In the absence of Chairman Mike Earle the Forum’s Deputy Chairman Duncan Verity introduced the guest speaker for the 25th of January Trevor Higginbottom.
Trevor had travelled from Derbyshire to speak to us on the subject of China – All Our Futures.
Trevor works in the education sector and spends three months of each year in Shanghai which has given him a close insight into his chosen subject. He handed out a sheet with a list of seventeen points which he then discussed with the Forum members.
Top of the list were the facts that nearly a quarter of the world’s population lives in China and it is the world’s second richest country. One of the more disturbing facts was that China owns approximately one third of USA’s national debt and conflict between the two countries would be disastrous for the world’s finances.
The UK’s relationship with China does not recognise its growing importance. For instance only three per cent of English pupils are learning Mandarin and the UK is not in the top ten of China’s trading partners.
Trevor stressed that the Chinese system had many drawbacks regarding the lack of democracy and the large gap between wealth and poverty.
Duncan Verity proposed a vote of thanks for a fascinating talk.