AP looks at the increase in Mandarin training programs in Taiwan as Chinese language becomes increasingly popular around the world:
China, having traded socialism for capitalism, is emerging as an economic power, perhaps the only one that could rival U.S. dominance in the 21st century. For a new generation of students, business people and even artists, the land of opportunity now lies to the East, not the West.
Drawn to its promise, many are seeking ways to navigate the often rough-and-tumble Wild West atmosphere of working in China. The clearest barometer of this trend is a booming appetite for learning Chinese.
Worldwide, about 40 million people are learning Mandarin, China’s official spoken language and its most common dialect. Nearly 100,000 foreigners went to China to study Mandarin in 2006, more than twice the number five years earlier.