Debating competition China's largest ever

More than 520 young people from 60 universities in 18 countries debated at the 4th Shanghai International Debate Open in Shanghai over the weekend.

More than 520 young people from 60 universities in 18 countries, including Oxford and Cambridge Universities, debated at the 4th Shanghai International Debate Open in Shanghai over the weekend.

Jointly hosted by the School of Foreign Studies and English Speech and the Debate Association at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, the event was the largest ever of its kind in China.

Using the British Parliamentary debating style, participants debated themes including education, technology, inequality, gender and international relations.

One challenge topic asked students to debate whether they would support the use of violence to destroy companies dedicated to the research of artificial intelligence if they were billionaires and opponents of AI.

As the competition forbade participants from using the Internet, debaters needed to prepare their seven-minute speeches based on what they already know. Some participants were confused about the “Russian Commonwealth,” while others mistook NATO for the North American Trade Organization.

Clyde Welsh, from the University of Sydney in Australia, and Yarn Shih, from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, eventually won as a team, with Shih being crowned the best debater.

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