By Henry DeVries
© Liz Lynch, Atlantic Media
James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic, will speak on his new book, “China Airborne: Aviation and the Future of China,” on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at the University of California San Diego Institute of the Americas. The talk is free and open to the public with no tickets or reservations required. Parking is available for $4 after 4:30 pm at the Pangea Parking Structure on North Torrey Pines Road and Pangea Drive.
Fallows will highlight the next stage of China’s modernization — its plan to rival America as the world’s leading aerospace power and to bring itself from its low-wage past to a high-tech future.
Over the past 10 years air traffic has declined in most of the world, but in China it has more than doubled. Most of the world’s airports under construction are being built in China, which is also where Boeing and Airbus are looking for most of their future growth in sales. But the Chinese are determined to be more than customers. In 2011, China announced it 12th Five-Year Plan, which included the commitment to spend a quarter of a trillion dollars to jump-start its aerospace industry.
In his book, Fallows documents, for the first time, the extraordinary scale of China’s project, making clear how it stands to catalyze the nation’s hyper-growth and hyper-urbanization, revolutionizing China in ways analogous to the building of America’s transcontinental railroad in the nineteenth century. Fellows explains what this latest demonstration of Chinese ambition means for the United States and the rest of the world — and the right ways to respond.
Fallows will be interviewed by Peter Cowhey, dean of UC San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies.
Fallows has written for The Atlantic since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States, and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. Fallows grew up in Redlands, California and then attended Harvard, where he was president of the newspaper The Crimson. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1970 and then studied economics at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He has been an editor of The Washington Monthly, Texas Monthly, and U.S. News & World Report.
The event is sponsored by the Helen Edison Lecture Series. In accordance with a major gift from a late philanthropist, the Helen Edison Lecture Series presents ongoing free public lectures on issues that advance humanitarian purposes and objectives. Attended annually by thousands, speakers include former Vice President Al Gore, Nobel Peace Prize winners the Dalai Lama and Muhammad Yunus, double Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof, Nobel Prize in Literature winner Toni Morrison and Hispanic dramatist Luis Valdez, just to name a few.