What’s on China’s Mind?

During my recent visit to China I’ve given a few lectures at the top Beijing universities – Tsinghua, Renmin, Normal, and Beijing – and seminars in some think-tanks and research institutes, including the Center for China and Globalization. I also had couple of meetings with the readers of my new book published in Chinese: “Shi Jie Qu Xiang He Fang: Wei Lai De Zheng Zhi Jing Ji Xue” (http://product.dangdang.com/23660795.html). This is the translation of my book published also in other languages, including English: “Whither the World. The Political Economy of the Future” (vol. I http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/whither-the-world-the-political-economy-of-the-future-grzegorz-w-kolodko/?isb=9781137465733 and vol. II http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/whither-the-world-the-political-economy-of-the-future-grzegorz-w-kolodko/?K=9781137465764). On this occasion, I’ve given also a few interviews to the press, radio and television.

The questions that I’ve been asked by the students, professors, researchers, and journalists were very interesting, so I’ve written them down and now I’m sharing them with you. I believe they are really worth a closer and deeper look. It deserves to think a little bit about what – and why – the Chinese are asking. These are the questions addressed to me – the author of several books and dozens of articles published in Chinese and the former Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, whose policy of reform and development, and its positive effects, are well known and appreciated by Chinese economists and politicians, as well as by many managers and entrepreneurs. All the more there is a good reason to look at these questions. What therefore the Chinese are asking about?

 I.                   About globalization and economic strategies

I.1       How do you see globalization? Is it a continuous process since the Roman Times? Or is it a thing that appear in every country?

I.2       How much New Pragmatism, that you put forward differs from China’s current economic strategy guided by the concept of “black and white cat?”

I.3       According to you, in the era of globalization Marxist thought is becoming stronger or getting weaker?

I.4       What is the role of ordinary people in making world a better place?

I.5       To what extent do you believe technological progress will solve problems related to inequality, ecology or peace?

I.6       In your research you stresses the need of economic, social and ecological balance. What are the main problems in the pursuit of this triple balance and how to solve them?

I.7       You will participate in the “Fourth Global Think Tank Summit”. What topics considered there do you find most interesting?

II.                About regional integration and international organizations

II.1      Considering China’s involvement in such projects as Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which process is of the greater importance: globalization or regionalization?

II.2      Which of the initiatives is more important: Trans-Pacific Partnership or “One Belt, One Road” project?

II.3      What is your opinion on the issue of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)?

II.4      What do you think about the “New Silk Road Initiative” of China? What kind of problems China will face?

II.5      New Europe and Old Europe. Is there any financial or political barrier between these two groups of countries?

III.             About transformation and it’s results

III.1    What do you think about “Washington Consensus” and “Shock Therapy”?

III.2    During the process of the “New Europe” integration into the European Union, what about the shocks it received and what kind of benefit it got?

III.3    How do you evaluate the process of transformation of the Polish economy and whether it can be considered finished?

III.4    What China can learn from last 5 years of Polish and Middle Eastern countries experiences?

III.5    Is the Hungarian transformation process on a reverse course?

III.6    What’s been the influence of Eastern Europe geopolitics on economic and political development of transforming countries?

III.7    After the successful transformation, is there any change of the status (identity) of Eastern European countries on the international stage?

IV.             About China

IV.1    Is China a threat to the world?

IV.2    It is often said that China will soon overtake the world’s largest economy, but on the other hand China’s economy is considered to be a very fragile one. What is your point on this issue?

IV.3    Will China be able to maintain high economic growth rate over the next 10 years?

IV.4    How to keep China’s economic growth at a high rate, which would be good for China and the world?

IV.5    Will China overtake the United States and what would be the global consequences of that fact?

IV.6    Does the Chinese Renminbi will be included in the SDR basket of currencies? Is it important for China?

IV.7    How do you believe that we could find a way out to the gap between the rich and the poor? Or do you believe that there is no way out?

IV.8    Do you consider corruption as one of the most important problems in China?

IV.9    What lesson can China learn from the experiences of small countries like Poland or Singapore?

IV. 10 How do you think about the “New Silk Road Initiative” of China? What kind of problems China will face?

IV. 11 You held one opinion that only the reform of China is superior to other transforming countries, but it is difficult to say it from the transformation point of view. Do you still hold this opinion?

V.                About Europe and Poland

V.1      What is the current state of relations between China and Central – Eastern Europe countries, and how the future will develop these relationships?

V.2      What is the current situation of Central and Eastern Europe countries in terms of re-industrialization?

V.3      What is the state of Polish middleclass compared to Chinese and what can be done so the income was divided in a more equitable way?

V.4      What is the share of wages in Poland’s GDP?

V.5      Do you expect any shift in the Polish economic policy due to the result of presidential and parliamentary elections?

V.6      How the opening and liberalization of financial system of Poland reacted after the financial crisis of 2008 how?

V.7      What kind of impact on Poland’s Economy have the European and U.S sanction imposed on Russia?

V.8    How do you evaluate the economic situation of Eastern Europe? How about the prospect of the economic situation of Eastern Europe?

V.9      During the process of the “New Europe” integrate into the European Union, how about the shocks it received, and what kind of benefit it got?

VI.             About trade cooperation with Poland and Central – Eastern Europe

VI.1    What is the current state of relations between China and Central – Eastern Europe countries, and how the future will develop these relationships?

VI.2    What do you think about the current development of trade cooperation between Poland and China?

VI.3    What are your expectations about future commercial cooperation between Poland and China in the context of upcoming elections in Poland?

VII.          About Greece and Ukraine

VII.1   What do you think about the present crisis of Greece?

VII.2   Should China be concerned about Grexit? If yes, then why?

VII.2   Will Greece fall out of the eurozone?

VII.4   What do you think about the crisis and conflict in Ukraine?


Well, sometimes the questions are more telling than the answers, or at least the way they are asked is very inspiring and thought provoking, isn’t it?