People are talking about China, even in small town America. NPR aired a story last week about the number of Beijing University (Bei Da) graduates in the United States and within hours two different people in Great Barrington, astonished, had told me about it. There are 40,000 Bei Da graduates here, and apparently the university is planning to start fundraising among them. The College of Creative Studies at UCSB, which I attended, has been around for nearly 40 years and has less than 2,000 graduates.
This is one of the important things to know about China: there are just so many people. It’s striking when you’re there, on the streets, but the more important thing is that a huge population creates social and economic pressures, and influences how a country goes about its business. And business is on China’s mind: not only are Chinese people attending western business schools, but they are creating their own, and fast. Here’s a Business Week article about China’s b-schools.
Japan, on the other hand, like much of Europe, has a declining population.