The 48th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum took place in Davos from January 23 to 26, 2018, bringing together the world's leading political figures. At last year’s forum, Xi Jinping became the first Chinese President to attend the gathering; he offered in his speech a robust defence of globalization and pleaded for a collaborative approach to international relations. At this year’s forum, Politburo member Liu He represented China and presented the Chinese Communist Party’s plan to liberalize China’s economy and to further integrate with international trade rules.
Attending the summit in Davos, UBC’s Yves Tiberghien and Robert Muggah noted how the American’s vision of a future world order clashed with China’s vision and explained that it “would be a mistake to dismiss their speeches as spectacle alone.” They further identified five facts we need to consider about China’s rise in order to fully understand the seismic shifts underway:
- China is in the process of surpassing the U.S. economically;
- China is bank-rolling the largest urbanization and infrastructure development scheme on the planet: the “One Belt and One Road” (OBOR);
- China is well on its way to becoming a global green powerhouse;
- China is setting the global pace in terms of its digital economy, including cashless transactions;
- Chinese universities are vaulting to the top of international rankings.
China Research Partnership – January/February 2018 Highlights
A lot happened with the China Research Partnership since the beginning of the new year: Our partner organizations’ experts published on different topics; here are some recent highlights:
- Lynette Ong (U of T) published two articles in February. The first one, published in The China Journal, examines the consequences of Chinese local governments’ reliance on third-party violence to evict homeowners, expropriate land from farmers, manage illegal street vendors, and deal with petitioners and protestors in China. The second article, coauthored with Donglin Han and published in Political Studies, looks into what drives people to protests in an authoritarian country.
- Ashley Esarey (China Institute) coauthored an article in Political Psychology disputing an interpretation of survey results suggesting that high levels of trust in the central government in China are mainly caused by political fear. According to the study, survey data reporting high level of political trust in China may be subject to responses bias, but the authors found that political fear is not the main factor driving biased survey response.
- APF Canada published blogs on China’s ban on foreign recyclables and its implications for Canada, as well as on China’s Belt and Road Initiative and it strides into the Arctic.
- APF Canada also released two reports on opportunities for Canadian innovators and entrepreneurs in China. The first one presents a summary of a meeting held between stakeholders from federal and provincial governments and the industry with recommendations on ways of collaborating more effectively to expand Canadian opportunities in China’s cleantech market. The second report is intended for Canadian firms contemplating expansion into e-commerce in China. It provides an overview and statistics, as well as primary data insights into key challenges and considerations.
Our partner organisations, Canada-China Business Council, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Institute of Asian Research (UBC), Munk School of Global Affairs (U of T), Canada-China Institute of Business and Development (Ryerson), and China Institute (U of A) held more than a dozen events since the start of 2018. For example, former Ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques gave a series of talks in Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal on China’s 2017 Party Congress and the future of its role in the international system.
Look up our events section for past and forthcoming events on China in Canada.