The 146th NSD Policy Talk & Book Launch of China 2049: Economic Challenges of a Rising Global Power Held to Explore China’s New Economic Challenges and Strategic Response
China will step towards the second “Centennial Goal” in 2020 after its basic completion of the first one. At the turn of the two “Centennial Goals”, the Chinese version of China 2049: Economic Challenges of a Rising Global Power, based on a forward-looking study on China’s economy in the next 30 years by a joint research group of two famous think tanks in China and the United States——the National School of Development at Peking University and the Brookings Institution of the United States, was recently published by Peking University Press.
Therefore, on August 13, 2020, the National School of Development at Peking University and Peking University Press jointly held the 146th NSD Policy Talk & the 313th online Boya Forum of Peking University and the book launch of “China 2049: Economic Challenges of a Rising Global Power”. The forum invited experts from the research group to share the theme of “China’s economic outlook amid the COVID-19 outbreak and new international challenges”.
The authors of the three chapters of the book——Professor YAO Yang, Dean of the National School of Development at Peking University and Director of the China Center for Economic Research, Professor HUANG Yiping, Deputy Dean of the National School of Development and Director of the Institute of Digital Finance, Peking University, and ZHA Daojiong, Professor of the School of International Studies and Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, Peking University, gave keynote speeches and hold round table discussions. The activity was presided over by WANG Xun, Research Fellow at the National School of Development at Peking University.
After reviewing the causes and experiences of China’s economic growth in his speech, Professor YAO Yang looked forward to the second “Centennial Goal”-whether China can grow into an economic power by 2049. In his view, one of the most prominent characteristics of the 30 years preceding the reform and opening up was that China was dominated by “unconventional economic and social policies”, which laid the foundation for growth. During the 40 years of reform and opening up, China has witnessed remarkable achievements in economic growth as it flexibly applied the policy proposition on the theory of neoclassical growth whose core content includes mobilization of labor force, capital accumulation and technological progress. Looking far ahead into the next 30 years, he advised that China should continue to follow the theory of neoclassical growth as far as possible. In his view, considering the unfavorable factor of shrinking labor force, we should make more efforts in capital accumulation, especially in the improvement of total factor productivity while putting more energy into in urbanization and the improvement of education level, so as to realize the second “Centennial Goal” by making full use of the two convergence factors.
Professor HUANG Yiping analyzed the new challenges ahead for China in the next 30 years and demonstrated the necessity of transformation and reform of economic growth model. He argues that the asymmetric development of product market and factor market has restricted the development of the overall economy although the good performances of China’s “dual track” reform strategy in the past 40 years have maintained economic and social stability. There will be three new challenges ahead for China in the next 30 years: shifts from low cost to medium high cost, from globalization to trade war, from demographic dividend to aging. The great change of economic environment makes it urgent for the economic growth mode to be constantly adjusted, and the dual track reform policy has also encountered bottlenecks, which restrict the growth and efficiency. To addressing the problems, he advised future reforms in four aspects: to end the “dual track” reform strategy, to promote the reform of the factor market, to take measures to support innovation and industrial upgrading, and to continue to adhere to the policy of independent opening up.
Professor ZHA Daojiong put forward countermeasures after analyzing in detail the new changes and challenges facing China in its international development environment. The COVID-19 outbreak that has led to the shrinkage of the world economy has intensified the urgency of all countries to pursue “safety and controllability” of product chain and industrial chain. There are growing concerns about “dependence” in energy, food and the wider foreign-related economic fields among countries which are worried about being controlled by others. In terms of Sino-US economic relations, the US has been harboring the idea of “decoupling” from China and increasing economic sanctions against China from all respects. Amid the “decoupling”, China should follow the global interconnection of technical standards, properly handle the concerns about “backward technology”, and optimize product processing integration and organization capacity of transnational logistics. Professor ZHA advised the way to operate the international environment for China’s development in the next 30 years in five aspects: managing the economic distance with other markets, strengthening the construction of compliance regime, mobilizing global human resources to promote China’s economic development, maximizing the spirit of cooperation in the international system, and taking avoiding falling into the “middle-income trap” as the top priority of diplomacy.
After the keynote speeches, the three professors held a round table dialogue by sharing their in-depth views on China’s favorable conditions in the international development environment, the way the financial system can support the leap over the middle-income trap, how to improve the system in the future, the development prospects of the digital economy, and China’s initiation of the dual circular economy.
Finally, the book launch of China 2049: Economic Challenges of a Rising Global Power was held, and Peking University Press specially played the promotional video of the book. This book, sponsored by Professor YAO Yang, Dean of the National School of Development at Peking University, was published after the joint research group of National School of Development at Peking University and the Brookings Institution of the United States worked for more than one year. The book is intended to study how China can achieve the second Centennial Goal of building a powerful socialist country by 2049——the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Twenty five experts and scholars from China and the United States respectively made forward-looking analysis of the reasons for China’s success in the past 40 years, the new challenges in the next 30 years, and policy recommendations in their respective research fields. The English version of this book was published by the Brookings Institution, while the Chinese version by Peking University Press in August 2020.