This chapter glances at the overall context of developments in China, its domestic goals and foreign policy, the character of its education system and the language politics it has maintained consistently in the last half century. It also offers a glimpse of how these policies have been experienced by learners from different time periods and with different linguistics backgrounds. Putonghua is still being propagated and English is of paramount importance as China moves comfortably into an age when international discourse is vital for its well-being. The main issues seem to be how to facilitate the learning of these two languages nationally and, simultaneously, to maintain cultural coherence for the various dialect and minority language groups in the multilingual and multidialectal setting of China.
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