The recently released White Paper by the Gillard Labor Government contains a number of recommendations aimed at strengthening Australian ties with the Asian region, thus positioning the nation economically in the Asian Century. One such initiative is the teaching of at least one Asian language in every school - a common sense blueprint for improving trade and cultural links I'd have thought (soft power). But, yes, it's been criticised.
Opponents raise the fact that English is acknowldeged as the universal business language. Yes, it currently is. And so the Opposition and conservative media say the White Paper is little more than a deliberate distraction from domestic policy issues. As usual the Right has put its inward-looking short sightedness on full display.
English is the world language courtesy of the American (20th) Century and the British Empire before them. Before then, French was the business language of the old world. Before then, Spanish, and before then, Latin. The only reason English rules the corporate world is because it's the mother tongue of the Chief Executive of Planet Earth, The United States. But history's natural progression is about to change that.
All roads will soon lead to Beijing just as they now lead to Washington just as they once led to Rome. English may well remain the most widespread language but you can bet on it the money mandarins of tomorrow will be speaking.Mandarin.The big guys rule! What cashed up Corp would dare risk not laughing at the boss's joke?