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Reader riposte: China Changing Lecture

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COMMENTS

23 April 2012 09:15

Giovana Arrarte attended the Lowy Institute's third China Changing Lecture last Thursday evening (recording now available here), and writes:

Last night after listening to the thought-provoking presentation of Dr David Daokui Li, 'Is China Ready for Global Economic Leadership?', several questions came to my mind.

On his presentation, Dr Li seems to strongly emphasise the importance of the 'social and cultural' issues when analysing China's role in the global economic leadership arena. In this respect, some of the sentences used by Dr Li such as 'China will act slowly', 'China will do it piece by piece', 'China will use actions rather than words', 'China will act in is individual way, the Chinese way', 'no debate, just do it', 'Change needs to be gradual, not explosive' seem to have a deeper and very important meaning in understanding how China may undertake its strategic leadership role.

In listening to the sentences above mentioned, I could not avoid thinking that perhaps, from a Chinese perspective, 'the West' needs to understand better the Chinese way of thinking and avoid applying traditional Western thinking models and values in order to  better understand how China may act in a given situation.

At the risk of making an over simplistic comment it appears to me that perhaps more attention is required from us in understanding the cross-cultural matters impacting in our engagement with China and the 'Chinese thinking model'.

Finally, it was also interesting to note Dr Li's view regarding China's participation in the BRICS group. Could his answer be understood as a preference for multilateral forums and engagement when considering China's positioning as a global economic leader? 

Please note that the sentences I have quoted in the second paragraph of this email have not been 'audio verified' and have been quoted on the basis of the notes I took last night.

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