NYU has over the course of the past half a decade developed a number of leading scholarly initiatives focused on the study of China, including the university's undergraduate study abroad program, NYU in Shanghai, which opened its doors in September 2006.
The founding of NYU China House on September 28, 2006 is a response to the growing scholarly interest in China among faculty and students at NYU and a recognition of its increasing influence in the political, economic, and cultural landscape of both Asia and the world at large.
China is the most populous and one of the most ancient civilizations in this world. Its rich culture, traditions, and past advancement in science, economics, and political system have been the fascination of the world for centuries. After the bamboo curtain was lifted, China has reclaimed its position on the world's radar screen.
In recent years, after various waves of economic reforms, China has become the fastest growing, and is already the world's fourth largest economy. It is the world's largest exporter, the largest recipient of foreign direct investment and the second largest holder of foreign exchanges reserves. Undeniably, China is creating one of the most significant economic miracles in human history.
China's emergence as a world-class economic and political force has a curious context. It is one of the rare remaining communist countries, and yet, has fared the best amongst all former communist countries. With a market system all but absent at the beginning of its economic reforms, China has created one of the most vibrant consumer markets in this century and is attracting numerous enthusiastic participants in its capital markets. Literally, China is a meeting point of thousands of years of old Eastern traditions and modern Western economics and of authoritative politics and economics liberalism.
Fascinating dynamic changes are taking place in China's economics and business institutions, culture, societal fabric, political systems, and even the physical environment. Economic growth has challenged China's traditional power structure and social and family values. It has also challenged the world's physical environment and energy supplies. Changes in China, as we have witnessed in the past decade, have led to fundamental and structural shifts in global economics and politics balance. They also affect the world's expectations on future scientific and economic development.
The awakening of China demands global attention. Its arts, culture, history, economics, literature, politics, sociology, environment, health service and natural science are all naturally attracting enormous interest. Being a rapidly changing world, China offers an environment where all these factors are on a mutually interactive dynamic path. Thus, China offers a fertile ground to scientists for discipline based and inter-disciplinary research leading to deep and fundamental results. Additionally, because modern China inherits a cultural devotion to education and high quality academics, many Chinese graduate students and young faculty members will emerge as tomorrow's leaders in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering, and the professions such as Business, Law, and Public Administration.
New York University is already well known for its international houses: La Maison Francaise, Deutsches Haus, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo, Glucksman Ireland House, Kevorkian Center of Near Eastern Studies, the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center and Africa House. China House, the second international house to be initiated at the university in the new millennium, is an important and timely addition to this group.