The Language and Culture of China and its relevance to current development issues

Date: Friday April 13, 2007 – 7:30 p.m. at the Almonte United Church Social Hall

Speaker: Kieran Broadbent

Topic: The Language and Culture of China and its relevance to current development issues 

Kieran Broadbent was educated at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Wolfson College, University of Oxford in Chinese (Mandarin). He worked first in Hongkong on Chinese development issues for the British government before joining the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux where he specialised in China’s economy. He compiled a Chinese-English Dictionary of China’s Rural Economy which was published by the Bureaux in 1976, and was also a contributor to the first computerised Chinese-English Scientific and Technical Dictionary (CETA) project sponsored by a consortium of US Government Agencies. He later joined the International Development Research Center, Ottawa, where as an Associate Director he continued his professional interest in China until retirement . He has been a frequent visitor to China over the years and has authored several academic papers.

The talk will focus on three main questions: 

  • What virtues caused the endurance of Chinese civilisation when all others have faded away?
  • What made China the most advanced place in the world for several centuries before the European industrial revolution and what were the reasons for its decline?
  • Why is China suddenly poised to become the new ‘workshop of the world’ and what are the implications of this for the world economy and the environment?

Kieran Broadbent studied Chinese (Mandarin) at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Hongkong University and qualified as a Civil Service Interpreter, and later received an M.Litt from Oxford in Agricultural Economics for research into the Transformation of China’s Rural Economy and its Effect on the Environment. He also published a Dictionary of China’s Rural Economy. He made his first of many visits to China in 1978 at the invitation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences as a member of an international academic advisory consortium (CETA ) based in Washington DC that was engaged in the first attempt to produce a computerised Chinese-English Scientific Dictionary. He retired from the International Development Research Centre( IDRC) in Ottawa after many years of international development work. He lives on a farm outside Almonte.

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