shanghai Metropolitan Government and former Deputy CEO of the Shanghai Stock Exchange. A U.S.-educated mover and shaker in the Chinese Communist Party, he also joined us last year in Shanghai.

“On Point in Shanghai”
See the special site we created for our week of broadcasts from Shanghai, April 14-18, 2008. You’ll find all ten shows, along with links, slideshows, videos, music, and listener comments. Plus, host Tom Ashbrook’s daily posts.

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  • http://Onpoint Michael Mangone

    Now that China is becoiming a world power will they ever share the reponsibility that comes with doing the right thing such as the enviorment? They are well know for being the worst offenders of the enviroment when will that change? and does the chinese public want to change it?

  • Josh Daines

    U.S. consumers must stop consuming Chinese products and purchase goods made at home.
    Until Americans invest in their own country and stop feeding the lopsided trade relationship with China, the problem will get much worse.

    Stop blindly consuming cheap Chinese made junk and reassess what you truly need in your life.

  • http://www.pauling.us Alex Pauling

    As China increases its presence in the global biotech sector, its most pressing needs include more homegrown innovation and a well-trained workforce. Today, there are many career opportunities for people with skills.

    China will continue to grow, driven by domestic demand and global investment. China has great resources & huge talent pool, but it still needs to collaborate with USA. China should invest and support the innovative minds from USA & Europe in order to change the image “made in China” to “invented in China”.

  • Kash Haffa

    Growth bad

    Balance good

  • David

    We really don’t have much to sell the Chinese – and I think Tom tried to make that point at the end. But, I think this is the most important conversation that we need to be having with the Chinese.

    We have a (mostly) de-industrialized and knowledge based economy. Unfortunately, the Chinese really don’t have any appreciation of intellectual property and no courts to enforce infringement. Perhaps rightly, a lot of American companies are afraid to sell to China for fear of being copied.

    Of course this means that the Chinese HAVE to buy treasury bonds, otherwise, there would be no trade. Ergo, we have the current unsustainable current account deficit.

    I was hoping Obama would help things by forcing the Chinese to revalue their currency and take a hard line on protecting IP. But instead he’s looking to China to help grow federal government spending… Which is horribly disappointing.

    This looks like it will only end when China stops buying US treasuries.

  • O. Broudy

    I just got back from Dharamsala, home of the Tibetan government in exile, where I heard many reports of extreme repression within Tibet by the PLA. These reports were of course anecdotal, because China is not currently allowing journalists to travel inside Tibet. I wonder if China regards the current economic downturn as a good thing, insofar as it takes the spotlight off their actions in Tibet.

  • waiting out

    I hope the two Chinese commentaters are reading the comments here. I am ethnic Chinese and would wish everything well for both the US and China. However, I would recommend both gentlemen to go to public relations training, especially the fellow from Shanghai. Being cocky does not serve anyone well, and particularly at this point in its development. I am glad that the leadership in china are much more in perspective. They do hit back hard when necessary, e.g., the Prime Minister’s comments when idiotic economists in the US started blaming chinese savings for the American crisis. But they also know how to behave and behave and speak for the longer term. When Tang Taichong (1250 years ago) had his final advice from a dying strategist, the first 9 pieces were “keep your head low” and only the final one ” to start lead”. China should have teh master in European history speak, a Bizmarkian policy, and let’s hope (and the world has to act) that a Wilhenmian regime will never happen, of course, of which I am quite confident as the Chinese do have a longer term perspective, and the meritocracy in chinese will weed these people out quite quickly.

  • Victoria Serre

    I just returned from a trip to “China” with our local Chamber. I ejoyed the trip very much but noticed how close they guarded what they wanted us to see except how fast they are building mega freeways, public High Rise living and weeding out the slums.

    What I think of “China” is that they are keeping that SMILE on their face,with a dagger up their sleeve. They opened their doors to the World in the 70′s because they were a desperate country in need of much help from US. They became over-populated, unable to feed their people. They had little technology, but alot of natural materials the rest of the Worl could use.

    They want to gather all they need from the World now to become the “World Power”. They are moving fast and have their 5 year plan in place.

    Keep a close eye on “China”.

  • Rachel

    Victoria, listen to you, sounds like a U.S. spy.

    The world should’ve keeping a close eyes on U.S long ago, but U.S. always portray herself as a world police. And others if not their allies are evil or some kind of threats to U.S., you are still in the U.S. propaganda zone. How about America has been using all crude oil resources all over the world, and reserve its own. U.S. has been consuming resources from China too, not exporting too much today.

    When it comes to all governments all over the world, there’s always conspiracy, same as China, you feel intimidated by it because of its size and population. As far as putting the smile on their face, I think U.S. has done a lot better job than any other country in the world.

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