A few weeks ago I received an email from Duke’s Office of Media Communications. It contained an inquiry in regards to British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) visit to Durham. Matt Frei, a lead anchor for “BBC Americas World News”, a program directed towards a U.S. audience covering global headlines, was coming to Duke to speak with a few students about their perspective on American global competitiveness. The emphasis of the discussion was placed on China as an economic and political threat to the United States in the foreseeable future, and the students were to debate their point of view on camera. Periodically Matt Frei would ask provocative questions to stir the conversation. Five individuals were chosen to take part in this event, and although I was not originally one of the students chosen, the bad weather in the Northeastern U.S. led me to step in as the alternate.
As far as I can remember I’ve never been chosen to take part in something filmed for an actual audience. So when I had an opportunity to be on BBC, one of the world’s largest news networks, I gladly accepted the invitation. Upon taking a class in globalization and competitiveness last fall, I had some understanding of the topic and was aware that the U.S. frequently receives a bad reputation in relation to its global policies. I thus promised myself I would do my best to make sure the U.S. was cast in a fair light during the discussion. As our discussion progressed it lead both me and the other individuals to discuss the U.S. position on a global setting, as well as China’s. However even more importantly, it led me to thinking that the topic at hand was definitely worth exploring even further.
My English 109 professor asks his students to create a blog. Coming off taking part in the BBC discussion, what better way for me to explore the issues of American competitiveness in comparison to China? Politically, economically, and culturally, the two countries could not be more different, and I plan on looking at current trends and previous events to highlight those contrasting elements. Similarly, I will weigh in with critiques and thoughts of my own. I’m excited to dig deeper into the issues that these countries currently face, because there is no doubt that any actions taken today by either nation, not only drastically affect themselves in the future, but also each other.