Harvard China Night 2013 Discusses China’s New Reforms

By David Li, bostonese.com

Cambridge, Mass., Nov. 8, 2013, — Harvard China Night 2013 was held at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government (HKS) at the evening of Nov. 1, 2013. This year’s theme is “China’s Next Ten Years: Business as (Un)usual”. Three distinguished guests: Dr. Gao Jian, Dr. Zhang Yujun and Prof. John A. Quelch delivered keynote speeches. Traditional Chinese cultural performances won loud applause from hundreds of attendees. This event was organized by HKS China Students and Scholars Association (CSSA).
Attendees and performers pose for a group picture at Harvard China Night 2013 (photo provided by HKS CSSA)

According to Qi Li, president of HKS CSSA, Harvard China Night is hosted annually in the fall around China’s National Day and the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival, and has become a signature event for the greater Harvard community. Harvard China Night 2013 kicked off with welcome speech by Ms. Qi Li, and keynote speeches, followed by traditional Chinese cultural performances and networking sessions. World renowned suona player Yazhi Guo, guzheng player Hui Weng and students from Harvard Kung Fu Club were the guest performers.

Dr. Gao Jian, Executive Vice Governor of China Development Bank (CDB), is recognized as the founder of China’s government securities due to his pioneering works in government bond market reform in the 1990s, and for which he has developed the reputation as the godfather of China’s bond market.

In his speech, Dr. Gao mentioned that China’s next round of reforms over next ten years should focus on state-owned enterprises, land usage, social security, education, tax and fiscal policies. He said that the reforms of financial system included liberalization of interest rates, capital market integration, as well as stabilizing the financial regulatory framework.

Dr. Zhang Yujun, Assistant Chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and Member of the CSRC Party Committee, previously served as the president of Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) and Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) respectively.

Saying the U.S. financial market being the teacher of Chinese’s financial market, Dr. Zhang mentioned that the Chinese financial community should learn from the experiences and lessons from their counterparts in the U.S., and avoid repeating the mistakes of the U.S. financial crisis over past few years.

As Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, Prof. Quelch is also a fellow of the Harvard China Fund, a member of the Harvard China Advisory Board and an associate in Research at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. Prof. Quelch was a former Dean of China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), China’s leading business school.

Prof. Quelch stressed that the tough global economic climate required China to stimulate her domestic demand. He also pointed the diminishing rate of return for investments as one dollar investment could contribute to one dollar GDP five years ago in China, but it would require four dollars investment now. The reforms Prof. Quelch suggested included reducing personal income tax rates to stimulate consumption, and improving the competitiveness of state-owned enterprises to improve efficiency.

Elected president of HKS CSSA in May this year, Ms. Qi Li is a class of 2014 student at HKS’ master in public administration (MPA) program. She was very proud of putting together this year’s Harvard China Night with help from members of HKS CSSA and support from Harvard community. Ms. Li said:”Globalization is rapidly expanding into every aspect of our ​​lives. In this new era, every student should be prepared to deal with new issues brought about by globalization. Hopefully, Harvard China Night has become a quality platform for students and scholars in the grater Boston area to explore and discuss such issues.”