Occasional Papers on Asia
In February 2011, the Center for the Study of Asia launched its first publication, titled Occasional Papers on Asia. This series will highlight a wide range of topics and issues in relation to Asian Studies and will feature the research of BUCSA’s faculty and fellows.
Author: Charlotte Sanford Mason – co-founder and coordinator of GEM (Global Education, Massachusetts) December 2013
Excerpt: In September 2013, China celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of Deng Xiaoping’s “Three Fors,” a document that launched educational reform in China. The document states, “Education is/should be for modernization, for the world, and for the future.” What made it such a revolutionary, inspirational, and visionary declaration is the broad interpretation of its stated ideas by China’s educators. During the celebration teachers and officials expressed pride in the progress inspired by Deng Xiaoping, confidence that they will solve ongoing problems, and faith in the “Chinese dream” of an ever-brighter future. Despite the simplicity of Deng’s words in the “Three Fors,” his successors’ broad interpretation of it has set an ambitious course for continued school reform in China. In its sights, not yet achieved, perhaps to be articulated at a fortieth anniversary of the “Three Fors,” are universal K-12 education, including special education, and improved access to quality education for children of migrant workers, minorities, and the rural poor. Looking at the distance traveled in a mere thirty years, it is clear that education in China shows remarkable momentum, achievement, resilience, and promise, its goals aligned with those of other world powers.
Author: Grant F. Rhode, PhD Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University July 2013
Excerpt: In the first decades of the twenty-first century, China has emerged as America’s strategically most important bilateral partner and potential bilateral rival. Thus, the United States has turned its commercial, political, and security focus towards the Pacific Rim. In this environment, it has become increasingly important to produce an informed citizenry, better prepared to understand the complexities of the U.S.- China relationship. In 2010-2011, approximately 158,000 Chinese students studied in the U.S., while only 12,000 American students studied in China. The imbalance in these numbers suggests that the U.S. may be less equipped to manage its relationship with China than China will be to deal with the U.S.
Author: Aki Nakai, Political Science (Boston University)
Excerpt: The “rise of China” is on everyone’s lips these days, with the conversation being driven both by China’s rapid economic development and its military modernization. On November 9, 2010, the Boston University Center for the Study of Asia hosted a symposium that focused on one aspect of China’s rise: its naval modernization. Professor Andrew Bacevich of Boston University kicked off the afternoon with an opening address that posed the central question: Are China and the United States on a collision course? This question was then explored by Lyle Goldstein, Nan Li, Peter Dutton, and Toshi Yoshihara of the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and Professor Robert Ross of Boston College. Comments and questions were raised by Professors Joseph Fewsmith and Michael Corgan of the Department of International Relations at Boston University. The broad answer the group came up with was “not necessarily.” Whether there is conflict or not depends on the capabilities and intentions of the United States and China, their ability to communicate reassurance to each other, as well as the impact of China’s naval modernization on other regional powers, particularly Japan.