The impact of China's development on the world
The event formed part of Leeds Business School's Guest Lecture Series. It included talks from leading author and academic Martin Jacques, Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Leeds City Council and Professor John Shutt, Leeds Business School and was opened by Associate Dean of Strategic Development, Damian Ward.
The lectures explored the Chinese economy and the future for Chinese management and entrepreneurship.
Martin Jacques' global best-seller 'When China Rules the World: the End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order' formed the basis of his lecture, where he argued that China will replace the United States as the world's dominant power. In so doing, it will not become more western but the world will become more Chinese.
In three to four years he forecasts that China will become the largest economy in the world. His illustration of the depth of involvement with trading partners all over the world and increasingly more so in the southern hemisphere - South Africa, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru, Australia and Malaysia to mention just a few, and the information that Chinese banks lent £110billion to developing countries, more than the US led World Bank, serves to illustrate his findings in the book. By 2030, he argues that the Renminbi will displace the Dollar and Euro as the leading global currency, China will command 33.4% of Global GDP with USA at 15.1% and China's language, culture and morality will pervade, causing "a profound change in how we think of ourselves in the world."
He continued to illustrate how China, a "Civilisation State" rather than a Nation state has triumphed though the difficulties faced mid 20th century to return to a position as powerhouse of the Global economy, which they were in the 18th Century. China never colonised as Europe did, they expand through a "Stay at Home Universalism", widely diverse provinces are cemented through a familial satisfaction with government led by a "father-emperor" figure and a meritocracy prevails where anyone can gain entry into government.
The lecture ended with questions from a packed audience with strong representation from the public, a significant proportion being UK Chinese plus University alumni, staff and students.
Martin concluded by saying that American political and economic power is on the wane, the Middle East is in crisis and that our "kids need to learn Mandarin!"
First published in 2009 and shortlisted for two major literary awards, Martin's book has since been translated into fourteen languages and sold over 300,000 copies.
Professor John Shutt introduced "The Changing Hangzhou economy" in a late change to the programme.
He explains: "The Chinese economy is still growing fast and in cities like Hangzhou there is strong interest in entrepreneurship and business development, employment and skills training and talent management and in Chinese companies going global and investing in the UK. Hangzhou is the fourth largest city in China and has a special relationship with Leeds, developed over the last 28 years and this extends to the two universities. This event celebrates the close ties between the two cities and brings together those in the Yorkshire regions with an interest in China."
In 2012 Professor John Shutt published a report, "Developing a UK & Chinese Partnership for Business Education", which focused on the special relationship between Leeds and Hangzhou in the Zhejiang province of China and outlines the potential for business and academic links between the two cities to further strengthen.
The report was commissioned by the British Councils Prime Ministers Initiative for China and outlined the potential for further growth between Leeds and Hangzhou in the next ten years.