The Chinese Model: strike the balance between economic growth and political stability

unspecified2The China Cultural Centre in Brussels launched “China Talk”, its new cycle of conferences and debates, on Wednesday, July 6th 2016. On the agenda for this first edition: the “Chinese model” of economic and political development, and the fresh boost European countries could get out of it.

Europe is currently going through a major crisis followingtaking the blow of the outcome of the Brexit. According to specialists, the situation reveals as is symptomatic of a pre-existing and widergrowing disconnection between European citizens and their political elites. A democratic deficit has given leeway to populist and inward-looking politicians, who claim that the solution lies in a migration stop and restoration of national borders.

This development is a culmination of the predicament on which the EU finds itself since the outbreak of the great recession. Follows several crises, which  succeeded one another.;  from a banking crisis and sovereign debt crisis to the Greek bailout, youth unemployment, massive migration inflows and an eventual Brexit, the sustainability of the European democratic model based on a well-informed and rational electorate is severely threatened. The result of which was received with regret and disbelief by many voters. The unfortunate situation raised doubts about the sustainability of Europe’s democratic model, based on the utopian myth of a well-informed and rational electorate.

The so-called CHINA MODEL, also referred to as the Beijing Consensus, selects meritocratic leaders based on experience and knowledge without American-style political gridlock or susceptibility to populist approval, and it appeals to developing countries worldwide. Although it has no distinct definition and is being discussed in academic circles in China and the West, the model is said to strike the balance between economic growth and political stability, drawing upon pragmatism, gradualism and a significant role of the state in economic development.

This first “CHINA TALK” held at the China Cultural Centre in Brussels the 6th of July discussed the concept and characteristics of the China Model, in an attempt to answer several outstanding issues.

We had  an interview with Professor ZHANG Weiwei, one of the most prominent Chinese thinkers of our time. A political advisor for the Chinese elite and a strong advocate of meritocracy, he is also the author of many books and publications on China’s economy and political reforms.

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