Just a short post to wrap up my week of guest blogging, which, now
that I think about it, comes full circle to the broad theme of "soft
power" with which I began this week
(and one of Jim's favorite issues as well). It is just a fascinating
topic to which I will return again, among many other things, over at my
regular Atlantic blog spot
US higher education is still the best, especially if you want an
internship in China. So says the China Development Bank, whose summer internship recruitment
page defines the scope of education pedigree as limited to ONLY Harvard
and MIT. Sorry Yale and Princeton, or Beijing University and Tsinghua,
the CDB thinks you're not internship material for a Chinese state-owned
policy bank. To be fair, the CDB is supposedly one of the best-run banks
in China under the helm of the princeling Chen Yuan (he is the son of
Chen Yun, one of the "eight immortals" in Chinese politics who fought
alongside Mao Zedong). According to the FT
the CDB lent more money in the last few years to developing countries
than the World Bank. The political implications of the CDB vs. the WB is
an entirely different topic that deserves some thought in the future.
a Chinese state policy bank is actively recruiting from elite American
institutions, while passing on China's own elite institutions. No wonder
presidential heir apparent
Xi Jinping is also sending his daughter
to Harvard. And another political star and princeling Bo Xilai, party secretary of Chongqing, has sent his son Bo Guagua
to study at Oxford. The message from the future president of China
seems to be a vote of no confidence in China's own higher education. If
you were a Chinese parent with college-aged children, how are you to
interpret these messages from your leaders?
end with an issue I've raised before about the natural contrast between
US presidents and Chinese presidents based on optics and imagery alone.
At the time, I wrote this
made an enormous deal out of the fact that Obama exited Air Force One
on a rainy night with no entourage and no one holding an umbrella over
him. This led to mockery that had it been even a mid-level Chinese
official, he would've had a dozen people hold umbrellas for him [which
implies "look at how unpretentious and equal America is...even their
president travels solo in the rain!].
Well, this is what I mean:
you can see, the Chinese blogosphere has juxtaposed yet another photo
of some unknown Chinese official against Obama shaking hands with
supporters in the rain. Like I said, Obama doesn't even have to try to
project "soft power".
By the way, both of these items are courtesy of the Ministry of Tofu, a new Chinese blog in English that I've mentioned before
that, I'm officially signing off my week-long guest appearance. And
thank you Jim for the opportunity. It has been great and enlightening to
have been in the company of such a diverse and interesting range of
people, features, and views.
This post originally appeared on James Fallows's blog.