This House Believes: China’s School Debate Clubs

This House Believes: China’s School Debate Clubs

The omission of a Lu Xun essay from a widely used middle school textbook was recently defended as sparing children from the burden of premature critical thinking. But The Economist reports that growing numbers of schools are running Western-style debate teams in order to cultivate that very quality:

Gao Wenbing is a member of a school debating team in the coastal city of Qingdao. He says he knows there are certain “red lines” he can never cross, such as mentioning the massacre in in 1989. “But basically,” he says in flawless English, “I feel quite free.”

At one competition at Peking University, in which Mr Gao took part in May, students debated whether China’s rise is good for America or not. The debate went back and forth, with one participant, speaking for America, concluding: “we are the lighthouse of…liberty and . Why do you think this ideology can’t prevail over the Chinese version of communist ideology?” [Source]

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