On October 20, AmCham hosted three esteemed foreign correspondents for a panel discussion on China’s economic, social and political future. Guest correspondents were Andrew Browne, columnist for The Wall Street Journal, Duncan Hewitt, a correspondent who has written for Newsweek and BBC, and Simon Rabinovitch, Asia economics editor at the Economist. AmCham Shanghai’s Director of Communications and Publications, Ian Driscoll, moderated the event.
During the panel discussion, guest correspondents addressed various topics and policies that currently affect China’s political, economic and social future. Regarding China’s political policy, correspondents also answered questions on how internet policy as well as social media will affect China’s future. On the topic of leadership, correspondents discussed rumors in political circles that President Xi Jinping will seek a third term as president. Participants debated whether or not the U.S. elections as well as Brexit will have any effect on the Chinese people’s views on democracy versus communism. China’s influence on the future of Hong Kong and Taiwan was also raised by an audience member.
AmCham participants asked the correspondents questions about China’s current economic status. With corporate debt being high and exports dropping, the correspondents spoke about the potential dangers ahead for the Chinese economy. As China becomes ever more important as a global partner, correspondents were asked about the prospects for a successful passage of the TPP. At the domestic and local level, the potential housing bubble burst in Shanghai was also raised.
In regards to the social future of China, the audience was curious about the impact of President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on Western ideas in textbooks, media and other educational outlets. All participants presented opinions on what the Chinese people want for China’s future and how the Communist party will tackle the needs of the people.