• Growth Challenges

    The Princeling Has No New Clothes

      A new era has begun in China and arguably for the world, with the ascent of Xi Jinping to President of China, and the appointment of new Premier, Li Keqiang. Gone are the more autocratic and stiff character associations of former President Hu Jintao. Xi, like the country itself, is likely to walk taller and more comfortably on the international stage.

  • Growth Challenges

    A Tang Tied Future

    China’s need to shift its growth model toward domestic consumption and innovation, and away from physical investment and export driven growth is increasingly common knowledge. For most in the West the idea an innovative China however is new, at least within their lifetimes.

  • Growth Challenges

    Are London and Hong Kong trading places?

    Hong Kong lies strategically on China’s southeast coast, on the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea. Serving as a trading port for centuries, it was overseen from Beijing until the mid-19th. In 1842 China’s loss in the Opium Wars saw the area ceded to Britain. Under British administration and a favourable taxation regime, over the 20th century in particular Hong Kong was transformed into a thriving international business hub. The city grew to enjoy one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, amid a region that was still relatively poor. Until 1979 and for at least a decade thereafter main land China was impoverished, and largely cut off…

  • Growth Challenges

    Socialist Scientists meet Social Scientists in China’s new Secret Seven

    As a child I was enthralled by the adventures of Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven. Led by Peter, and together with Janet, Jack, Colin, George, Pam and Barbara, the seven would meet regularly to discuss local problems and adventures requiring their imagination and attention. Their headquarters was a garden shed, entry to which was protected by password and a badge marked SS.

  • Growth Challenges

    Here Xi Comes

    Next week the US election and China's once-in-a-decade transition coincide. In China's case not only will the ruling Party anoint a new President and Premier, a new Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee, but furthermore will also replace a full 60-70% of China’s leadership. Little is known of the incoming line-up or their policies, with the exception of Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, future Chinese President and Premier respectively.

  • Growth Challenges

    California dreaming in Hangzhou, patent leader of China’s economic upgrade

      With the world watching with held breath as China engineers its race to move up the economic value chain, a city less than an hour away by train from Shanghai appears to be taking the lead. Home to China’s highest per capita millionaire residency, in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, even the city’s soon-to-open new rubbish treatment station is solar powered. The city’s bike-sharing programme is the world’s largest, and in 2011 the BBC listed it as one of the world’s top eight public bike initiatives.