When the U.S. government imagines the global future, the term BRIC features prominently. The concept was created in 2001 when researchers at Goldman Sachs identified four critical emerging powers—Brazil, Russia, India and China. By 2050, claimed these experts, the BRIC powers would be challenging the U.S. for worldwide economic supremacy. U.S. officials have taken this forecast very seriously.
“It’s impossible to be neutral about China,” Rob Gifford writes. “Some foreigners hate it from the moment they set foot here. Others love it so much they put down roots and never go home.” But it may be getting harder to love China.
In the 1950s, the communist government of China expelled all foreign missionaries. Many Americans have seen black-and-white photos of missionary families sitting next to piles of luggage on the wharves of Shanghai, waiting to sail home. We know much about this event because the missionaries came home and wrote books about their dedication and their unrealized harvest.
China’s crackdown on protesters in Tibet has brought attention to China’s record on human rights—unwelcome attention for the country that hopes this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing will bolster its image in the world. Protests have accompanied the travels of the Olympic torch as it makes its way to Beijing.
An independent federal body that monitors religious freedom is urging President Bush not to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing unless there are discernible changes in China’s policy toward Tibet.
In an event that could signal improved relations between China’s state-run Catholic church and the country’s underground church loyal to Rome, a new Chinese bishop was ordained September 8 with the approval of both China’s communist government and the Vatican.
Against the backdrop of celebrations to mark the countdown to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government has angered religious- freedom activists by attempting to assert greater influence over the choice of a successor to the Dalai Lama.