by Daniël de Blocq Van Scheltinga.
Andy Browne, speaking to Bright Hong Kong, says that historically China and the United States have held each other in very high regard. Even today, the Chinese leadership sends its children to study in the United States, including Xi Jinping’s daughter. But the relationship has changed – and this is not something related to ascension of President Trump. The roots of this discord run deeper.
“The US and China: The End of the Affair… With due respect to Graham Greene…..” claims that the shift started in 2008 when the financial crisis showed China that the Western system was fallible, and the crisis, in the eyes of China, “totally discredited Milton Friedman” and the Western economic model.
The ensuing Chinese self confidence changed the dynamics completely, together with the “end of globalisation”, which was another result of the financial crisis. China’s rediscovered national pride, and the search for a greater world role led to the Belt & Road Initiative, “the only grand strategy in the world today”.
According to the speaker, the United States risks misunderstanding China, as evidenced by the recent pronouncements from Washington regarding the proposed trade tariffs: “China will not give ground”. Instead of a so-called clash of civilizations, what the world will now experience is rather a “Competition Between Systems”.
Mr Browne comes to his authority by way of a prestigious journalistic career, known for a deep knowledge of China and its complex reality. He been a journalist in Asia for the past 35 years and spent 20 years at Reuters News Agency, ending up as Asia-Pacific editor, before moving to The Wall Street Journal where he became China Editor and wrote a popular column called China’s World. He is currently the Editorial Director of The New Economy Forum, a Bloomberg conference to be held in Beijing. Mr Browne shared a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 2007 and also won an Overseas Press Club Award for business reporting.
A lively discussion ensued. The meeting was attended by Ambassador Dieter Lamlé, Consul General of Germany in Hong Kong and Macau; Germán Muñoz, Founder & Director Bright Hong Kong and host of the event; Brigadier Christopher Hammerbeck CB.CBE., who is President at The Royal British Legion Hong Kong & China Branch and the former Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of British Forces in Hong Kong; Dr Christopher Tremewan, Secretary General at Association of Pacific Rim Universities APRU; Daniël de Blocq Van Scheltinga, member of the executive committee of the European Chamber of Commerce; associate of Silk Road Associates and board member at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce; Jolita Pons, Head of Political, Press and Information affairs, EU office to Hong Kong and Macau; Kathleen Ferrier, Honorary Professor Human Rights at Asian University for Women and former member of the Dutch Parliament; Renu Bhatia, Founding partner and Managing Director of SuperCharger, a dedicated Fintech accelerator in Hong Kong; Sari Arho, Consul for Innovation of the Consulate General of Finland in Hong Kong and Macau; Sanjukta Mukherjee, PWc Thought Leadership; Mauricio Lozano, Professional Wealth Management, and Dr Stratos Pourzitakis, Asian Private Banker.
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