A young Canadian graduate shares his insights about China
  ·  2022-04-15  ·   Source:

James Rudberg, a young Canadian graduate, recently shared his insights on China as well as his diplomatic aspirations to help improve Sino-Canadian relationships.

James Rudberg poses for a photo in front of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, the core structure of Beijing's Temple of Heaven in 2018. [Photo provided to]

Rudberg, 26, who is from Toronto, has just completed his master's degree at Carleton University in political science. Self-taught, he has been studying Chinese for 13 years. He also goes by his Chinese name Luo Zixu (罗紫旭).

He traveled to China three times through academic exchanges and also had various exposure to the country as a tourist. In 2015, he studied at Fudan University in Shanghai. Learning how to work in another culture and seeing one of the top universities in China for the first time taught him to step outside of his shell, he said.

"I discovered new places and made lifelong friendships. Taking the course in the summer of 2015 was not only one of the most amazing life experiences I have had but, more importantly, it gave me a real taste of China," Rudberg told "I understood that going to China was not only an opportunity I could not refuse, but such things do not come easy in life, especially in regards to travel and seeing other parts of the world."

Then in August 2016, he had another opportunity to participate in a one-term exchange program at the University of Hong Kong.

"While at the University of Hong Kong, I was not only immersed in Chinese language and culture but was also able to meet international students from around the globe. One of my top experiences while meeting international students was learning about their interests, goals, thoughts, and opinions about Hong Kong culture," he noted.

His third trip to China was in June of 2018. He called the two-week trip, which included stops in Beijing, Wuhan, Enshi, as well as Shenzhen, "amazing" and "life-changing."

"I would have to say the Great Wall of China is the one sight which impressed me most. Not only because it is considered a wonder of the world, but because of the vast beauty and depth of what this ancient structure has to offer tourists and the world," he said.

Rudberg explained his fascination with China began in 2000, when he was still in kindergarten, where his two best friends were a brother and sister from Hong Kong. They exposed him to the Cantonese language, cultural events, malls, theaters, and, of course, restaurants.

"They are still my friends to this day. By 2009, at the age of 13, my passion for China was further ignited by learning to speak Chinese. From that time on, I have devoted much of my energy to learning everything I can about China's history, culture, and its current world status."

In his opinion, since the reform and opening-up began in 1978, China has made not only a tremendous amount of progress in economics and infrastructure but, more importantly, has lifted numerous people out of poverty. "I believe by 2030, China will become the world's number one economy by GDP and economic wealth," he predicted.

James Rudberg poses for a photo on one of China's high-speed bullet train in 2018. [Photo provided to]

As to the image and portrayals of China by Western media outlets, he said, "I am smart enough not to only listen to what Western media has to say about China. It Is extremely biased and does not discuss the real concrete facts about the amazing growth and development that is currently taking place in China."

At the moment, Rudberg is job hunting, as well as in the process of writing a research proposal for a China-based think tank in Alberta, Canada. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he has not visited China for a long time, but he's yearning to return. "I endure by setting goals for myself and never losing hope for a brighter future."

Rudberg has always intended to work with China through diplomacy. "I aspire to gain both a deep understanding and working knowledge of foreign policy, in combination with formulating new skills for working in Canada and in the foreign service. Ultimately, my ambition is to serve the diplomatic community and, specifically, represent Canadian interests in China. I have long been fascinated by the dynamics of Chinese-Canadian affairs and believe that it is vital for both sides to try and understand each other's grievances to work toward a more prosperous relationship."

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