CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- On Monday, leading Chinese and American experts engaged in a lively forum on "China's Economic Development and China-U.S. Relations" at Harvard University's famed Loeb House, organized by the China Institute of Fudan University. Featured speakers at the forum included former Dean of the Kennedy School Professor Joseph Nye, Dean of Fudan University's China Institute Zhang Weiwei, and renowned expert on China and host of China's Challenges series Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn. The forum was hosted by Dr. William Overholt, Senior Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government. Attendees included nearly 100 international research experts and Harvard students.
The forum focuses on the lenses of the world's most important bilateral relationship-- critical challenges and opportunities including hot button issues such as trade, security, and the environment-- coupled with the fortieth anniversary of China's reform and opening up. Topics discussed included whether the two countries will pursue competition or cooperation, the state of China's trade policies and reforms, the development of Shanghai as a global business and financial hub, and the first ever China International Import Expo to be held in Shanghai this November.
Speaking at the forum, Professor Joseph Nye, who coined the term the "soft power" in the late 1980s and also served as the Chair of the National Intelligence Council and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security in the Clinton Administration, pointed out that much of the current rhetoric regarding China's use of soft power is based on misperceptions, and that for a stable international order that is beneficial to all parties, the two countries have to cooperate and utilize soft power. He argued that China and the U.S. should not be a threat to each other's survival, and that China and the U.S. need to explore how they both rely on each other and compete with each other.
"If China and the US are going to cooperate on major problems of the future, such as climate change or rules for cyberspace or pandemics, we're going to have to have an attitude towards each other of being able to cooperate," said Nye. "And I fear that what we are going through now in the current time of trouble is that we're going to lose some of that capacity to appreciate each other's soft power, and thereby jeopardize some of our longer-term capacity to cooperate. Unless China and the U.S. can work together, we are not going to have an international order where either country can prevail."
Professor Zhang Weiwei said that if China and the U.S. end misperceptions of the bilateral relationship, they can achieve enhanced cooperation and win-win results for the benefit of the people in both countries and in the world at large. He added that China's successful reform and development proves that China has consistently adhered to a foreign policy of peaceful development, cooperation and win-win solutions. He concluded that China proposes to build a shared future for mankind, and advocates that we can all learn from different development models. "China's mentality is more about win-win than zero-sum," he said. "We have every opportunity now to embrace mutually assured prosperity, given that the U.S. and China are now the two largest economies, and there are 14,000 people traveling each day between the two countries. So we are closely connected." Professor Zhang is the author of the best-selling and award-winning "China Trilogy" (published by the Shanghai People's Press) of The China Ripple (Zhongguo Chudong), The China Wave (Zhongguo Zhenhan), and The China Horizon (Zhongguo Chaoyue) (with the English editions of the latter two published by World Century, New Jersey, in 2012 and 2016 respectively).
Dr. William Overholt discussed how, while both China and the U.S. have valid grievances and much to negotiate, it is useful for both countries to step back and review the historic transformations and mutual benefits of bilateral collaboration that have occurred despite disagreements. Dr. Overholt also highlighted how both countries must collaborate in a highly complex globalized and post-industrial economy that places high values on innovation and ethical and environmental responsibility in the global supply chain. "The China-U.S. relationship has contributed to some of the most significant accomplishments in the world today," he said. "If we recognize that, we can overcome the challenges facing our two countries today. We can take the past successes of the previous 40 years and bring them to the next level."
China Specialist Dr. Robert Kuhn, who hosts the documentary series "China's Challenges", which has won domestic and international documentary awards such as the China News Award and an Emmy, discussed how Shanghai's development can be a model for understanding how China wants to develop. "Shanghai today is what China wants the whole country to be by 2050," he said. Kuhn described how Shanghai has taken the opportunity of China's 40 years of reform and opening up to become a world-leading international metropolis in the fields of finance, trade, logistics, infrastructure construction, education, and technology. In particular, he pointed out that the first China International Import Expo, to be held in Shanghai from November 5th to 10th this year, further demonstrated to the world China's determination to continue to open its market and share its development achievements with the world. Kuhn also noted that the U.S.-China relationship is endangered by misperceptions, including a "self-fulfilling prophecy of attributing malign motives to each other."
Also at the forum, an "Amazing Shanghai" photo exhibition was on display featuring photographs highlighting the rapid development of Shanghai's economy, society, and culture since China's reform and opening up.
SOURCE Fudan University‘s China Institute