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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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AFIL discusses current issues in Asia

 
 

Education not only impacts and shapes the students in the classroom, but the individuals each of those students comes into contact with. The Academy of Future International Leaders offers assistance and instruction to students looking to extend this impact across the globe.
Thursday evening, AFIL hosted an open session seminar for students interested in applying for AFIL. The event focused on various issues developing in Asia.
AFIL offers students practical instruction on international and cultural issues as preparation for entrance into international business, said Julian Gaspar, executive director of the Center for International Business Studies at Texas A&M. Texas A&M students must apply and be selected for seats in the AFIL course order to be admitted.
Gaspar, one of the seminar’s two guest speakers, discussed the credit crisis in the U.S. and explained how it is related to current affairs in Asia. Gaspar said China holds $1.6 trillion of American debt and if they feel buying American debt is getting too risky China can stop which will shoot American interests rates up and slow the American economy down.
Gaspar said Asia’s diverse economies, religions and forms of governments put Asia at an economic advantage, one he predicts will cause Asia to become economically dominant by 2020.
Dudley Poston, professor of sociology at Texas A&M, was the second guest speaker and discussed the global implications of the unbalanced sex ratio in China.
Poston said South Korea, Japan and China are now all below the population replacement rate and that China’s rapid socioeconomic growth, Asia’s son preference and the effort to lower birth have caused the continent to have a predicted 55 million more males than females by the year 2020.
Poston said this unequal sex ratio could result in a more authoritarian Asia, as China tries to send their men off to war to lower the ratio of men and solve issues with China’s neighboring countries. He said it could also lead to an HIV epidemic in Asia.
Poston said because of these effects, it is less likely that the world become closer to global peace.
Both Gaspar and Poston have traveled to Asia several times throughout their careers and have experienced the issues they spoke on.
Each speaker gave 30-40 minute lectures, which was followed by a question-and-answer session.
“I am always impressed by the quality of questions the students ask us,” Poston said. “They are professional and very attentive.”
Kelsey Hirsch, agricultural leadership and development senior and member of AFIL, said she enjoys the seminars and learns something from each one
“The great thing about the academy is you don’t always come in relating to the topic,” Hirsh said. “You always leave with a new perspective, you learn something different from every speaker. From this seminar I felt I learned more about [Asia’s] economy, more about what [China] plans to do, it kind of makes me wonder if their government even realizes where they truly are at right now.
AFIL is held every spring semester and applications are typically due at the end of the spring a year in advance.
Petty said the application for Academy of Future International Leaders will open up for juniors and seniors sometime after spring break and will be open approximately a month. Additional information concerning the application process and deadlines will be released soon.

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