Eric Olander & Michael T. McCune were paired as temporary housemates in Shanghai in 1993 where they discovered a shared interest in China’s impact on the world they were inheriting.

Since they’ve never been able to cease their inquiries into China’s rise, they started China Talking Points to facilitate their conversations & debates.

Eric Olander

eric-head_smallEric began his Chinese studies when he was 15 years old as a high school freshman back in 1985.  The same year he started studying Mandarin, he also embarked on his broadcast career as a DJ at his school’s low-power radio station.  Since then, Eric has combined his love of Chinese affairs with broadcasting and media production.  He has worked on both sides of the Pacific with many of the world’s leading media companies including the BBC Chinese World Service, CNN, the Associated Press, CNBC Asia and most recently as the Vice President of News and Production at the largest Chinese language television station in the United States, KSCI TV LA 18.   For more information about Eric and samples of his work in media and in China, please see his online portfolio available at www.ericolander.com.

Eric was among the few foreigners who had the opportunity to live in China in the late 80s when Beijing was a city still dominated by bicycles, clothes came in three colors: brown, grey or black and foreigners were truly, well, foreign.  While on assignment for the BBC in 1994, Eric spent almost an entire year reporting from the Chinese countryside on the profound changes transforming both society and the people.  Those, and many other early experiences in China as a teenage student and later as a young foreign correspondent serve as an important benchmark for Eric to measure how far contemporary China has traveled in such a short period of time.  In terms of his overall perspective on China, Eric is of two minds, neither optimist nor pessimist.  On the one hand, he sees China as the definitive power of the 21st century yet also recognizes the enormous and seemingly unprecedented challenges that confront this country.  Anyone who claims to understand China, he contends, or offers simple solutions is either lying, ignorant or both.

In addition to the China Talking Points podcast and blog, Eric is also on Twitter @eolander.

Michael T. McCune

Linkedin - SquareMichael first caught a glimpse of China in 1988 when he visited the Far East as a member of a student delegation.  This experience, combined with global events over the course of 1988 and 1989, stirred great interest in the new world order that was forming around him.  Seeing China as one of the largest factors in that new order, he decided to pursue Chinese language as the focus of his studies at the University of Michigan.

As a fresh college graduate, Michael made his way to Shanghai where he lived for almost a decade.  His career there followed an entrepreneurial path in market research, consumer product distribution, community organizing and even a couple of rugby matches against the Chinese national team.

Throughout this time in China, Michael’s language skills allowed him to interact with a wide spectrum of Chinese society in almost all corners of the country.  His professional and volunteer work afforded him the opportunity to witness first hand the variety of individual experiences that make up the arc of recent Chinese economic and social development.

View Michael T. McCune  梅健明's profile on LinkedIn

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