King’s College London hosts President Cheng - Lingnan President’s seminar sets out his view on China’s strategy for future economic development
27 Mar 2019
Lingnan University President Leonard K Cheng and the delegation he led conducted a very fruitful trip to the UK in March. On 27 March, President Cheng delivered a presentation at King's College London on the subject of China’s economic strategy.
In recent years, academics from the Department of International Development at King's College have collaborated with their counterparts at Lingnan on research projects in the areas of education, economic development and policy studies, President Cheng’s visit served to strengthen the existing links between the two institutions and point the way to further close cooperation.
His presentation focused on China’s current development strategies and the implications for the country’s international economic relationships. The talk, introduced by Dr Robyn Klingler-Vidra from the Department of International Development at King’s College, was very well received.
It began by highlighting some limitations and adverse effects of China’s economic development over the past four decades. The country has turned into the “world’s factory” but the dramatic rise in export production was also accompanied by poor labour conditions, pollution, and environmental degradation.
The new strategy was to switch to high-quality, value-added green manufacturing and services.
However, pivoting in this way will put China in direct competition for technologies, markets and talents with advanced countries like the United States, Germany and Japan.
In addition, production capacity in industries where China no longer holds a comparative advantage will be relocated overseas, a process which will likely spark competition among possible host countries and major investor nations.
In his presentation, the President also examined China’s aspiration for upgrading technology, as embodied in the Made in China 2025 plan, plus the intention to develop new export markets and stable supplies of energy and natural resources with important national initiatives like the Belt and Road initiative.
He also outlined the countermeasures being taken by the US in response to such moves, as well as China’s new measures to open its domestic markets to foreign firms and protection of their rights as embodied in the new “Foreign Investment Law”. These topics are of undoubted interest to the audience and a matter with far-reaching implications.