­­Dream Team Discuss China Reform

Feb. 2, 2014 | GPS News

School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) professors Susan Shirk, Barry Naughton and Victor Shih were joined by Chen Zhimin of Fudan University and Wu Jinglian, senior researcher at the China State Council Development Research Center, for a panel discussion held at UC San Diego Jan. 23.

Called “Navigating the Next Round of Reform in China,” the event was organized by the 21st Century China Program at IR/PS. Program Director Lei Guang moderated and translated for Wu. Opening, Guang called the panelists a “dream team of experts.”

Naughton is a professor of Chinese economy and Sokwanlok Chair of Chinese International Affairs at IR/PS, and recently edited a collection of papers by Wu called “Voice of Reform in China.” Wu, highly regarded as China’s most celebrated and influential economist, joined Naughton two days later on Jan. 25 to discuss the book. Both events brought over 130 attendees each.

Calling the proposed reform agenda broad, Naughton said he was relatively optimistic, however Wu and Shih were less optimistic about changes. For Shirk, the Ho Miu Lam professor of China and Pacific Relations at IR/PS and chair of the China Program, the greatest challenge to the reform would be political. Chen said reform had the potential to strengthen the central authority.

Following their remarks, the panel took questions from the audience, including an attendee relaying comments from a person in China via email. The entire evening is available to watch online, and China Focus blog has post-event coverage.

The Jan. 23 panel discussion was cosponsored by the IR/PS Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.