An article in the Wall Street Journal discusses the difficulties experienced by some US colleges in helping their Chinese students assimilate with the local culture and student body. While some of the difficulty arises from linguistic differences, others arise from mismatches in learning methodologies and expectations, with the result that their instructors often experience resentment at having to adjust their teaching methods to accommodate these students. As an NYU professor testified:
However, given that many of these colleges are actively recruiting these students precisely because they are full-fee paying and hence constitute a key source of revenue, the effort to ensure that these students receive the full benefits of expensive education that they are paying for should not be seen by their salaried instructors as a burden. The WSJ article also highlights the conspicuous consumption of some of these students, which has raised “resentment” among the local population:
An article in Bloomberg last year profiled some of the offspring of China’s wealthy elite, whose lavish behavior has similarly raised resentment in Chinese society. It appears that as China’s nouveau riche migrate across the oceans, their behavior spreads class resentment from their home to their host societies. Such resentment in the US could have contributed to the rise of Sinophobia as has been manifested in the popular China-bashing of the populist US presidential candidate Donald Trump.
A different article from The Economist’s 1843 magazine profiles the efforts Chinese students have to go through in order to be selected for enrolment in the US’ elite Ivy League colleges. For the scions of China’s new economic elite, no expense is too great to ensure the perfect application package:
This level of investment in education is not just for the intellectual benefit of the child. As the article points out, the enrolment of children in American universities is often just a step in their families’ long-term wealth preservation plans:
Back to China and the Eurasian landmass, Aeon Magazine looks at the history of Silk Road, and the prospects for its current revival under Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “One Belt One Road” (OBOR) international development strategy. As the author Peter Frankopan observes, the ancient routes of the Silk Road were key transmitters of culture, wealth, and political change across the Eurasian landmass:
Indeed, the OBOR represents a revival of these ancient pathways’ role as agents of economic, social and political change in this vast transcontinental region:
Intriguingly, Scientific American reports that archeologists have recently rediscovered a hitherto long-forgotten route of the Silk Road that crossed the vast mountainous highlands of Tibet. As a Harvard archeologist observed: