Exporting the English language and methods of learning could soon become one of the UK's top foreign currency earners, with China viewed as the key market, British finance minister Gordon Brown said yesterday. \nIn the past five years, British export earnings through education have almost doubled to more than ?10 billion (US$19 billion) a year, Brown announced during a visit to China. \nThis was already about 1 percent of Britain's entire GDP, and four percent of its exports, and the figures were still growing fast, Chancellor of the Exchequer Brown said. \n"On current trends, by 2020, education could amount for more export earnings [to Britain] than financial services," Brown said in a statement in Beijing. \nBy 2020, education could contribute more than ?50 billion a year to the country's economy, not far short of 2 percent of total GDP. \nMuch of this growth would come through selling perhaps the country's most lucrative birthright -- the English language -- with China a key market thanks to its combination of a huge thirst for English and massive numbers of potential pupils. \nCurrently, more Chinese students learn English than British ones, while an estimated 300 million Chinese already speak the language, said Brown, who left Beijing for Shanghai yesterday. \n"In 20 years' time, the number of English speakers in China is likely to exceed the numbers of speakers of English as a first language in all of the rest of the world," Brown said. \nThis was "a huge opportunity for Britain," the finance minister said, unveiling a series of measures to help the country cash in on the craze for speaking its language. \nAmong these is a plan to "twin" every school and college in England with a parallel education establishment overseas in the next five years, while teaching schemes such as Web sites run by cultural organization the British Council will be expanded. \nFor China, in particular, its students attending British universities will now be able to stay on and work for a year after completing their courses, Brown announced. \nThe deal -- reciprocated for British students in China -- is aimed at helping British universities beat off stiff competition from US and Australian establishments in attracting valuable, fee-paying Chinese students. \nBy 2020, the overseas sales of British educational products such as books and computer packages could be worth ?10 billion a year to the country's economy, Brown predicted. \nThe chancellor flew into Beijing on Monday. Brown, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations' club, also raised the issue of China's policy of fixing its currency, the yuan, at a pegged rate against the dollar. \nHe heads to Shenzhen today before flying home from adjoining Hong Kong.
HEATED TRAFFIC: As Beijing holds naval drills near Taiwan, the Ministry of National Defense said it had a full grasp of the situation and would handle it ‘appropriately’ A Chinese carrier group exercising near Taiwan is part of what are to be regular drills, the Chinese navy said in a statement late on Monday, further escalating tensions between Taipei and Beijing. The group, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning, was conducting “routine” drills in the waters around Taiwan, a move to “enhance its capability to safeguard national sovereignty, safety and development interests,” the statement said. “Similar exercises will be conducted regularly,” it said, without elaborating. The statement came after the Ministry of National Defense earlier on Monday issued a statement regarding a rise in the number of incursions by Chinese jets into
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NO TIME: The driver tried to apply the brakes when he saw the truck, but the train did not have time to come to a full stop, an investigation report said The crane truck that caused last week’s fatal train accident had slid onto the tracks about one-and-a-half minutes before it was struck, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. The board had launched an investigation into the derailment, which killed 50 people and injured 211 people, making it the nation’s most devastating railway accident in decades. Carrying 494 passengers and four Taiwan Railways Administration personnel, the southbound express train to Taitung hit the truck as it was about to enter the Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The train derailed following the collision, with the left side of the eighth
TAROKO INCIDENT: The committee would regulate how public donations for victims of Friday’s train accident, which have exceeded NT$60 million, would be used The government has collected about NT$60 million (US$2.1 million) in donations through Line Pay and convenience stores for victims of last week’s fatal train accident and plans to establish an oversight committee to determine how the funds should be used to help them, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The accident occurred at 9:28am on Friday, when a southbound Taroko Express train traveling from New Taipei City to Taitung hit a crane truck that had slid down a hill from a nearby construction site onto the rails as the train was about to enter the Cingshuei Tunnel