Sino-In­dian ri­valry a hot topic in US class­rooms

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - FRONT PAGE - By Chris Qin

We all know that in re­cent years, more and more Chinese stu­dents are opt­ing to go abroad in­stead of tak­ing the gaokao (na­tional col­lege en­trance ex­am­i­na­tions). There is also a large num­ber of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents in the US who come from other Asian coun­tries in­clud­ing In­dia, Ja­pan, and South Korea.

After liv­ing and study­ing with class­mates from dif­fer­ent Asian coun­tries, I am im­pressed by In­dian stu­dents’ ex­ten­sive knowl­edge of China.

In Novem­ber, when the re­sult of the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion came out and Don­ald Trump be­came the president, my pro­fes­sors dropped their planned course con­tent and started dis­cus­sions about the coun­try’s fu­ture. In eco­nom­ics class, for ex­am­ple, my pro­fes­sor dis­cussed whether Trump would neg­a­tively affect China-US re­la­tions. There were two In­di­ans and three Chinese stu­dents in the class. Be­fore my Chinese friends or I could speak, an In­dian stu­dent raised his hand and stated his opin­ion.

He spoke for two min­utes and was well-in­formed. He even gave ex­act fig­ures on China’s GDP growth in the past three years.

My friends and I looked at each other and won­dered how he knew these facts so well.

After that day, I en­coun­tered more In­dian stu­dents who knew a lot about China and love to dis­cuss the coun­try.

Two months later, I was in an en­vi­ron­men­tal stud­ies class. The topic was cli­mate change and car­bon emis­sions, and the pro­fes­sor showed China’s sit­u­a­tion on the black­board and en­cour­aged us to say some­thing about it. Again, be­fore I could speak, an In­dian stu­dent listed a se­ries of prob­lems China faces and solutions that have been taken.

It ap­pears that when­ever my pro­fes­sors men­tion China in class, my In­dian class­mates get more ex­cited than the rest.

I think it might have some­thing to do with many peo­ple from In­dia see­ing China as their ri­val.

Both coun­tries have a long his­tory and civ­i­liza­tion. Dur­ing the past decades, China and In­dia have both de­vel­oped rapidly from a poor coun­try to a pow­er­ful na­tion. Both In­di­ans and Chinese have long been re­garded as among the most dili­gent peo­ple in the world. So, per­haps stu­dents who study abroad think that the two coun­tries are com­peti­tors in fu­ture de­vel­op­ment.

Some of my friends who ma­jor in science and tech­nol­ogy have also told me that their In­dian class­mates are their only ri­vals in class. They com­pare their rank­ings and scores in each test.

My In­dian class­mates are very hard­work­ing and they spend a lot of time study­ing. Although we have never fallen be­hind them, after my fresh­man year, I felt that my In­dian class­mates were very knowl­edge­able about China. At least, they ex­celled more in the field of know­ing one’s ri­val.

So, it is time for my friends and me to work even harder and learn about In­dia so that the next time a pro­fes­sor men­tions In­dia we can beat them to the punch.

The opinions ex­pressed in this ar­ti­cle are the au­thor’s own and do not nec­es­sar­ily re­flect the views of the Global Times.

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