The Impact of Political and Economic Changes in China on Future International Recruitment
Some international higher education deans may disagree with me that worldwide political and economic changes will benefit China by increasing its political and economic influence in Asia and around the world. But I believe in time China will emerge as a dominant country on the world stage. The Time magazine columnist, Ian Bremmer, predicts that American international leadership, a constant since 1945, has ended. According to Mr. Bremmer, the United States has become the single biggest source of international uncertainty, creating a void that China is eager to fill.
The following are a few examples of China flexing its muscles on the world stage:
After the United States pulled out of the Paris Agreement, China stepped in to take a lead. The day after the Trump administration announced its decision to withdraw from the agreement, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang reiterated China’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and its cooperation on climate change. The Paris Agreement has been authorized by the National People’s Congress and is legally binding in China.
In 2013, China launched “One Belt, One Road.” This initiative boasts spending $900bn in infrastructure projects in 65 countries south and west of China, along the historic Silk Road, ranging from highways in Pakistan to railway lines in Thailand. The overarching aim of the project is to construct a network of ports, railways and pipelines that will plug China into economic hubs across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. This integration will strengthen Chinese economic influence and maritime power in the region. “One Belt, One Road” could mark the beginning of a major shift in geopolitical alliances in the region.
The founding of Asian Universities Alliance on April 29, 2017 is one example of Chinese higher education expansion in the region. With an initial funding of $1.5 million from Tsinghua University and an initial membership of 15 universities from across the region, the founders aim to promote student and faculty mobility within Asia and foster collaborative research among member institutions.
Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong delivered the keynote address at the opening ceremony and predicted that the Asian University Alliance will: “Resolve regional and global problems and bring together outstanding talents with an international perspective to serve regional development.”
China’s president Xi frequently refers to the “Chinese dream of the great revival of the Chinese nation.” This objective matches its goal of becoming a higher education superpower. And that could change the bottom line of many colleges and universities around the world.