It’s been said that people fear that which they do not understand.  As China continues to grow in power and becomes increasingly important on a global scale, it is increasingly viewed as a “threat.”

However, Hugo de Burgh, a professor of journalism and director of the China Media Center at the University of Westminster, disagrees.  Following a recent visit to China, he shared his experiences with audiences at the China Forum held at the University of Warwick in the UK on February 5th.  He stated, “We have assumed that every country should take a [similar] path as the United States and the United Kingdom to succeed…but it is possible for a society which is not the same as the western to be mobilized quickly.”

De Burgh was also fascinated by the growth of new media in China and the increasing freedom of media to cover more topics. Events are more thoroughly covered, and it has been keeping politicians and big business more in line. Because of China’s increasing importance, westerners should consider becoming more familiar with its history and customs. The professor’s assumption is that greater knowledge will reduce, not exacerbate, the fears.

By Lexie Tucker

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