Andrew Leonard writes in Salon of Filtering the China Filters:

But then, finally, there comes what to me is the most intriguing of all
the new info-nuggets I gathered today. In Howard French’s New York
Times piece on the growing popularity of Chinese-language studies,
there is this paragraph:

‘In a 2003 survey of American high schools, the College Board found
that 50 said they would like to add advanced placement courses in
Russian, about 175 said Japanese and 240 said Italian — and 2,400 said
they would prefer Chinese.’

That’s some grass-roots attention to globalization right there, folks. People know: It’s time to study up.

And that’s your China update for today.

Actually the rest of the piece talk a lot of the challenges facing the Chinese miracle:

But how much progress is China really making in bringing its scientific
establishment up to the standards set by the U.S., Japan and Europe?
That’s the question that Horace Judson investigates in his illuminating
three-part series for Technology Review. He provides an excellent
overview, with a lot of firsthand reporting, but the nut is this:
China’s scientists are hampered by their Confucian hierarchical
heritage, which does not allow for the kind of questioning independence
at the core of the Western scientific ethos. China’s leaders know this,
however, and the process of globalization in which young Chinese
engineers and scientists go to the West for advanced educations and
then come back to China, indoctrinated in a different value system, is
ongoing. But it will most likely take generations for long-term change to set in.