In just four decades China has transformed itself from an isolationist country to an emerging world power, both economically and politically. Can China maintain such an unprecedented rate of economic growth? What is China’s attitude toward the world order and how does it see its own role? And what can we expect in the future?

In recent years a lot has changed in the dynamic of the world stage. With the election of Donald Trump, the United States has turned its back on the world and China is keen on filling this void, setting the stage for President Xi. Whereas the United States and parts of Europe are contemplating protectionism, China attempts to emerge as a leader of the new world order. Recently China became the world’s second-largest economy with a contribution of 39% to world growth in 2016 and a population of 1.3 billion.

China has transformed itself from an agrarian and isolationist country to an industrialized economy with a focus on technology and innovation, and with ambitions for a Chinese-designed supercomputer, AI, quantum computing, space combat and cyber operations. During a recent Communist party congress the Chinese president Xi claimed that it is part of China’s ambition to ‘move to the center of the world stage’. To do so China is ambitiously expanding outwards through direct investments with the Belt and Road Initiative, investing in large infrastructural projects in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe.

However, China is also facing serious problems such as the environmental degradation, ageing population, financial instability, rising unemployment, political unrest and human right dispute. Can China keep up being both a rapidly growing yet vulnerable developing country and a rising world leader? What will be the outcome of the trade war threats between the US and China, and how will this affect the global system? How is China affected by the protectionist moves of the United States? And will China, with its growing economy also take on a growing responsibility on the world stage? In this current affairs lecture Jue Wang will explain current changes in the Chinese political economy, their impact on other countries and reflect on what we might expect in the future.

Jue Wang is university lecturer in international political economy at Leiden University with focuses on China’s political economy, its external economic relationship and its role in regional and global economic governance. Dr. Wang is also an associate fellow for Asia Programme at Chatham House: The Royal Institute of International Affairs. She has commented on Chinese and international affairs for, among others, BBC World News, BBC4 Radio, The New York Times, and The Times.

This lecture is given in English, entrance is free. Registration is recommended.

Organised by Studium Generale in collaboration with the Dutch Society for International Affairs (Nederlands Genootschap voor Internationale Zaken).

More information
Date: Tuesday 19 February 2019
Time: 16.00 – 17.30 hours (Doors open : 15.30)
Location: Erasmus Paviljoen

Ticket information
Entrance: free, registration recommended

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