- Sheraton Beijing Dongcheng Hotel, China
China’s prospects: The probable and the possible
2012 will see The Economist convene, for the third year, its award winning China Summit. Join business leaders, politicians, policymakers and academics to survey China’s timely opportunities, pressing issues and the perplexing macro developments across its economy, politics and society.
|- What’s next? China’s leadership transition and future of reform|
|- China’s economy: Resilient, but infinitely so?|
|- Energy in China: Searching for an innovative future|
|- Change, China and America: The uncertainty principle|
|- Global manufacturing and innovation: China within the third industrial revolution?|
|- Economist Debate: Property in China|
|- China takes on (not over) the world: But is the world open for Chinese business?|
|- Social media: Bellwether of China’s future|
China Summit is ideal for people who wish to discuss, debate and learn how to adapt their business to keep it thriving.
China has undergone its once-in-a-decade leadership change. We can make a number of predictions of what will probably happen in the short term. China's economy might manage a soft landing. The government can likely contain social tensions for now.
The realms of the possible, however, warrant more concern. Huge shifts are taking place. Urban migration continues. Micro-bloggers are expressing their views more loudly. The impact of a changing economy is felt everywhere. Leadership changes come to the fore as there is talk of seeking a new Chinese model.
China’s mix of market reforms and political control has made it successful over the last several decades. Indeed, for global China’s rise to continue, its leaders will need to employ a new set of policy tools. As China looks towards the possibility of bigger, medium-term changes in the structure of its economy and society, companies will need to adapt in order to keep their business thriving.
The Economist annually convenes the China Summit to survey China’s timely opportunities, pressing issues and perplexing macro developments across its economy, politics and society. As in The Economist newspaper, the summit explains linkages and how they impact participants with rigorous, global and forward-looking perspectives. For the intellectually curious but more than a matter of intellectual interest, China Summit is for business leaders, policymakers, academics and observers who wish to discuss, debate and learn.
Rob Gifford, China editor, The Economist
Simon Cox, Asia economics editor, The Economist
Gady Epstein, China correspondent, The Economist
James Miles, Beijing bureau chief, The Economist
Vijay Vaitheeswaran, China business and finance editor, Shanghai bureau chief, The Economist
Xu Sitao, Director, Global forecasting, China, Economist Intelligence Unit
Charles Goddard, Editorial director, Asia-Pacific, Economist Intelligence Unit
主持人： Charles Goddard, 经济学人信息部亚太区编辑总监
Chairperson’s opening remarks
Rob Gifford, China editor, The Economist
Fu Ying, Vice minister of foreign affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China
China has undergone its once-in-a-decade leadership change. We now know who the new leaders are. The direction of reform following the transition, however, is a weightier question.
The Economist argues reform in China appears to be at a great crossroads. Political tension may be rife at the highest levels of the Communist Party as its interest groups contend over China’s direction in the medium to long term. Against this backdrop, global and domestic economic and social challenges loom large. To cope, China should seek a different model—one more in step with global norms, perhaps one very different from what has been successful in the past. Will China’s next leaders unite behind the same vision of China’s model and future?
China’s economy inspires awe and anxiety in equal measure. It has grown faster for longer than any of the Asian tigers that preceded it. And it still has plenty of room to grow. But sceptics argue that China’s miraculous, investment-driven development is unsustainable. If it persists, they believe it will result in another wave of bad loans, a crippled financial system and a sharp slowdown.
The Economist argues that China’s economic model is inefficient but also resilient. It can afford to waste some investment, because its supply of saving is so strong. In fact some of the sources of China's inefficiency--captive deposits, government ownership of banks, state-directed investment--are also sources of stability in uncertain times.
This suggests China will not suffer a hard landing in the next few years. Its problems will remain chronic, not acute. But as the country's workforce shrinks and its capital accumulates, its saving rate will fall and new investment opportunities will become more elusive. Its economic model will then become obsolete. China’s reformers have a big job ahead.
|Energy in China|
Searching for an innovative future
China’s coal-led industrial revolution powered huge economic growth. China now claims the mantle of world’s largest energy consumer. But in the decades ahead, a more innovative energy mix will be necessary for China’s drive towards more balanced growth.
First, it will be key to its social development. Protests against potentially harmful pollution periodically disturb the appearance of social stability so prized by the leadership. Second, energy-security worries have intensified as demand for oil and other fuels has shot up—energy consumption grew by 136% between 2001 and 2011, says the Economist Intelligence Unit. Third, it is good for business. Optimists point to China’s green-growth targets and ambitions to sell “new-energy” technology among global market titans.
Change, China and America
Overstating risks can be as dangerous as underestimating them. Both China and America are changing leaders this year. It matters because much rides on the ability of China and America to get along. The most crucial relationship for each, probably both sides will avoid catastrophe. But in an election and party-congress year, it may be harder for both governments to take a soft line.
Defence is one strategic concern among a long mutual list. America knows China’s party presides over the world’s largest military build-up. Besides the scale of China’s military build-up, the lack of information on intent is disquieting—it could mean bad things for America. China knows America’s power projection in Asia, recently coined its “pivot towards Asia”, could mean potential meddling in China’s affairs, from Taiwan to its territorial clashes in the resource-rich waters of the South China Sea—it could mean bad things for China, too.
In conversation with: Gary Locke
Global manufacturing and innovation
China is the world’s largest manufacturing power and now accounts for a fifth of global manufacturing. But if China Inc is to continue flourishing, its manufacturers must move up the value chain—with greater innovation, improved design, higher margins and better services. China’s leaders already know this. Ambitious targets to become an innovation-oriented country by 2020 is an important part of the nation’s long-term strategic plan.
But while China is positioning itself towards its next stage of added-value based on tried and true models of manufacturing and factories, a third industrial revolution is under way. Manufacturing is going digital. Like all revolutions, this one will be disruptive to the old way of making things. The factory of the future will adapt to a new age of customised, better products, swiftly delivered.
The Economist argues this third dimension could change not just business, but much else besides. China is shifting much. The next phase for China Inc will be interesting. But will it make sense in a new global manufacturing landscape?
China takes on (not over) the world
Decades ago foreign firms flourished in China and powered its growth. Decades later Chinese firms have huge amounts of cash to invest in the world. Indeed, Chinese capital injections may help in a troubled global landscape. But Chinese firms are met with peculiar challenges, such as sensitivity and even contentiousness to Chinese outbound investment, some say.
Social media is still in its infancy in censored China, but in a short span of time, it has produced remarkable change. Weibo has shown a profoundly transformative power in creating a national discourse. Some of the nation’s best debaters enjoy fame and share their views by way of social media.
But there is a flip side to social media that is worrisome—not only for the Chinese leadership, which must grapple with a new and unpredictable force, but also for society as a whole.
Some things are more rigorously censored than others. China’s bloggers, provocative as they may be, can also be flat wrong. For better or worse, social media functions as a forum for the people.
Chairpersons’ closing remarks
Networking cocktail reception
Rob Gifford, China Editor, The Economist
Charles Goddard, Editorial Director, Asia-Pacific, Economist Intelligence Unit
Xu Sitao, Director, Global Forecasting, China, Economist Intelligence Unit
Simon Cox, Asia Economics Editor, The Economist
Gady Epstein, China Correspondent, The Economist
James Miles, Beijing Bureau Chief, The Economist
Vijay Vaitheeswaran, China Business and Finance Editor, Shanghai Bureau Chief, The Economist
Fu Ying, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China
Gary Locke, US Ambassador to China
Claire Yang, Head, Talent and Organisation, Accenture Management Consulting, Greater China
John Gu, Chief Information Officer, Baidu
Duncan Clark, Chairman, BDA
Jonathan Pollack, Senior fellow in Foreign Policy, Acting director, John L Thornton China Center, Brookings Institution
Doug Paal, Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Kerry Brown, Team Leader of the Europe China Research and Advice Network, Chatham House
Lu Mai, Secretary General, China Development Research Foundation
Hung Huang, Influential blogger, CEO, China Interactive Media Group
Chen Weidong, Chief Energy Researcher, China Oilfield Services Limited
Yu Yongding, President, China Society of World Economy, Academician, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)
Yang Ailun, Senior Associate, Climate and Energy Program World Resources Institute
Zilong Wang, Managing Director, Investment Banking Department, CICC
Martin Stauble, Vice President, Shell
Gao Shiji, Research Fellow, Director General of Information Center, Development Research Center, State Council
Liu Peilin, Deputy Director, Department of Development Strategy and Regional Economy, Development Research Center, State Council
Masaaki Kaizuka, Minister for Finance, Embassy of Japan in Beijing
Anthony Saich, Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Edward Steinfeld, Professor of political economy, Director MIT China Program, Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Arthur Huang, Co-founder and Managing Director, MINIWIZ
Yang Fuqiang, Senior Adviser on Climate, Energy and Environment, Natural Resources Development Council China Program
Jerome Cohen, Retired Partner Of Counsel, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
Klaus Rohland, Country Director, China, Mongolia, Korea, World Bank
Yang Yao, Director of China Center for Economic Research, Peking University
John Chiang, Professor and Founding Director, Global Innovation Research Centre, Peking University
Zhu Feng, Professor, School of International Studies, Peking University
Shi Yinhong, Professor of International Relations, Director of the Center on American Studies, Renmin University
Nick Feast, General Manager, Fushun Shale Gas Project, Shell China
Yu Jianmin, Vice President, Sino Trans
Qian Gang, Director, China Media Project, University of Hong Kong
Huang Nubo, Chairman, Zhongkun Group
Benjamin Lim, China Specialist Correspondent, Former Beijing Bureau Chief, Reuters
Essay competition supported by:
The University of Tokyo
|When China will claim center stage once more|
“When the history of the late 20th century is written in a hundred years,” the economist Lawrence Summers observed in 1992, “the most significant event will be the revolutionary change in China.” I think that he’s right—China recently steamed passed Japan, my native country, to become the world’s second largest economy. By the looks of it, China will soon zip past the United States as well.
Following the Lehman Crisis, U.S. GDP marked negative growth while China’s GDP continued to grow at approximately 8% (see graph 1). Even if China grows at only 7% a year, it would still be enough growth for its economy to double in a matter of 10 years. There is little disagreement about whether or not China’s GDP will overtake that of the U.S., the question is “how soon?”READ MORE
China's economy will overtake America's within a decade
Hard for China's economy to surpass the US in a decade
Pettis’ bet is well placed. China will not overtake the US as the world’s largest economy before 2020
China overtake US in a decade: No willing, no strength and no needs
China economy can not overtake the America’s in a decade
China's economy cannot surpass the United States’ economy in a decade
|Hard for China's economy to surpass the US in 10 years|
|China's economy cannot surpass that of the United States within a decade|
|Bruno Brand Fischer|
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
|The pursuit of steadiness|
Please view photos from this year's summit:
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Remarks: All registrations are subject to approval by Economist Conferences. Economist Conferences reserves the right to accept and reject registrations at our discretion.