Transition and opportunity – Making the most of China’s future


Even this early in the 21st century, there are signs of economic and cultural trends that may be its hallmarks in history – for better, for worse and in ways yet to be seen.


Today i’m speaking with Dr Huiyao ‘Henry’ Wang of the Centre of China and Globalisation about the future of China in international commerce and diplomacy, how to connect with, and within, global superpowers, and what history might have to say about current events.


Read more at the CCG website, or in their recent report:


Image Credit: Eye of Paul/Shutterstock







00:00:05 Will Mountford: Hello, I’m Will, welcome to ResearchPod. 

With the benefit of retrospect, it’s possible to pick out trends through history. From European imperialism, exerting its influence across the 18th century to the disruptive industrialisation of the 19th century, and the American way of life that defined so much of global culture in the 20th century. 


Even this early into the 21st century, there are signs of economic and cultural trends that may be its hallmarks in history, for better, for worse, and in ways yet to be seen. 


Today I’m speaking with Huiyao Henry Wang from the Centre for China and Globalisation about the past, present and future of China in international commerce and diplomacy, about attitudes towards global superpowers from the outside and within, and what history might have to say about the world of today. 


00:01:00 Doctor Wang, good morning and hello. 


00:01:02 Henry Wang: Hello good morning, how are you? 


00:01:05 Will Mountford: I’m very well, thanks for joining us today. By way of introduction for myself and for the listeners at home, could you tell us a bit about yourself and some of your academic and professional history and your involvement in CCG on a personal, international, and global level? 


00:01:19 Henry Wang: My name is Henry Huiyao Wang and my English friends call me Henry, Henry Wang. But actually I’m native Chinese. I grew up in China and you know, gone through the Cultural Revolution, which is a long time ago, and after 10 years of shutting down the university and colleges in China, I was the first year of student, who managed to take the exam in 1977. And then the first batch of student go to the college. So, at that time there’s about only a quarter million of the student was taken, but there’s about 7,000,000 took the exam, so it’s a, it’s a big high percentage of getting there, but after that I went to university. I majored in English, American literature, foreign trade, international economy, and then later on I came to Beijing working with the, the Minister of Commerce at that time, Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade. 


And after a few years, I went to Canada to study and worked in multinationals in Canada. You know, I went to the University of West Ontario, University of Windsor and also University of Toronto. So it’s it’s quite memorable experience in Canada and you know, I remember, I took a trip: I had to fly from Beijing to Shanghai, and then after I took off in Shanghai, there was an announcer who said oh, our plane gets some engine trouble, we have landed in Tokyo, so we landed in Tokyo to repair the plane and then we took off again to San Francisco and then to the San Francisco. We see a huge airport that was really, you know, very big culture shock. 


And then I went from San Francisco to New York, and then you fly over a sea of buildings and the lights, and in the evening that was spectacular. So I was, I was really quite shocked. And then from there New York, next day I landed in Toronto and then there was a shock again, see the six lanes of speed highways and all the traffic. I come from, very backward at that time, in the early 80s, it was you know, very backward China. There’s no supermarket in China. There’s no superhighways – it was quite a contrast. 


00:03:34 And then later on, I actually went to work in the SNC-Lavalin, one of the largest engineering consultants in the world, and in Montreal, and and after that I I took a very competitive exam. The Quebec Government of Canada was was recruiting their chief trade representative for Hong Kong and and Greater China. So I was able to file my applications and then take several rounds of interviews. I was appointed as a chief trade representative of the Quebec government in Hong Kong, China, and for the Greater China region. So, so it was such a great experience, I had then, and then in the 90s I come back to China and I started uh, become a entrepreneur and I started also a consulting company, helping the multinationals working in China in different project. 


00:04:29 Will Mountford: With all that international experience in those business roles, what brought you to the CCG? 


00:04:34 Henry Wang: I started to think, you know, I’m probably, I’m, I’m established in business, but I really want to get in back to my academic. So, so I went on to teach as adjunct professor at Guanghua Management School at Peking University. And then I started social organisations like Chamber of Commerce, 205 committee, and then later on I started to really set up this think tank, the Centre for China and Globalisation, which I set it up in ‘08. That was the year when Beijing held its first Olympic, Summer Olympic Games, the motto of the summer Olympic was that one world, one dream and I said, Gee, that is the globalisation and and that’s where we should you know, become more connected with the world, so that’s where we started the Centre for China and Globalisation. And then, the Centre for China and Globalisation now is the leading think tank in China. We, we’re not funded by the government but we really we had a large community of entrepreneurs, business communities, and also our members and we do a lot of events, research projects so that we can really build this into very active international think tank and we have now become this number 64 of the top 100 think tanks, announced by the University of Pennsylvania, same time on the civil society’s programme, we are full using a role ranked in the top 100 think tank in the world and then we are also among the top 50 independent think tank ranked by the University of Pennsylvania and we are the only think tank in China that has been granted special consultant status by the United Nation which only apply to non-government organisations. So we are doing activities we have about almost 100 full time researchers and staff. 


00:06:30 Henry Wang: and we have over 100 events a year. We’d have multiple publications, reports, several dozens a year – English, Chinese and and we hold many, many roundtables and we conduct many dialogues, exchanges that I had a dialogue with, for example, just in a year you know we had 20 of them at top level dialogue with Larry Summers, with Thomas Friedman, Graham Allison, Martin Wolf, Joseph Nye. You know, all those people that we’ve been in dialogue, you know in Shinko, Wolfgang Ischinger, and you know, all those well-known  people. So, so we want to be a bridge that can really connect China and outside world. So, we want to bring the a global perspective to Chinese and also bring the Chinese perspective to the world. And that’s where we are, today now. 


00:07:22 Henry Wang: We have been really working with a number of international organisations. We are Munich secure conference partner. We are Paris Peace forum partner, I’m also sitting on a a number of university advisory board for example. I used to be a Yale University Asian Advisory Board. I’m now currently sitting on the Advisory Board of Duke University in China to Queensland University and also I’m I’m Advisory Board on the Business School that I went, Richard Ivey Business School of University of West Ontario,  now called Western University. So education-wise we want to promote that, for example, this year we’re going to help ETS who conducts TOEFL and GREs test in China. We’re going to have a conference with them and and also we, we hope that we can do more to promote this kind of event. We also like to maybe in the future to have a more high level global, elite dialogues so that we want opinion leaders, stakeholders, government officials, business leaders and academic. It needs to really create a platform for them on China and for that exchange with China and also to better understand China. And also to really promote cooperation between China and our international communities. So that’s really one of our objectives. 


We are very busy so we we would like to achieve this, you know, more effective and fruitful results. 


00:09:03 Will Mountford: You mentioned the Beijing Olympics. There the motto of ‘one world, one dream’ and all of your international experience. To talk about how the personal attitudes that you have towards international collaboration and the foundational mission of building those bridges, how they are aligning, kind of, the ethos of the global movement of globalisation? 


00:09:25 Henry Wang: Sure, sure. What has been really impressed me was that, you know, since 1980s you know then shopping has ushered in this open door policy, we’ve seen a flood of foreign investment coming to China. We see a lot of a multinational invest in China and I was witnessed that and also played from a small part of a role in that, for example, I was as the chief trader representative for Quebec government in Hong Kong and China, I mean, I see all those Canadian companies coming to China and Chinese company going into Canada. And of course also I I see the business has really gone up and there’s a lot of project going on, so I was actually filmed, you know, profiled by the Canadian Business magazine as a cover story in a 1990 issue about our involvement in in China and also helping Canada companies like GE Canada, ABB, Al Stone and all those companies work in China. So we had a very good experience and witnessed this globalisation in real terms. 


A great change has taken place in China. Gradually, joined the WTO in 2001 and China, now 20 years after joined WTO, China, you know become the second largest economy in the world. So, so I think this is all due to the globalisation, to the global impact and global changes that globalisation has bring the benefits to China, but also China is returned back to the world, like China now contributes over 1/3 of global GDP growth and China now become the second largest donor to the United Nations and China now donated 2 billion vaccine to the developing world and also provided some of that in in trade as well so. So I think you know globalisation is really tied with my era. You know when, when China opened in 1978, 77, I was still in the rural area. I was uh settled down use you know. I mean sent from city, you know, my hometown is Chengdu, my father coming from Hangzhou, you know both cities are beautiful cities in China, but my Senior High School year three was totally spent in the countryside. I just spent a year and a half in the in the rural China and making $0.05 a day. And you know 2008 I think, OK, I’m I’m already 50 years old, I mean, I should really start to work on this globalisation because I really benefit from that, I’ve seen that, I I’ve experienced that, and I think it’s time that we we should really come out to the globalisation. 


00:12:07 Will Mountford: I mean, your story sounds like one of globalisation for it not just being trade and in international agreements, but in the movement of people and the transfer of ethics and civics and culture as well. 


Do you find that there is something to be said about the income and the GDP change from globalisation, but also the cultural change from globalisation? 


00:12:29 Henry Wang: Yes, one other thing I’ve been doing a lot is that I I founded a Western return. Scott is a you know, Chamber of Commerce so we get old entrepreneurs like people, the founders of Baidu, the founders of New Oriental Asia Info. And you know people from Alibaba, from Tencent from all those entrepreneur. A lot of them are returnees, returned to the student, because I’m one of the beneficiaries, as probably the first group of Chinese who went overseas after China opened up. I’m I’m probably the first generation of NBO obtained overseas and I see many people like me coming back so up till now China has almost 7 million people who have studied overseas, and about 4-5 million has come back so I think you know these, those group of people who have been versed in both culture, has speak the both languages, and they’re understanding standing the really key, key people, so I started to, you know, finding the organisations chambers and also 2005 committee to really bring those people together. That’s where I studied my research interests as well. 


Well, I published many reports and blue books in English and Chinese on migration, particularly on the talent migration, because this is really helping China and helping you, you know, United States, helping all other countries, people, to people exchanges flow? I think that is real, that is really the the the globalisation that we’ve been experiencing our generation. Like my parents and my grandparents never had the chance to go out of China too much and then really see the world and see how the culture learn from other universities, where our generation – my children, you know they have all been privileged to study abroad and then learning from other cultures understanding other people’s ideas you so we know the the world is not black and white. You know they’re so colourful, so diversified and so global coloured and we should really embrace diversity. And we really should be a bridge, a catalyst for the exchanges, for the friendship and for the co-operation. So, so that’s where I think we have this Centre for China Globalisation think tank which is largely have this kind of mission to really be a bridge, be connecting China and outside world.  


00:14:52 Will Mountford: In being a think tank and building those bridges, could we talk more specifically about the policy, influence and some of the advocacy and governance work that you do in building those partnerships? 

And from there we can maybe look at some of the ways and that has worked and some of the challenges that come with it as well. 


00:15:09 Henry Wang: You know there’s many things we act worked, for example, we’ve been the only think tank, actually part active think tank, one of the most active think tanks in promoting global migration exchanges. We published for for 10 years in a row on the International Migration report in Chinese students study abroad, Chinese companies going global and foreign companies coming to China. So we have a a variety of blue books published by the Chinese Social Science Academy Press, which today actually before I come into this interview, we just published our 2022 year book about the enterprise of global companies in China. So we had the companies from Daimler, Mercedes, represent, uh, representative, we have the Merck company representative, we had quite a few other multinational representatives spoke at our event. 


That’s one of the things we’ve been doing is really to promote the policy to facilitate the exchanges. For example, China actually set up a national immigration of administration, which is, uh, it’s the Ministry of Migration, which is really to facilitate global talent flow. And that proposal coming from CCG. You know, we wrote the proposal that China should, like all the other countries, should have an immigration department and to really welcome global talents and people, you know, migration and Chinese people to have more travel. For example, China had 100 million people travel overseas. China issues, you know, several hundred million passports, so so they should need the organisation to do that – welcome the foreign visitors, so we propose China should set up a special ministry for that and that proposal coming out, policy proposal coming from CCG, endorsed by the Chinese government leaders and then in 2018, the National Immigration Administration has been established and then after the establishing of National Immigration Administration, we also connected the NIA, the National Immigration Administration, leaders to the OECD leaders. So we have been accompanied the NIA Minister to attend the first OECD Minister meetings on migration so that the global migration can be coordinated, can be more informed, can be more exchange, so that’s just one example that we have so that it can have its counterpart to exchange, you know internationally. 


00:17:36 Henry Wang: Another proposal we made is that when US has launched the TPP, you know Trans Pacific Partnership, we said China should join that, you know China should really aim at those high standards. China should really, you know, match all the conditions and and also overcome those obstacles to really upgrade since President Trump actually pulling out of TPP. The TPP was led by Japan and Australia, then call it now CPTPP. 


So we’ve been published report for the last number of years, 5-6 years, every year, to really, you know, call for China for join CPTPP. Finally, Chinese premier said, you know we should join TPP President Xi said Asia Pacific Summit China should join CPTPP, so I think, you know, so we are actually for open for this kind of a facilitation of the liberalisation and investment and that has been reflected on our research and our books, our talks on encouraging China to join CPTPP and China finally made its commitment to join. 


00:18:40 Henry Wang: So that’s another example of how CCG is promoting you know this open door policy, and there’s other things too. Like you know, we’ve been doing, you know, I mean if we talk about really big picture, the globalisation, in 2008 globalisation was really probably, I’m, I’m not saying it’s a neutral word, probably it’s negative, you know at that time so why globalisation, you know it’s Americanisation or Westernisation or the, or the, or the, or the minimum is the globalisation is is a double edged sword, so it was pretty negative then and then we’ve been promoting globalisation. 


We’re holding the globalisation forming 10 years in a row. We publish globalisation blue books 10 years in a row, 15 years in a row. And now globalisation has become a widely accepted concept in China. People understand. Globalisation refers to global, you know, student exchanges, tourism, cultural exchanges, particularly, business exchange, economics exchanges. Globalisation is beneficial. Of course, we want to have an inclusive globalisation. Globalisation is not perfect, it needs to be improved, particularly, we need to look after those falling behind those people that has been left out of globalisation. That’s why China is now, you know, launched this campaign of lift 800 million people out of poverty. You know, trying to minimise the gap between rich and poor. So so I think, CCG, you know this is really in that process trying to promote globalisation but also on the other hand, you know trying to look after those as left behind and we proposed proposing a inclusive globalisation and also climate change,  


00:20:18 Henry Wang: for example, we actually a few years in a row, we’re attending the Munich Security Conference and in the year of 2020, we hosted an event at Munich Security Conference, and we invited John Kerry the the US, now the Envoy of Environment sustainable development, to speak at our  event. We also had the Chinese leaders to speak there so, so we want to create better understanding to cooperate on on climate change and sustainable development. This year we published a quite a number of books with Springer Nature, with uh Palgrave, with all these international publisher, you know six books in a row and about 35 top international opinion leaders, ex politicians, top thinkers all give us articles like Joseph Nye,  Kishore Mahbubani. You know all those big names and then we have 27 ambassadors from Australia, Canada, you know, you, you in China contributed to a book that I edited and also we have another 20, some chamber heads, like you Chamber, US, China Business Council chairman, you know all they’ve contribute to another book about transition and opportunities are in China and and things like that. 


00:21:35 Henry Wang: So we’ve been doing many things, not only with the politic circles in China, but also with the international community with the international think tanks. We also organised with the United Nations. They have 28 organisations in China. We hosted them in our think tank, just, you know, last year about China joined the UN for 50 years. And so so so to to see that how UN has helped China and how China has been supporting UN, you know, those are really great events that the CCG has been doing in the last number of years. Just just give some examples like that. Sometimes we’re not easy. Of course you know, going between, for example in China it is all ‘you’re so pro-Western, you are really helping foreigners in China’. But then when we go abroad, this ‘oh, you are united front. You are so so Chinese’, so sometimes we’re caught in between, but we really doing something we want to help you know the communication, the understanding, the the dialogue. And we want to, really, you know, let people in the world to see a real China, a developed China. And also we want to really have better understanding of each other. Again, as my word again, we want to maximise the common ground and we want to minimise the differences and you know we’re doing bit by bit by ourselves, so that we can really reach that day that I can say CCG has done its best. We have done what we can to really promote this more globalised world, more inclusive globalisation and we want to improve the dialogues, improve the understanding and improve the cooperation between China and outside world, between our think tank and all our partners our corporate institutions. 


I only want to play a role to really pass on the message, send out the recommendations, give the advice to the government in China, to the government outside China, and to the international organisation so that we can have a much better cooperation together so that we can avoid the conflict. Avoid misunderstandings so that we can do this at our best. 


00:23:45 Will Mountford: Could we maybe talk a bit more about building communications and building bridges with other countries outside of the superpowers. People not in, you know the EU or North America, but other nations and other foundations and how those agreed upon relationships rather than the formalised relationships are helping to build up those bridges for people, for trade, but also kind of the uplifting of people from their communities who might have been passed over by globalisation as well. 


00:24:16 Henry Wang: Yes, actually those are good good questions. I, I think you know CCG has been doing that kind of engagement in several front. You know, like we, we engage with universities, we engage with think tanks. For example, we we jointly conduct some research with the US think tanks. We we, we publish them, we we hold roundtables, uh, and of course we are, we are on a friendly exchange term but also we are very frank to point out the differences but but let’s maximise the common ground but minimise the differences. That’s where I think if it’s the philosophy that CCG has adopted, we are very open. For example we are at the Munich Security Conference. We are the only Chinese think tank has been the official partner of Munich Security Conference that we can hold the side event there, official side event they took together with Munich Security Conference, which is great. So we can invite people from different background, different ideology, different cultural values to come and to the, uh, Chinese think tank event and so we can have a very frank, friendly but also constructive, even sometimes debated discussion, so which is fine, we need more events like that, but also I’m also serving at as the Paris Peace Forum Steering Committee, where I think the Paris Peace Forum is really a great platform for the global governance proposal driven and then we have invited all the NGOs, all the players non-government players, in the globalisation process to ask them for their contributions, proposals for the global governance.  


00:25:54 Henry Wang: So we actually propose two proposals there that we should set up a global talent alliance so we can facilitate the talent flows and the credentials recognitions, you know, studies and engineering background you know with their different accreditations, things like that, and also propose we should have e-commerce because e-commerce is really getting very active and the data you know flows, we should encourage more data flows and things like that, so the Paris Peace Forum is very great. And also I’m, we’re helping many other platform like we go to, I was also invited, to the monk debate in Toronto, where it’s a 3000 very spectacular on Thomas Hall there at the downtown Toronto and my team, you know, myself and Kishore Mahbubani, the former Singapore ambassador to UN and also our counterpart, was a general HR McMaster, the former national security adviser of the U.S. government and also Michael Pillsbury, the director of a strategic China Centre at Hudson Institute. 


00:27:02 Henry Wang: It was really something memorable. It was a 3000 live audience, each one is with a calculator to vote, and so before we went in, yhey had saying cookie, ‘Is China threat to the international liberal order?’ and then that was the topic of the debate. You know, we actually I don’t have much experience in debate but even though, you know, we, we would not even draw anything so they actually end up our counterpart. HR McMaster started the first to condition the debate and he was the last to summarise the debate, so so he influenced the voters. 


I mean we we will not ask for doing that and so we were not really experienced on that, but. 


But just for that debate, very frankly debate. We stated our issue, you know, gave examples, statistics, all things, in the end, we managed to win the debate because you had our calculator. People voted before you went to debate and they voted again after the debate. 


So if you can win points back, you win the debate. We managed to win points back so, but then it’s a good experience, I mean. But but in general, we really love to have a more track to dialogue, you know? I would like to have a frank closed door exchanges. 


We like to really share I, I admire our scholars, our counterparts in the US think tanks. Sometimes we can exchange very frankly, sometimes heated debate but but but we know, you know, we, we believe what we believe in, but, but always we believe open exchange dialogue is better than, you know, no dialogue, no communication, no exchanges. We need more understanding of each other and we really need to maximise our common understanding and minimise our difference for the sake of humankind and for the sake of our global village that we are all villagers lived in. 


00:28:51 Will Mountford: Well, to continue the topic of frank and friendly debates, there have been some interesting global developments over the 21st century so far that have illustrated the benefits of collaboration, the investment that has come from China into neighbouring nations, the oft-reported ‘Belt and Road initiative’ to connect so much of the neighbouring nations across Eurasia, by land that promises a lot. Equally, at the same time we have faced a global pandemic. There is war on the continent of Europe. There are other cold conflicts that are warming up. 


And to kind of explore all of those different points of how we can foster this benefit to all partners whilst there is still division amongst some partners in different regards, either politically, financially or industrially. 


00:29:41 Henry Wang: Yes, that’s a, that’s a great question. I think that you know the the world. Actually it’s getting smaller, but also it’s still very large because, you know, all the countries has a different culture, history, development phases and have different development models. So I think you know it’s it’s probably we need to find a way to peacefully coexist together, because I, I mean we are now 70 – 77, 78 years after the Second World War. You know we had a, we had a Bretton Woods system that really carried us through for the last 70 – 77, 78 years. And, but of course, that system needs to be enhanced, needs to be upgraded, needs to be strengthened. China is really a beneficiary of this system. And but now we see the pandemic we see the, the war, you know Russian on on Ukraine and then we really see, the world is getting more fragmented and more risky now and on top of that, climate change threat is looming large and so so I think it’s really important that China, being the second largest economy, has the moral, you know, responsibility together with US, with EU, UK and Japan and many other developed countries to really shoulder this responsibility and to work together. I think we, because of our cultural differences, history, historical differences and geographic differences, we’re bound to have differences, but let’s helping all those emerging economy like Asian economy, Latin American, African, let’s all work together. I think, you know, we should work on the like World Bank has a very good example, you know, in the 80s helping China, I used to serve as interpreter for the World Bank seminars in China and the World Bank introduced the international competitive bidding. You know what’s the bid bond? What’s the performance bond? You know all those concepts into China?  


00:31:40 Henry Wang: And I was the first interpreter to helping all those events. But I think, you know, now China has sold on those concept market, you know, competition, you know, all those things and then let’s do more. I mean China now launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which is a a global multilateral bank with all the European countries, almost all of them in it, and India is the largest recipient. So let’s really, you know, harness on these infrastructure needs that this gap, this deficit, developing countries, even developed countries now have this huge infrastructure gap. So China has been doing the infrastructure. China probably is leading infrastructure now, which China has built 2/3 of global speed railway now. And and then build a 4.5 million 4G stations and two million 5G stations with 1 billion smartphone users. And out of the 10 large container ports, seven of them in China. So infrastructure, China is really getting very very advanced, so we hope to share that with developing countries that China Launchpad Demro. China is working with Asian countries. China was working Latin American and African countries, which is great. 


00:32:54 Henry Wang: We should work together with USA, EU, Japan and Australia, Canada and all the other countries, UK for example, Canada and Australia are also members of AIB, you know and and infrastructure is the biggest shortage now. And President Biden proposed 1.2 trillion for the infrastructure, and the EU government has announced the EU Global Gateway for the infrastructure. Of course, China has this belt and road, so why can’t we have a belt and road by working together with build back better, you know, B3W and EU global gateway. Let’s all focus on infrastructure, find the common ground. Let’s get the world back. You know, I was. I was in dialogue with hosted dialogue with Larry Summers, the former Treasurer of of U.S. government, and he told me world banks should be replenished with more focus on climate change and infrastructure. So probably World Bank, AIB, you know, and ADB Asian Development Bank, African Development bank and Latin American Development bank, all the development banks should work together, and build this development bank alliance and jointly issue co-financing and support many projects around developing countries. And that’s really we need to find common ground to work together so that we can sustain this globalisation, so we can have a balanced globalisation, so that we don’t have a polarised world and we should really work very hard towards that objective, so I think it’s very important even though we have differences, ideologically, maybe socially, you know, the way we, we we, how we govern a country, but let’s really maximise the common ground and funding the common cause: climate change, infrastructure, you know, cyber security, and you know disasters and pandemic, let’s work on all those challenges that we were facing really together and strengthen the UN system, a global system. And improve on the Bretton Woods system that US has been led and built in the last 7 decades. Let’s let’s add on, let’s improve, let’s enhance. I think that’s where we should work together with EU,  with US and let’s have a three key players to support the world with other countries together. 


00:35:14 Will Mountford: To come back to something that you mentioned earlier, there was the collection of essays on transition and opportunity in China and internationally, and to kind of look forwards onto where those transitions and opportunities arise. Where are those opportunities and who are they for? 


00:35:31 Henry Wang: Yes, actually you know the the book that we are, we’re having these transition and opportunities and you know we have invited the President of the European Chamber of Commerce to contribute a piece. We have invited the President of US-China Business Council to contribute a piece and many other chambers, British, Swiss, you know, Japan, Brazil, you know everybody. So the opportunity we see that is actually China now is still in this threshold of getting from developing country to the developed country. China heated the GDP about 12 thousand US and about 10,000 more China will be breaking the rank of the property at developed countries. And China has cultivated the 400 million middle class, probably by the end of this decade. It would, you know, 600 million middle class, half of the Chinese population, so that creates an enormous opportunity for the world to to grab on. Also, the Asian economy that the Asia will now by the end of this decade will account about 60% global GDP and it becomes another, you know, epicentre of the global economy. So I’m, I’m glad to see that we have RCP, the largest free trade agreement taken place already getting effective January 1st this we have now CBD is effective. China is trying to join that and now we have a President Biden saying that let’s have an Indian Pacific economic framework if it’s really for the economic development, that’s fine. That’s great. I mean, if it’s you know, we hope God that it’s not going to be used as geopolitical vehicle to contain China. But let’s see if it’s really economic, China would love to join that so, so I think the opportunity for the global business, you know, we’ll see a century of centennial changes. 


00:37:20 Henry Wang: The 19th century, you know, the world epicentre is the in Europe, UK is leading the globalisation. 20th century, we see US is leading the globalisation. Probably 21st century Asia will lead this globalisation so so I think that is where opportunities are and that’s where we should all work together because we are all in in, intertwined into into one globe now, and it just the the growth started from Europe, carried on, continued to the US, now passed to Asia, maybe next century will be Africa, you know India, because we had such a younger population there, and you know, we see in turn the prosperity that we swept all over the globe and the humankind we upgrade we’ll enhance, so, so we should be really living a peaceful, peace loving and friendly world rather than a very tense what have been happening in Ukraine with with the Russian war there so. So let’s let’s try to avoid that. Let’s try to have the economy, prosperity, have all those opportunity to bond everybody together so that we can’t find each other because we’re so intertwined and that’s where we think Asia and China probably can contribute to this boom and prosperity in the future. 


00:38:38 Will Mountford: One final consideration, alongside that global increase for prosperity is the resources, the energy, the effort and consumption that it takes to support that growth of population, of investment, of industry. The global threat that faces everyone now and into that future is going to be, climate change is going to be, depletion of resources, depletion of environment. And if we could briefly consider how addressing the sustainability goals from the UN, and you know China’s own internal sustainability goals is going to be essential to make sure there is a planet for those people in the future. 


00:39:14 Henry Wang: Absolutely, you had raised a very good question I, I think that China is probably also doing, it’s a great experiment and then trying to really, because we cannot follow the old model of high standards, because we have such a big population in Asia and in China. Energy consumption per capita, all the other consumptions, we should not repeat what has been done in the past. For example, if you’re talking about the carbon neutrality and carbon peak, I mean if it’s per capita W as largest, we China obvious cannot take in that path, consume so much energy without efficiency, so that’s why China is developing this clean energy. China now become the largest clean energy auto market in the world. Tesla, Daimler, Chrysler, BMW, you know everybody comes to China. China produce thirty million cars a year, the largest in the world. But then the proportion of clean vehicle is is getting up year by year, and then that’s where I think China wants to minimise the the energy pollution and consumption so so that’s the China that becomes second the largest solar panel producer in the world, largest hydropower in the world,  and the largest wind power in the world. So those supportive of China’s sustainable development that they can really keep the, even though they have a large population but not, you know, keep the pollution consumption low and that that experience, that that success probably can also apply to other developing countries, so that’s that’s that’s point 1. Number 2 is I think you know, we, we want to make sure that globalisation has left to no one behind and we we should not have the rich get rich and poor get poor and the gap, the middle class stagnated for for several decades without improvement. China wants to avoid that, and now China, for the last four decades, has lifted the 800 million people out of poverty, represents 70% of global poverty reduction and 10 years ahead of time, realised the number one priority of sustainable development 2030 agenda. 


00:41:27 Henry Wang: So those things I think China should do and and they contribute to the world and then also if they are successful, those experiences can be applied to other developing countries. 


So China should really play more role, to work with the international community, with other developed countries to helping developing countries, particularly on a sustainable-friendly and also more inclusive development for all, all the people involved. 


And so, so I hope that that is really Centre for China think tank is really trying to promote, that we can really work with every country on those big challenges facing the humankind ahead of us. 


00:42:08 Will Mountford: If I could ask for just your final thoughts on kind of the past, present, and future for the CCG, for globalisation, for people, for nations, for trade, and for finance? 


00:42:22 Henry Wang: And we’ve been doing, uh, many researches and events in the past, for example, this year, we had 20 ambassador coming to CCG right after Ukraine-Russian war and we talk about these geopolitical challenges, and how we can really work with our ambassadors to understand of each other, to really enhance the understanding and and and trying to find a solution or recommendation, get the peaceful solution to that, you know, this year we publish quite a number of books with the Springer Nature publisher, which is one of the best publisher in the world. 


We published 5 books that I and my co-founder added together. The first book is Consensus and conflict: China and globalisation in the 21st century. 


By the way, our series of the book is called the China and Globalisation Series. So if you check on the website and you can China and Globalisation series published by Springer, and the most of them are free downloads actually as well, there’s one book by Kishore Mahbubani called the The Asian 21st Century, has almost downloaded 2,000,000 times already. That’s that’s incredible Consensus and Conflict downloaded 200,000 times and there was ambassadors, a collection foreign based perspective on China, Transitions and Opportunities and also there’s another book of mine which is coming up in next month. It’s all read online and and also I’m having another book published by Palgrave, including the 10 dialogues I had with Thomas Friedman, with Joseph Nye, with Graham Allison, with Martin Wolf with, you know John Fountain, Adam Posen, you know, all those great thinkers and scholars, Agnes Deaton, Nobel laureates and all those people. 


So, so it’s really stimulating. This book is coming out in the fall and and of course we’re going to organise many events. In China, for example, we’re having our annual global conference in actually this month. We’re having hybrid online/offline and we’re going to, in August we’re going to hold this Global Young Leaders Dialogue. The global Young Leaders Dialogue is the is the initiative actually started by CCG, that we want to attract the global young leaders. We model the Dowe’s Young leaders, Munich Security young leaders so it’s similar to those global young leaders, a platform to have dialogue we have attracted over 200 global young leaders from over 50 countries. You know, even during the pandemic time, some of them in China, we have organised them for different meetings. We had a different country, President, UN officials, to congratulate on our global young leaders programme and actually in person, Xi also wrote letters replying to the global young leaders to encourage more exchanges, more dialogues and invite them to come to China to see more. So those are really interesting project we’ve been doing, but I think you know, in the long run you know CCG would like to be seen as a global connector, a global adapter and global bridge for China and outside world, because we we are the think tank in China that published most English books, we have a a big English website, we have a social account, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and we of course we we publish in international arena and with many international scholars and and think tankers. And of course we host so many ambassadors, consul general, and for example just two days ago in Chengdu at capital of Sichuan province, we just launched our local branch in Chengdu, we have invited the Consul general from France and Consul general from Spain to witness our launching our think tank institute there, but in the future, in the long run we really want to be remembered as a global communicator between China and the world, between the world and China. So we hope that can contribute to the research and development of globalisation, new framework, new theory and new narrative, of course too, so that we can help to have better understanding between China and the outside world. 


00:46:44 Will Mountford: Doctor Wang, thank you so much for your time. 


00:46:46 Henry Wang: Thank you, thank you very much. Also appreciate your your your help and we we thank everybody for supporting us we appreciate the our friends internationally, our international media, and our international think tanks, international academic also different organisations, business community policymakers for they really support the CCG. We appreciate that very much. 


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