Batten lecture explores global roles of China, Japan

Lecture part of Global Policy Center speaker series


Midland spoke about how China and Japan see their own national identities.

Lauren Hornsby | Cavalier Daily

Phil Midland — president of IHS International, an Arlington-based consulting firm — spoke on the rising global presence of China and Japan at the Global Policy Center at the Batten School Monday.

Much of Midland’s lecture focused on national security, economics and evolving identities of China and Japan and their relationship to the Western Hemisphere.

“When I put this in the context for businessmen I'm speaking in terms of operating systems — we have one operating system in the West, and in the East there's another operating system,” Midland said. “So we have a situation here where you have Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, [and] neither one of them is going to change.”

China and the West are grappling with the emergence of an increasingly connected world, Midland said.

“We're talking about a synchronization of spheres, not a clash of civilizations,” Midland said. “We are trying to stabilize things.”

Midland said China’s national security and public policy concerns are evolving alongside the emergence of the country’s “digital enablement” and the lack of formal governance over digital technologies.

Midland also spoke about how China and Japan see their own national identities.

“China now sees itself as a ‘great state,’” Midland said.

The social aristocracy is still a part of Chinese culture, he said.

“[Chinese President] Xi Jinping’s charge right now is to bring the civilization back and renew their dignity … with the revitalization of China's culture,” Midland said.

Japan is rationally working through the “what if’s” of seeing itself as a leader on the front line of Asia, Midland said.

Murielle de Wekker, assistant director of global student services at the Batten School, said Midland’s visit to the University is one of many installments in the guest speaker series the Global Policy Center has created for its students.

“Basically what we are trying to do — the Global Policy Center being a new center that we started back in July of last year — is to try to globalize the curriculum,” de Wekker said. “[Midland is] one of our many speakers this semester to come to Batten to kind of expose our students to different ways of looking at the world.”

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