I am back in China for the second time in six months, this time to co-teach a journalism seminar at Fudan University in Shanghai with Al Kamen, columnist for the Washington Post. Fudan, which has some 20,000 students, occupies a sprawling, green campus on the northern edge of this extraordinary city. It is often described as the Columbia U. of China, and indeed, the students are bright and eager.

While we’ve been here this week, the U.S. has passed the milestone of 300 million people. Impressive, unless you are in China, with its 1.3 billion population. Shanghai alone has some 19 million.

Little surprise then, that the U.S. achievement barely caused a ripple here. After all, in China, 300 million is the number of cellphones its citizens have bought since they were introduced just a few years ago.


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