We’ve known for a while that Chinese students were “flooding” American colleges and that American students were in turn “flooding” Wudaokou, but nothing helps put it into perspective like a chart from The Economist!
When Barack Obama visited China in 2009 he said he wanted America to send 100,000 students to China over four years—the current figure is around 14,000. The flow of students in the other direction is rather better established: Chinese now make up the largest group of foreign students (over 127,000) in America’s universities. American students, for their part, have shown a greatly increased interest in learning Chinese in the past decade. Unfortunately there are no data on how many of them give it up, defeated by the thousands of characters needed to read even a basic text.