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The Atlantic Council's Asia Program and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce co-hosted a conference on July 15 that addressed China’s current economic affairs and their implications for the global recovery and U.S.-China relations. The conference combined quantitative analysis of the Chinese economy with business and policy expertise.
Patrick deGategno, Associate Director of the Asia Program at the Atlantic Council, gave opening remarks. Jeremie Waterman, Senior Director, for Greater China at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, introduced the speakers and moderated the event.
Albert Keidel, Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, began discussion by analyzing newly released quarterly economic data for China and comparing those figures against ongoing domestic economic affairs, including China’s slowing growth and its impact on the global recovery. Dr. Keidel initiated questions about whether or not this is yet a turning point for China. He also addressed other issues such as labor strikes and rising wages, real estate bubbles, and rebellion among China’s trading partners against its currency policy.
Pieter Bottelier, Senior Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS, discussed opportunities and challenges for China as a result of the global crisis. Dr. Bottelier focused his presentation on five medium-term structural changes in China, including labor markets; economic rebalancing; urbanization and related infrastructure; foreign trade and investment: and strategic thinking. In his opinion, China sees the global crisis as an opportunity to change its growth model. He also pointed out the challenges, tensions, and mistrust at the strategic level between the U.S. and China and argued that these trends would continue to tinge the economic relationship in the years ahead.
David Dollar, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Economic and Financial Emissary to China, commented off-the-record on prospects for rebalancing China's growth and its contribution to the broader global economic agenda.
Jeremie Waterman moderated the Q&A session following the presentations. Discussion covered a range of issues including China’s domestic housing market; labor markets in the U.S. and their implications for China; China’s exchange rate reform; China’s banking system; and China’s growth sustainability. In response to questions regarding "indigenous innovation" - China's government-led efforts to promote Chinese companies to become globally competitive - Mr. Waterman commented at length arguing that these business practices were unsustainable policies in the long term. They constitute government interference in market-based competition; create an unfair advantages for Chinese companies over non-Chinese firms operating in China; cannot accomplish the government's goal of creating Chinese global business leader firms - only unfettered market competition could accomplish that; and would only succeed in heightening tensions between China and its trade partners.
The conference provided an opportunity for Washington policymakers, business leaders, and China experts in general to exchange ideas regarding China’s current economic affairs, their implications for the global recovery, China’s future economic growth path, and the medium-term prospects of U.S.-China relations.
About the Presenters:
Dr. Albert Keidel is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and an independent researcher with over 25 years' experience analyzing China's economy. Dr. Keidel was a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 2004 to 2009, after serving as acting director and deputy director for the Office of East Asian Nations at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Before joining the Treasury in 2001, he covered economic trends, system reforms, poverty and country risk as a senior economist with the World Bank office in Beijing.
Dr. Pieter Bottelier is an Economist and China Scholar, and has been a Senior Adjunct Professor at SAIS since 1999. He has been a Senior Advisor on China for the Conference Board since 2006, and a Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace since September 2009. Dr. Bottelier’s career includes serving at the World Bank from 1970-1990. He has served as a research fellow at the Brookings Institute, and was a Harkness Fellow of the Commonwealth Fund in New York for study in the US.
Dr. David Dollar is the US Treasury’s Economic and Financial Emissary to China, based in Beijing, since July 2009. Prior to joining the US Treasury, Dr. Dollar worked 20 years for the World Bank. Prior to joining the World Bank he taught economics at UCLA, during which time he spent a semester in Beijing teaching at the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (1986).
Mr. Jeremie Waterman is Senior Director, Greater China at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the U.S. Chamber, Mr. Waterman worked for over five years at The US-China Business Council, most recently as the Council's Director for Government Affairs. Previously, Mr. Waterman worked at Office of the United States Trade Representative as a Trade Policy Analyst and Congressional Affairs Specialist from 1997 to 1999. He also worked for the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee and the Economic Strategy Institute in Washington, D.C.
- Yuan Likely to Track Euro, Former Treasury Official Keidel Says - Bloomberg Businessweek
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On May 30, the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center will release a new issue brief, The Kaleidoscope Turns Again in a Crisis-Challenged Iran, a discussion of Iran’s upcoming presidential elections.
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