Inaugural Post

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.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Inaugural Post

  1. William,
    I’m very impressed that you’re taking on such an involved topic. I enjoyed reading the post on why you chose this topic – it adds an interesting aspect to reading the rest of the posts. I think this is a great way to continue the conversation and explore your interests.
    Molly

  2. I’m really looking forward to following your exploration of this topic – US relations with China are so relevant in the current global economy, and this blog will give you the platform to really dig into them and keep up on all that is happening. After taking both Leachman and Krupp’s classes on US global economic policy, an interest in this topic was definitely ignited in me as well – glad you chose it!

  3. Chris

    First I think I should say congratulations. That is quite an honor to be on BBC, and I think all 5 of you did a great job in the interview. I am excited for your blog to start picking up, as I know relatively little about the U.S./China interaction other than media coverage.

    I do not know if you are interested in this or view it as relevant to your blog, but I personally find it fascinating how quickly this U.S. vs. China discussion has caught on. Obviously these issues did not emerge overnight, but in terms of media coverage it almost seems that way. An interesting point to address may be how the current U.S. economic and political environment has made individuals suddenly very concerned with our relationship with China.

    Regardless, I look forward to reading your blog and hearing your take on some of these issues.

  4. Sam

    Will,
    I look forward to reading your commentary on the issue of global competition. I perused the BBC article, and agree with your support of America as a global leader and innovator in the future. I am interested to hear your thoughts on what the US needs to do to remain competitive. China certainly has an extensive labor workforce and experience in manufacturing, so the US will need to provide incentives to US companies to remain on US soil. Good luck!
    -Sam

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