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University of Peking Takes Chinese Language Courses Online

In an interview recently Google CEO Eric Schmidt made a startling prediction: among the usual visionary list of faster broadband, faster computers and near-universal access he foresees came the comment that in five years, the predominant language used online will be Chinese. You can find many pieces of the picture that would lead to such a development by looking at the coordinated effort by the Chinese government and its entrepreneurs to become a world-class economic power.

Chinese universities are turning out engineers and IT professionals at a much higher volume than the United States or the European nations. Their manufacturing sector now possesses hundreds of thousands of blue collar jobs that were once part of the U.S. economy. The government is moving swiftly to get its finance sector into global markets, authorizing banks to enter the insurance business and to some degree, inviting foreign investment. Finally, they own about $1 trillion in U.S. debt which has led to some speculation that the dollar's days as the global coin of the realm may be limited.

In an effort to expand the use of Chinese language, specifically the Mandarin dialect, in global business the University of Peking has developed an online education program in conjunction with the Malayan firm EBS Technologies. MyChineseLearning.com offers distance learning courses and programs of study to students who wish to participate in the next wave of global economic development.

Just as learning Japanese was an enormous asset for business degree graduates twenty five years ago, learning Chinese communications skills will be an invaluable asset for upcoming MBA students, technology students and even accounting school graduates who want a role in a multinational company.

The other emerging economic power, India, does not have the same communications problem as China because for decades it was a British colony and English was both spoken and taught in a significant segment of the population. That's not the case with China. Since the industrial age began, English has been the universal language of business. The Chinese may think it's time for a change.

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