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Volume 5 Number 3, Autumn 2008, Pages 1-223   

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'China English': Facts, Fantasies, and Fallacies

    Changyin Li

Does ‘China English'? a Chinese variety of English ? exist? This question has been a topic of much debate for more than two decades among Chinese scholars and teachers of English. At the moment, the advocates of ‘China English' seem to be winning, as their position caters to Chinese patriotic feelings, e.g. we can do anything, including nativizing a foreign language, and their opponents have failed to present solid proof. This paper argues that ‘China English' is totally self-proclaimed, neither meeting international standards nor acknowledged by native-speaking experts of English, and that the supporters have ignored the sociolinguistic history of the language. After examining English in China by three sets of different but similar international standards for the recognition of a new variety of English, it concludes that the so-called ‘China English' is not a reality yet. Nor will it be or should it be.

Keywords: China English, facts, fantasies, fallacies