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Understanding China

As China starts transforming economies from Africa to Australia, and constantly threatens the interests of the superpowers of Europe and the United States, wouldn’t you want to know and understand how China does it?

Along with the rest of the world, these exciting developments in China are of particular importance to the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), one of the longest-serving NGOs in the country today, for many reasons. For one, PRRM traces its roots back to China, particularly to the Ting Shien Experiment initiated by Dr James Yen in 1919.  It has been 60 years since PRRM pioneered community development in the barrios of Nangka, Marikina (now a city in Metro Manila) and Galvan, Guimba in Nueva Ecija. Yet throughout these years, the Philippines has gone from democracy to dictatorship and back, with the same age-old problems of poverty and inequality that PRRM pioneers faced in 1952 still very much with us today.

This leads to the other reason for PRRM’s interest in China, coming from a larger, more strategic perspective– China may hold a key to the sustainable development problematic.

“China holds the unparalleled record in poverty reduction in all of development history and yet it is also the one country that’s driving Asia and the whole world crazy. She can choose to push us to the edge of global disaster or take us back to the path of sustainable development,” PRRM President Isagani Serrano explains as he invites the public to an upcoming PRRM forum. “Understanding China with Chito Sta. Romana” will be held on February 27, Monday, 3-5pm, at the PRRM Headquarters located at 57 Mother Ignacia St., Scout Dr Lazcano Ave. in Quezon City. This forum is part of PRRM’s 60th anniversary activities.

In an interview featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer in October 2011 (http://globalnation.inquirer.net/16699/china-expert-comes-home), the China expert and ex-ABC News Beijing Bureau Chief Sta. Romana admits he understands China more than the Philippines, but right now would like to know the Philippines more. Understanding China will discuss the controversial development path China has chosen, its impact on the development processes in Asia and worldwide, and the place of rural development, rural reconstruction and sustainable development in all this.

PRRM Conversations on Sustainability Year 10 – Understanding China

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