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China Watch

China Watch is an academic platform where scholars at Fudan University and the University of California launch the following series of academic reports to examine China's domestic and international issues.

China’s Way to Happiness

China’s Way to Happiness
A dialogue with Prof. Richard Madsen, by Ian Johnson

Richard Madsen is one of the modern-day founders of the study of Chinese religion. A professor at the University of California San Diego, the seventy-three-year-old’s works include Morality and Power in a Chinese Village, China and the American Dream, and China’s Catholics: Tragedy and Hope in an Emerging Civil Society. He’s now working on a book about happiness in China. I recently spoke to Madsen in Chicago, where he was addressing a meeting of Catholic leaders who deal with the Church in China. Read More.

Does Illusion Free Ride on the Chinese Economy?

Does Illusion Free Ride on the Chinese Economy?: A Pattern of Dependency in the CACZ
By Francisco Javier Haro Navejas, Professor-Researcher Universidad de Colima.

Abstract: In this paper, the author studies Chinese interactions with four countries of the Central American and the Caribbean Zone (CACZ): Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Despite the fact of having dissimilar type of governments and different levels of understanding with Beijing, all of them have a growing bilateral trade deficit relation and expect more than Beijing is willing to give. Selected countries may have ideological perceptions on that country, but not common ideologies. According to this hypothesis, what really triggers the bilateral relation is a concurrence of interests. The Chinese government is looking for markets, raw materials and defeating Taiwan in the diplomatic field. The CACZ countries pursue an illusion: as free riders they assume that their problems will be solved by Chinese policies. Free riding, the core concept of this paper, leads them to economic dependence rather than to interdependence. Read More.

The Power Strategy of Chinese Foreign Policy

The Power Strategy of Chinese Foreign Policy: Bringing Theoretical and Comparative Studies Together
Authors: Dr. CHEN Zhimin, Professor and Dean of the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University; and Chang Lulu, doctoral student at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

The debate whether power is a kind of resource or an application of resources shows the complexities of the concept of power. By combining both perspectives, the authors argue that it is possible to develop a new categorization of power: soft power, soft hard-power, hard soft-power and hard power. Compared with the US and the European Union, the authors argue that if the American power strategy could be seen as “omnidirectional American primacy” and EU “omnidirectional post-sovereignty”, China’s power strategy at the moment could be mainly described as an “attraction-defense” one. With relatively limited tangible and intangible power resources, China relies more on attraction than coercion, and focuses more on defense rather than shaping. Finally, the authors propose to improve China’s power strategy by prioritizing its soft economic hard-power, upgrading soft power, extending soft military hard-power, moderately developing hard power and hard soft-power, and expanding its shaping function while maintaining the central defensive role. Read More.

Making Sense of China’s Growth Model

Making Sense of China’s Growth Model
By ZHANG Jun, Professor/Director, Center on China Economy, Fudan University

Summary: After fast development in the last three decades, China’s growth model is now widely agreed to be exhausted. The author points that some of Asia’s most dynamic economies – including China, Japan, and the four tigers (Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan) – have experienced investment-propelled growth and improvements in TFP simultaneously can be explained by the fact that TFP gains increase investment returns, accelerating capital expansion further. Read More.

Li Keqiang’s Bottom Line

Li Keqiang’s Bottom Line
By Zhang Jun, Professor of Economics and Director of the China Center for Economic Studies at Fudan University, Shanghai

Summary: China's economy is going through a "crucial" stage of restructuring. The author points that Mr. Li Keqiang - the country's Premier recognizes the trend of China’s economic slowdown actually be beneficial, spurring the structural reforms that China needs to achieve its longer-term goal of more balanced and stable GDP growth. Read More.

Chinese Globalization: A Profile of People-Based Global Connections in China

Chinese Globalization: A Profile of People-Based Global Connections in China
By Jiaming Sun, Scott Lancaster

Summary: Through use of ethnographic data and historical documents, "Chinese Globalization" takes on a micro-level perspective in illustrating the transnational and global ties that have transformed China at the local level. While previous globalization literature tends to be dominated by macro-level studies, this book aims to redress this deficiency by taking a micro-level relational approach in examining how different types of people-based global connections in China influence individual values, attitudes and behaviors that make up the crucial outcomes of local transformation.

Download the excerpt or buy the book.

China’s Population Aging from the Perspective of Public Policy

HU Zhan and PENG Xizhe

The Chinese population structure, which has remained stable for centuries, has been shattered following the introduction of the one-child policy in 1979. By 2050, people over 60 will increase from the current 167 million to more than 400 million. They will constitute more than 30 percent of the Chinese population and more than one fifth of the world’s elderly. One primary challenge China faces is the failure of its existing socio-economic system to cope with the aging process. Public policy intervention is therefore inevitable. This paper argues that in order to comprehensively resolve the aging problem, it is not sufficient to merely readjust population policies targeted toward only the aging sector. Instead, the authors argue that we need to reconstruct China’s current public policy system and establish a long-term development strategy. Read more.

Impact of Land Use/Land Cover Change and Socioeconomic Development on Regional Ecosystem Services: The Case of Fast-Growing Hangzhou Metropolitan Area

ChinaKai-ya Wu, Xin-yue Ye, Zhi-fang Qi, and Hao Zhang

China’s unprecedented economic growth and remarkable social restructuring since 1978 has led to accelerated urban expansion. Unfortunately, only 26% of the land in China is suitable for urban development. In this transition from agricultural to industrial society, large areas of land and water have been used in new ways that lead to environmental pollution, deterioration, and economic loss. This study aims to quantitatively examine the relationship between the changes in ecosystem services valuation and the sustainability of the ecosystem. The goal is to uncover policy implications in sustainable land development for a number of cities in the Yangtze River Basin and in other similar locales. Read more.

Calculation and Decomposition of Indirect Carbon Emissions from Residential Consumption in China Based on the Input-Output Model

Qin Zhu, Xizhe Peng, and Kaiya Wu

In the wake of residential energy consumption outpacing that of industrial sectors in some developed countries, researchers have come to realize that a new growing source of carbon emission may come from residential energy consumption. Based on the input-output model and the comparable price input-output tables, this paper investigates indirect carbon emission from residential consumption in China from 1992-2005 using the structural decomposition method. Results from this study indicate that the rise of China’s residential consumption level played a dominant role in the growth of residential indirect emissions. Read more.

The Impact of Population Change on Carbon Emissions in China During 1978-2008

Qin Zhu, Xizhe Peng

This study examines the impact of population size, population structure, and consumption level on carbon emissions in China from 1978 to 2008. Results reveal that changes in consumption level and population structure, rather than population size, were the major impact factors. Households, rather than individuals, are more reasonable explanations for the demographic impact of carbon emissions. Read more.

2013 Shanghai Forum

The Opening Ceremony at the 2013 Shanghai Forum, one of China’s top international academic forums, was held on May 25 at the Shanghai International Convention Center. Focusing on the topic of Asia’s Wisdom: Seeking Harmonious Development in Diversity, this year’s forum brings together more than 500 prominent guests with interests rooted in politics, business and academic pursuits. These esteemed guests come together to contribute their knowledge and suggestions toward the economic and social development of not only Shanghai, but also China and Asia as a whole, as well as toward other nations all over the world. Their voices come together as a unified force in Asia, aspiring to implement a pluralistic vision in hopes of developing a more harmonious Asian society that can serve as a model for other economies and societies around the world.

  • Environmental Worries of the Beautiful “Chinese Dream”
    Asia is known for its large population and known especially for its dense population distribution along coastal areas. In light of the global climate change, Asia faces some extremely serious threats. This report highlights some of the threats Asia faces and makes a series of policy recommendations in the way of improving the environment. Read more.
  • Shanghai's Path to Renewable Energy Sources
    In its path to developing renewable energy sources, Shanghai is confronted with a series of challenges. The strategic recommendations outlined in this report aim for Shanghai to overcome the existing barriers and take full advantage of a new round of technological and industrial innovation in China today. Read more.
  • The Asian Significance of Financial “Tale of Two Cities”-Hong Kong and Shanghai
    With China's notable rapid economic development, Asia has become an important force in shaping the global economy. However, compared to Europe and North America, regional cooperation in Asia still lags behind in some ways and thereby restricts Asia’s ability to promote its global influence. The following report discusses some of the challenges Asia faces and makes a series of policy suggestions. Read more.
  • Will the BRICS Development Bank settle in Shanghai?
    The 4th summit meeting of the BRICS leaders was held in New Delhi, India from March 28 to March 29, 2012. The leaders proposed the founding of a joint development bank—the BRICS Development Bank—and signed a formal cooperative framework to manage it. The following report discusses the political and economic significance of the establishment of the BRICS Development bank, as well as some of the advantages associated with establishing the bank in Shanghai. Read more.

Resurgence of Indigenous Religion in China

FAN Lizhu and CHEN Na

Many scholars have observed that religion and spirituality are resurgent around the world. Contrary to the predictions of sociologists and other scholars that modern society will eventually become completely secularized, it appears as if human beings are becoming more and more engaged in a wide range of religious and/or spiritual experiences, disciplines, beliefs, practices, etc. that were virtually unimaginable two decades ago. In this article, FAN and CHEN seek to provide evidence that traditional folk religions are involved in this revitalization. FAN and CHEN focus on the People’s Republic of China as an extended case study of the widespread return of religion and spirituality around the world. The discussion is based on findings from research conducted in rural and urban China. Read more.

Tests of Faith

Richard MADSEN, UC San Diego

One of the biggest surprises of the Reform Era has been a resurgence of religious activity in almost all areas of Chinese life.  Religion had been heavily restricted since the beginnings of the People’s Republic, and then severely attacked during the Cultural Revolution.  Secular intellectuals, both in China and the West, were in agreement that China’s modernization would inevitably bring about secularization, that is, a general decline in religious belief and practice.  Yet, once policies toward religion were partially loosened, and once the market economy gave Chinese people increasing practical freedom of expression and association, religious activity began to sprout up everywhere.  The growth religious practices have been continuous and it shows no signs of stopping.  In this article, Professor Madsen discusses how and why religion in China is rising from its deep roots, despite official restrictions and perceived secularization in China. Read more.

What Kerry Should Tell China

SHEN Dingli, Fudan University

On April 13, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry paid his first visit to China. The nuclear activities in North Korea and the threats of cyber-terrorism in Iran were at the of top of Kerry’s discussion agenda. While the U.S. and China share mutual concerns over North Korea and Iran, China is also worried that America's plans to rebalance its power in Asia may interfere with or even curtail what China views as its legitimate maritime rights in Taiwan and Japan. In this article, SHEN Dingli, Vice Dean of the Institute of International Affairs at Fudan University discusses how Kerry should position himself to strengthen Sino-U.S. cooperation. Read more.

Reflections on a Semester at Tsinghua University

Barry Naughton, IR/PS Professor and Sokwanlok Chair of Chinese International Affairs
February 20, 2013 | Event Summary of IR/PS Dean's Roundtable Lecture Series

Professor Barry Naughton spent the fall term as a Visiting Scholar at the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University, which served as a platform to observe a rapidly changing Chinese society. In the roundtable talk, Naughton shared his insights into a leading university's struggle to adapt global standards. In addition, he discussed China’s new political leaders, Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, who ascended to power during the 18th Party Congress in November and the struggle that new leadership faces as they try to define a coherent program of economic reform and national revitalization. Read more.

China’s Demographic History and Future Challenges

PENG Xizhe, Fudan University

On April 28, 2011, China’s state statistics bureau released its first report on the country’s 2010 population census. The report states that the total population of mainland China reached 1.3397 billion in 2010, with an annual average population growth rate of 0.57% during the previous 10 years. The share of the total population aged 0 to 14 declined from 22.9% in 2000 to 16.6% in 2010, whereas the proportion aged 65 and above grew from 7.0% to 8.9% during the same period. This indicates that China’s population is aging rapidly. The report also shows that China is urbanizing, with nearly half of the population—665.57 million people, or 49.7%—living in urban areas. There is an increase of 13 percentage points over the 2000 figure. Moreover, about 260 million Chinese people are living away from where they are formally registered. The overwhelming majority of them (about 220 million) are rural migrants living and working in urban areas without formal urban household registration status. China is at a demographic turning point: it is changing from an agricultural society into an urban one, from a young society to an old one, and from a society attached to the land to one that is very much on the move. Read more. 

Current and Coming China-US Exchanges in Christianity

Xu Yihua, Shan Weixiang
January 29, 2012 | An exclusive interview with Prof. Xu Yihua, Fudan University

At the China-US Protestant Church Leaders Forum held in Washington D.C. near the end of September, 2011, Prof. Xu Yihua impressed both Chinese and American participants with his ardent acts and sagacious speech. The following is an exclusive interview of Prof. Xu, who now works as a senior researcher at the Center for American Studies at Shanghai-based Fudan University. This interview is conducted by the Rev. Shan Weixiang, Editor-in-Chief of the Chinese Christian journal Heavenly Wind. Read more.

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