BROOKINGS – Eric Fish, author of “China’s Millennials: The Want Generation,” will speak about the Chinese millennial generation as part of the South Dakota World Affair Council’s annual China Town Hall. Fish’s talk will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at Daktronics’ Building 6.
Fish’s talk follows the 6 p.m. webcast of Susan E. Rice, former national security adviser and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. The webcast will also be shown at Daktronics. The public is invited to attend. There is no charge for admission. Audience questions can be submitted during the webcast via email and Twitter.
“I’d like people to get a greater sense of where young Chinese are coming from and how their experience in America might be influencing them – for better and worse,” said Fish, who moved to China as a 22-year-old teacher in 2007. “There’s been a massive influx in the number of young Chinese coming to live and study in the United States, including South Dakota. This has brought major benefits all around, but there have also been a growing number of controversies and clashes that have implications not only for American higher education, but also for greater U.S.-China relations.
“I think a lot of these issues stem from mutual misunderstanding,” he continued. “So whether you’re a Chinese student yourself, someone impacted by them in your work or study, or just an interested bystander, I hope people come away from the talk with a better understanding of these issues, the undercurrents that are fueling them, and better empathize with the situation these students are in. Chinese millennials – both the 330,000 currently studying in America and the roughly 400 million back in China – will be tremendously important in the future, so I think it’s important to understand where they’re coming from.”
When conducting interviews for his book, Fish was struck by the similar and different experiences he and his American peers had with the Chinese.
“I think the confluence of so many different influences on this generation – the political system, economic growth, Western culture, the emergence of the internet and microblogs, etc. – has made it a very fun and very challenging topic to write on,” said Fish, noting he thought China has gone through one of the most rapid and profound socioeconomic transformations in human history.
“This generation has been brought up with unprecedented opportunity, but now is facing some unprecedented challenges. There are a lot of perceptions, and misperceptions, of young Chinese – both at home and abroad. So I’ve tried to depict the complexity of where they’re coming from, what they’re going through now, and hopefully offer some food for thought as to how they might shape their country’s future.”
For more information, contact Christina Castillo at 605-203-0016.