US China Economy

On February 25-26, 2011 at the Millenium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, the USC US-China Institute hosted a timely event, “The State of the Chinese Economy.” Needless to say, this was a very informative event and I was surprised that more people were not in attendance.  These experts were primarily US based, but some were from China.  Although, I cannot say that it is true across the board, but my general sense as to the purpose of this conference was to pursue US  free-market strategies upon China, upon the assumption that China will continue to appropriate a US form of market and investment. This became apparent during the second day when discussions focused on family, education and migration within China, and I will add some quick notes and thoughts from the notes I took during some of the speakers/panels.

Panel 1: The Broad View Barry Naughten, “Macroeconomic Imbalances and a Revised Growth Strategy” Prof. Barry Naughton has published extensively on the Chinese economy, with a forcu on four interrelated areas: market transition; industry and technology; foreign trade; and Chines political economy. Carsten Holz, “China’s Economic Growth 1978-2025: What We Know Today about China’s Economic Growth Tomorrow,” teaches economics at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and is currently a visiting professor at USC.  His research focuses on issues of economic development in China, Ho-fung Hung, “Structural Dilemmas in the US- China Currency conflict.” from Indiana University, teaches sociology and is associate director of research at the Center on Chinese Business and Politics,  He studies Chinese political economy and state-society interaction in historical and global perspectives. Chair: Clatyon Dube Discussants: K.C. Fung teaches at UC Santa Cruz, and is the co-founder of the Santa Cruz Institute for International Economics, research focusing on international trade and finance, trade policies, multinational corporations, the WTO and Asia Pacific economies. Daniel Lynch teaches international relations at USC.  His current research focus is how Chinese elites are envisioning the future of China’s domestic politics, international relation, economy, environment, and culture.
At the end of this session, I asked  the panel: “How has the recent 2008 changes to GDP by the UN Statistical Commission affected currency valuation and trade, particularly since Military Systems has been added to Households as a Fixed Asset, and is no longer listed as an intermediary, inventoried asset?” Since I was the first audience member, the panelist were unable to hear me due to sound problems, so I had to repeat myself a couple times to make myself understood.  The only two panelists who were able to address this point was Carsten Holz and Ho-fung Hung. I understood Carsten as saying that it was up to each country to account for its Military Systems and accounting practices, which I may have misunderstood, since the purpose of the UN Statistical Commission which coordinates the UN System of National Accounts, is the agency that makes recommendations for adjustments in its economic index which is used by monetary and trade agencies: the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO. Ho-fung Hung, whom I spoke with later, understood the question but did not have the data in front of him, and instead we spoke about China and it’s view on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  He expressed, that at this time, China did not take an official position because it was waiting to see what Japan does, whether or not Japan signs on to the TTP or not.  This was an eye-opener, because this suggests confirmation of the TPP to be a Australia/US/ New Zealand, et al, competitive measure against the China/Russia economic agreement signed in 2009.
Panel 2: Debt and Property Victor Shih, “Awash in Debt: State Liabilities and Monetary and Welfare Implications for China.” teaches political economy at Northwestern University.  His current research concerns Chines banking policies, exchange rates, elite political dynamics and local government debt in China. Deng Yongheng, “Monetary and Fiscal Stimuli, Ownership Structure and China’s Housing Market,” is the director of the NUS Institute of Real Estate Studies at the National University of Singapore,  His research has explored a wide variety of issues in real estate finance and urban economic policy. Chair: Eugene Cooper: teaches at USC, his expertise includes Chines civilization, Chinese folk custom; the overseas Chinese diaspora; economic anthropology/political economy; marriage, family and kinship; peasent society; popular culture; and American folklore. Discussants: Baizhu Chen: from USC, his research covers a wide range of monetary economics, international finance, and Chinese financial market reform. Robert A. Kapp: Following ten years as a professor of modern Chinese history, Dr. Kapp led three business organizations dedicated to advancing American relations with China, From 1994 through 2004, he guided the US-China Business Council, the leading organization of U.S. companies engaged with China, in Washington D.C. Panel 3: Labor Albert Park, The Chinese Labor Market: Prospects and Challenges,” from Oxford University, his recent research focuses on poverty, human capital (health and education), labor markets, and globalization. Li Hongbin, “China’s Educational Inequality: Evidence from College Entrance Exam an Admissions,” teaches economics at Tsinghua University.  His research is concerned with two general themes; a) the behaviors of governments, firms and banks in the context of economic transition; b) human capital in the context of economic development. Chair, Stanley Rosen: A political scientist, directs USC’s East Asian Studies Center. He has written on such topics as the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese legal system, public opinion, youth. gender, human rights, and film and the media. Discussants: Ching Kwan Lee, teaches sociology at UCLA. Her current research focuses on the politics of rights and the changing citizenship regime in China, She’s also investigating Chinese investment and labor practices in Africa. Yi Feng, from Claremont Graduate University is provost and vice president for academic affairs at CGU. He teaches international political economy, world politics, and methodology. Keynote Address: Hu Shuli, “China’s Marketplace of Ideas” Founder of Caijing Magazine in 1998, Ms. Hu provided the leadership that brought Caijing to its eminent position as one of China’s most authoritative business publications, At the editorial helm for 11 years, Hu Shuli made her departure in 2009 to create the breakthrough new media group, Caixin media Company Limited, Internationally recognized for her achievements in journalism, The Wall Street Journal cited her as one of the “Ten Women to Watch” in Asia. Panel 4: Human Capital Haizheng Li, “Human Capital in China,” teaches economics at Georgia Institute of Technology. His majore research fields are labor economics and Chinese economy, with a focus on human capital issues. Scott Rozelle, “Education, Health and Nutrition and China’s Human Captial Challenge in the 21st Century,” from Stanford University focuses on China dn is concerned with three general themes; a) agricultural policy, including the supply, demand, and trade in agricultural projects, b) issues involving rural resources, especially the management of water, the forests and cultivated land; and c) the economics of poverty. Chair: Daniel Lynch, Discussants: C. Cindy Fan, teaches geography and Asia American studies and is associate dean for social sciences at UCLA. Her China research focuses on population trends, migration, and regional development, as well as gender and inequality. Guofu Tan, from USC, his research areas include business strategy and industrial organization, antitrust and competition policy, auction theory, microeconomic theory and the Chinese economy. Panel 5: Paying for the Future: Families and the Nation Xiaobo Zhang, “Bride Prices and House Prices” is a senior fellow at the Development Strategy and Governance Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and leads IFPRI’s rural-urban linkage program. John Strauss, “As China Ages: Elderly Health Outcomes and Socioeconomic Status,” from USC, specializes in development economics, the economics of households, economies of human ressource investment and labor market outcomes. Chair: Merril Silverstein form USC, his research is concerned with understanding how individuals age within the context of family life, including such issues as socisal support across generations, later life migration, life-course patterns of intergenerational solidarity , and public policy toward caregiving families. Discussants: Susan Greenhalgh Brett Sheehan teaches Chinese history at USC. he is currently working on a book exploring the relationship between authoritarianism and capitalism in Republican and early post-1949 China.

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