On March 7, 2018, the University of Minnesota China Center welcomed Haiyan Wang, managing partner of the China India Institute, to deliver the keynote at the 17th Annual Bob and Kim Griffin Building U.S.-China Bridges Lecture. Ms. Wang presented on the topic, “China in the New Era: What Lies Ahead? Mega Shifts in China and Strategic Implications.”

Joan Brzezinski, executive director of the China Center and Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota, welcomed Ms. Wang and more than 100 guests in attendance. Tom Hanson, diplomat in residence at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, introduced Ms. Wang and spoke upon the importance of mutual understanding between China and the United States in order to keep the world’s two largest economies in a harmonious relationship.

In her timely and insightful lecture, Ms. Wang tied together China’s rise to an economic superpower and goals for the future with present challenges to creating balanced and sustainable economic growth. For example, she proposed that in addition to making the shift to a more consumer-driven, service-oriented economy, China must shift to greener growth to realize its goals of creating a “harmonious society.” The race to develop artificial intelligence will also be an important one for all “China watchers” to follow. Ms. Wang also discussed China’s global investments, including the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as the involvement of U.S. businesses in China. Ms. Wang concluded her lecture by discussing the trends of globalism and isolationism: “Isolationism is like locking yourself into a dark room. You may feel very safe from snow, from rain, from wind; however, you are also locking yourself away from the sunshine.”

A lively question-and-answer session followed Ms. Wang’s presentation, which was moderated by Mr. Hanson. The discussion included how China might respond to tariff actions from the United States, how U.S. firms can preserve their intellectual property and autonomy when doing business in China, and the role of alliances and networks in preserving harmony in the world order.

About the Speaker

Ms. Wang is managing director of the China India Institute, a Washington D.C.-based research and advisory organization with a focus on the transformational rise of emerging markets, foremost China and India, and implications for key stakeholders. Ms. Wang ranked #28 in the 2017 Thinkers50 rankings of the “world’s most influential management thinkers.” She has also been an Adjunct Professor of Strategy at INSEAD. She writes frequently for Harvard Business Review and has also been a columnist for Bloomberg Businessweek. She co-authored two highly acclaimed books: Getting China and India Right, which received the 2009 Axiom Book Awards’ Silver Prize as one of the world’s two best books on globalization and international business, and The Quest for Global Dominance, which is now in its second edition. 

About the Lecture

The lecture series is endowed through a generous gift from Bob and Kim Griffin.  The Griffins are committed to promoting mutual respect between U.S. and Chinese cultures and are passionate about connecting people with China.