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The 20th China Economics Annual Conference Held and Prof. Yao Yang Became the New Chairman


The 20th China Economics Annual Conference(hereinafter referred to as “the Conference”)was held at Peking University HSBC Business School (PHBS) from December 4th to 6th 2020. Initiated in 2001, the event aims to strengthen the exchanges and cooperation among economics departments of Chinese universities and research institutions at home and abroad and build an open platform for scholars and students engaged in economics teaching and research. The conference featured 67 academic sessions, a luncheon for women economists, university recruitment fair, book exhibition, and academic journal panel. This year 112 papers were accepted out of more than 300 high-quality submissions.

More than 600 participants from key universities nationwide and high-level institutions, including Peking University and Fudan University, converged to discuss economic hotspots and exchange research insights, providing theoretical support for China's economic reform and development. Economics scholars from top universities and institutions delivered keynote speeches in the opening ceremony.

Prof. Hai Wen

Hai Wen, PHBS Dean and Vice Chairman of Peking University Council , spoke about the ambitions and aspirations of Chinese economists as the impetus for the successful development of this annual conference over the past 20 years. He maintained that facing more challenges ahead, scholars should strive to make contributions and shoulder the responsibilities to deepen reform and opening-up through academic research.

Keynote Speakers

Zhou Qiren, Boya chair professor of Peking University and professor of economics at National School of Development at Peking University , elaborated on the development characteristics of China’s economy, pointing out three challenges for its future progress: relations between poor and rich countries under an open economy, China’s huge and largely unbalanced economy, and the difficulty of maintaining sustainable development. Zhou urged economists to cope with these challenges and contribute to China’s economic "take off" through academic research.

Lv Wei, President of Dongbei University of Finance & Economics , focused on China’s fiscal system to probe into the development of China’s economic reforms, noting that China’s central-local fiscal system has played an integral role. He also shared insights on the fiscal relationship between central and local governments, including policy mandates, resource allocation, budgeting process, and market incentives.

Fan Shenggen, Dean of Academy of Global Food Economics and Policy and Chair Professor at China Agricultural University, urged economists to pay more attention to the fields related to agriculture and rural regions, as these play a vital role in economic development. He pointed out that the current agriculture and food system faces multiple challenges and future transformation must been taken to enhance economic resilience. Fan noted that stable agricultural production can reflect not only the strength of China's economy, but also improve worldwide food security.

Zhang Jun, Dean of School of Economics at Fudan University and Founding Director of China Center for Economic Studies (CCES) , noted that China’s opening-up has increased the world’s trade and economic dependence on China, and narrowed technological gaps between China and technologically advanced economies. He said that if China wishes to maintain good relations with economies worldwide and gain respect, we should open up the domestic market instead of just relying on internal economic development. Zhang stressed the need to formulate long-term policies for technological development and cooperation among countries, as it takes time for self-reliance and technology breakthroughs to become the mainstream.


Prof. Yao Yang & Prof. Hai Wen

The Conference marked its 20th anniversary, and Prof. Hai, the event’s founding chairman, ended his 20-year term. Prof. Yao Yang, dean of National School of Development at Peking University, assumed the role of chairman.

In order to thank Prof. Hai for his outstanding contribution to the establishment and development of the Conference in the past 20 years, the Conference has permanently set up a "Haiwen Lecture", inviting heavyweight economists to give lectures every year. The first "Hai Wen Lecture" was delivered by Thomas Sargent, 2011 Nobel laureate in Economics, professor of economics of New York University, and director of the Sargent Institute of Quantitative Economics and Finance of Peking University HSBC Business School.

Prof. Yao Yang, the new chairman, thanked Prof.Hai for his important contribution to the Conference. Prof. Yao said that in the next five years, efforts should be made in three areas to push the Conference to a new high: first, to give full play to the role of young scholars and to promote the active participation of more young scholars in the Conference; second, to promote cooperation with major domestic journals to attract more high-quality papers to the Conference; and third, to continue to do a good job in recruiting so that the Conference will become an important platform for doctoral graduates and young teachers to find jobs.

At this year’s conference, National School of Development of Peking University organized a number of independent seminars. The academic journals of NSD, China Economic Quarterly (in Chinese) and China Economic Quarterly International (in English) held meeting with authors. Professor Yao Yang hosted the 2020 Contemporary Economics Award ceremony. Professor Justin Yifu Lin delivered a speech as an award-winner.

Prof. Justin Yifu Lin

Professors from the NSD

Professor Zhou Qiren gave a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Conference. Professors from the NSD, including Zhao Yaohui, Xu Jintao, Wang Hao, Shen Yan, Huang Zhuo, Lei Xiaoyan, Xi Tianyang, and Xie Xuanli attended the Conference and participated in paper reviews. Several students from the NSD presented their papers at the Conference.

Since its establishment in 2001, the China Economics Annual Conference has held 20 sessions. As an important platform for teachers and researchers of economics, the Conference aims to strengthen the exchange and cooperation between the economics departments of Chinese universities and other economic research and teaching institutions at home and abroad. At present, the secretariat of the Conference is located at the National School of Development of Peking University.