GCC 5 Annual China Summit _________
We thank the following organizations and individuals for making this conference possible
Franky Wong Family; Dan Cashdan Family
Global China Connection is a student-‐run organization dedicated to fostering deep and trusting personal relationships among Chinese and non-‐Chinese university students.
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Conference Summary: Global China Connection’s Fifth Annual China Summit took place on the weekend of July 6th and 7th at Peking University in Beijing, China. The theme of the weekend was “China’s Coming of Age: Aspirations of the New Generation.” Saturday consisted of expert panels on various aspects of China’s development, and two keynote speeches delivered by two leaders of the US-‐China relationship. On Sunday, GCC members from 20 different chapters met to share their experiences leading university chapters and their plans for the coming semester. GCC Day served as a great opportunity for current members to reunite, and for new members to gain insight into the workings of GCC.
Paul Haenle, Director, Carnegie-‐Tsinghua Center for Global Policy James McGregor, Chairman, Greater China, APCO Worldwide Zhang Meng, doctoral student, Beijing Normal University Ellen Cheng, Ambassador, TEDx China Yihua Hu, Director, Free Lunch Movement Hsu Li, Founder, Barcamp Walter Ge, Director, Institute for Environment and Development (IED) Alex Wang, Founder, Youthink Center Irene Shao, Founder, Bridging Education and Mobility (BEAM) Matthew Hu, Chief Representative, Prince’s Charities Foundation Su Yan, Fellow, Teach for China Andrea Pasinetti, Founder, Teach for China Zhou Yanping, Founder, Touchdown! Dr. Zhiyong Zhu, Associate Professor, College of Educational Administration, Beijing Normal University David Moser, Academic Director, CET Beijing Lea Yu Former Editor, Caixin Media’s English Desk; Analyst, Century Bridge Capital Ge Yang, Producer, Caixin Media Paul Mozur, Journalist, Wall Street Journal James Chen, Founder and CEO, WXSea Dr. Chen Ken, Former Director, WHO Pacific Technical Support Abe Sorock, Director, ATLAS-‐China, Dr. Shi Yinhong, Professor, International Relations, Renmin University Dr. Pang Zhongying, Professor, International Political Economy, Renmin University Nick Szmala, Digital Director, OglivyAction, Kai Luckoff, Founder, Techrice.com Justin Wang, Founder and CEO, MakerSpace Ryan Braley, Creator, world's first distributed genetic algorithm in Hadoop
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Trustee’s Opening Remarks: Tyler Godoff, trustee of GCC, welcomed more than 300 student leaders to the conference with remarks that centered on how his GCC experience has taught him what it means to be a global leader. From founding a GCC chapter at Vanderbilt University to working in one of China’s leading state-‐owned enterprises, Mr. Godoff emphasized the impact his GCC experience has had on his personal development – “I realized that my GCC friends were challenging themselves through studying abroad, mastering another language and working for leading foreign corporations. I deeply respected my peers for embracing this challenge, and thus decided to follow suit.” Mr. Godoff closed by noting that “to be the type of leaders the 21st century needs, we need to be comfortable doing three things: living abroad, speaking another language and befriending diverse people”.
Opening Keynote Speech: Strengthening the U.S.-‐China Relationship Paul Haenle, Director of the Carnegie-‐Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, delivered the opening keynote speech. Mr. Haenle opened his keynote highlighting the importance of the relationship between the United States and China, and the value of bringing people together who will be future leaders. Developing relationships from early on has the ability to powerfully alter the bilateral dialogue. This was highlighted by Mr. Haenle’s experience meeting and being warmly embraced by a PLA general during a Chinese delegation visit to the Whitehouse. Years earlier Mr. Haenle and this PLA general had met through a young leaders program hosted by the Committee on US-‐China Relations. Mr. Haenle noted that his friendship with the general completely changed the dynamic of the visit. “I have sat in many US-‐China meetings, and I can tell you that they are too scripted. We need both sides to start a dialogue and listen to each other’s concerns. This is critical to avoid future conflict -‐ we need to find real win-‐win cooperation and eschew the assumption of a zero-‐sum game.”
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Social Innovation: Bearing the Yoke of Philanthropy Zhang Meng, a doctoral student at Beijing Normal University, moderated this panel, focusing on issues surrounding contemporary Chinese philanthropy and methods of involving young people in philanthropic endeavors. Ellen Cheng, a TEDx ambassador for China opened the panel by highlighting the importance of involving local people in philanthropy to achieve success. Yihua Hu, a nutritional advocate for rural schools and lawyer, brought up the case of Guo Meimei, who was involved in embezzling money from the Red Cross, and how it had damaged the image of NGO’s in China. This highlights the lack of laws governing NGOs and their operations. Hsu Li, the founder of Barcamp, and a restaurateur, discussed the place that young people and students have in philanthropy, highlighting the fact that young people have many ideas, but few resources to carry those ideas out. It’s important to develop a strong organization in order to be successful in the field. Walter Ge, Director of the Institute for Environment and Development, mentioned that young people should work first after graduation, and then get into the philanthropic field after they have developed more experience. The debate closed with Ms. Cheng encouraging the audience to stay curious, and Alex Wang, founder of the Youthink Center, reminded the audience to put whatever effort into their work to succeed.
Education Inequality: The Children Left Behind
Irene Shao, the founder of Bridging Education and Mobility (BEAM) an educational focused non-‐ profit, moderated the debate. Matthew Hu, the Chief Representative for Prince’s Charities Foundation, began the panel by responding to a question about education inequality, bringing up the example of the Shijia Hutong Elementary School, which is at currently full capacity, but still has many people attempting to gain admission. Many people attempt to get a Hukou to get their child into the school. Su Yan, a fellow at Teach for China, sees these inequalities every day in her classroom, with 8 classes in grade 7, but only 3-‐4 in grade 9. Many students are dropping out because they have to work because they have to support their families. Andrea Pasinetti, founder of Teach for China, noted that these patterns of inequality were reflected not just across China, but also in other education systems around the world. 80% of those born in a large city attend college in China, while just 3-‐5% of rural students do. Page | 5
Zhou Yanping, founder of Touchdown! Consulting responded to the question of how to address the inherent inequities with the educational system, something she sees “every day”. Ms. Zhou pointed to the constant testing in the Chinese education system, and heavy homework load placed on students since kindergarten. In order to succeed, students must devote time to studying, not developing their own interests, as the labels of “good student” and “bad student” can be particularly harmful to them going forward. David Moser, Academic Director at CET Beijing, discussed the barriers facing, women, handicapped and those of a lower class. According to Mr. Moser, “legal frameworks are in place, but the barrier is often the parents lacking the belief that a disabled child deserves education”. Ms. Yan further argued that there is a lack of “role models” for rural children to follow, and thus the benefits of education remain unclear. According to Ms. Su, “institutionalizing motivations and incentives to learn is the biggest problem we face”. Panelists all agreed that the solution to the problem would be complicated. Ms. Shao emphasized change stemming from the classroom rather than outside the system. Mr. Pasinetti closed by saying that “education often lurches from silver bullet to silver bullet”. There are no perfect solutions, but over the next 20-‐50 years, China will be one of the few countries that can eradicate educational inequalities.
Afternoon Keynote: Where is China Going Now?
James McGregor, Chairman, Greater China, APCO Worldwide, welcomed attendees back from lunch, and gave an overview of his experience in China, beginning as a reporter with the Wall Street Journal in Beijing in 1989. Mr. McGregor delved into changes he foresaw coming to China in the near future, as he sees the model of the past 20-‐25 years outliving its usefulness. A new model must be created, and China is already more welcoming to entrepreneurs, with decreasing emphasis on State Owned Enterprises. “Young people are the scariest people in China,” as boredom and unemployment will lead to people challenging the system, rendering it unsustainable. On the US-‐China relationship, Mr. McGregor said “these are two countries that really don’t have a problem with each other, our politicians do, but that’s because they’re in their own systems.” Mr. McGregor closed his speech with an anecdote to the progress that China has made over the past decades; “it used to be that I couldn’t identify with most Chinese people because although we weren’t rich, we had a driver and lived in a foreign compound, nowadays, I can’t afford to hang out with my Chinese friends.”
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Social Media: A Transformative Voice Lea Yu former editor of Caixin Media’s English desk, and organizer of the Young China Watchers speaker series, moderated the panel, which focused on recent trends that are emerging in Chinese social media. Ge Yang, a TV producer at Caixin Media, opened the panel by discussing the power of social media to expose scandals and government corruption. Paul Mozur, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, offered the example of Lei Zhengfu, a Chongqing party official who had a sex video go viral, unveiling a prostitution ring and leading to the purging of many Chongqing officials. Mr. Mozur also opined that social media allows a quick release of opinion without a lot of required structural reform. James Chen, a WeChat specialist, added that social media doesn’t count as news, with only 140 characters to express yourself, the traditional media still has its place. Next, panelists were asked whether or not they felt compelled to respond to public outcry on social media sites. Ms. Yang responded that she regularly checks Weibo to be up to date on the news and what is happening, but that true sources come from the real world. Social media serves as an effective network for distribution. Many sources that she works with come to the mainstream media to have legitimacy and transparency. The core values of the media remain unchanged, as illustrated by the Snowden case. People still rely on traditional media. Mr. Mozur added that if you wanted to do a story on what someone said on Weibo, a big part was hunting down the person who posted, and picking big stories through social media is always a guessing game. Many of the stories that end up on social media are rumors, which require fact checking from a news outlet, but the video capabilities have allowed greater dispersion of stories. The panel closed with discussion of data collection by social media sites, which panelists noted as “varied and pervasive” as well as the empowering aspects of social media, both as an outlet for stories and as a place to blow off steam.
Healthcare: The New Cooperative Scheme Dr. Chen Ken, former WHO Director of Pacific Technical Support, gave an informative presentation about China’s healthcare system. Dr. Chen opened his presentation by comparing healthcare in China to other OECD countries, and advocating for a preventative system of medicine, rather than the current curative system that is common across China. One of the key barriers to a preventative healthcare system in China is the low number of general practitioners, and high out of pocket costs. When Page | 7
compared to the U.S. system, China lacks norms requiring treatment regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. Dr. Chen then presented maternity care and the ability of specialists at the time of birth as one of the key indicators of a successful health system, dramatically reducing infant mortality. With few practitioners willing to live in rural China, improving maternity care presents a large challenge to the Chinese health system.
International Relations: Diplomatic Challenges for China Abe Sorock, Director of ATLAS-‐China, moderated the panel on international relations, which touched on current events and the future direction of Chinese diplomacy. Panelists first discussed the Edward Snowden case, unanimously agreeing that it was critically important to the U.S.-‐China relationship. The case has challenged existing literature on international relations and will be a textbook case for how US-‐China and international relations are dealt with in the future, in our globalized world.
An audience member asked the panelists whether they felt that China would become the next US in terms of world power. Dr. Shi Yinhong, Professor of International Relations at Renmin University very adamantly and passionately stated that if you look at the past 2,000 years, China has been a superpower and is working on regaining that status. Rather than emulating the US and becoming "Americanized," Dr. Shi said that China is developing its own, very Chinese manner. Dr. Pang Zhongying, Professor of International Political Economy at Renmin University, said that China is developing strengths and world powers in different areas than the US and that both can coexist as world powers.
Chinese Tech Entrepreneurship: The Long Road Ahead Nick Szmala, Digital Director of OglivyAction, promoting digital shopper marketing in China, moderated the panel, focusing on entrepreneurial challenges and opportunities in contemporary China. Panelists were first asked to explain what triggered their entrepreneurial spirit. Kai Luckoff, founder of techrice.com, suggested that potential entrepreneurs start from something they know, rather than “trying to become an entrepreneur.” Justin Wang, founder and CEO of MakerSpace, added that a problem solving mindset was an important trait for entrepreneurs. Ryan Braley, who works on describing human behavior through video games, added “start with your passion, I can’t stress that enough. If you have a passion, go out and try to better things.”
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Next, panelists were asked to advise potential entrepreneurs on traits and what they saw as the pathway to success. One point unanimously agreed upon was not following trends. Mr. Braley commented “as the engine behind your company, you have to be able to care deeply and have your business be something that is affecting you.” Mr. Wang emphasized that all entrepreneurs must be trying to solve a problem, and that if they are doing something they love, success is much more likely. All panelists agreed that failure was inevitable at some point in an entrepreneur’s career, but that focusing on communicating cohesive ideas and playing to one’s strengths would increase the chances of success.
GCC Day: On Sunday, members from over 20 chapters assembled to discuss their GCC experience. Representatives from NYU, Tufts, Dartmouth, Emory and Western Ontario were among the participants who shared their chapter management experience. In addition to current members, GCC Alumni and a host of Beijing young professionals spoke about life after university and how to make the transition to living and working abroad. The Summit was capped off with laughter as GCC alumnus, Jesse Appell, who is currently studying Chinese comedy on a Fulbright Scholarship, performed a stand-‐up comedy routine. Jesse Appell, GCC Alumnus, Fulbright Scholar
Richard Lessard, President, Dartmouth University Chapter
Yihao Li, Co-‐President, Tufts University Chapter
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Conference Organizing Committee Merlina Qiao, Conference Manager Ian Gulliver, Author, Executive Summary Cathy Liu Celia Yu Claudia Wang Duke Xu Flora Ding Florence Liu Jerry Lin Jingsi Wang Joy Tan Kevin Yang Maggie Wang Melva Lai Olivia Ma Renee Tsai Robert William Savoy Stefano Malfitano Terence Song Thomas Wu Tyler Godoff Veronica Yang Vincent Zhan
About GCC The Organization Founded in 2008, Global China Connection (GCC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for university students of all nationalities looking to engage China’s emergence as a global power. GCC connects future leaders from all nations and assists them in developing the skills and friendships necessary to succeed both in China and internationally. Whether attending events, hosting delegations, writing research papers, or having a heated discussion over coffee, every interaction between our members connects China and the world, building a network of leaders who will shape the future. Our Mission Global China Connection is a student-‐run organization dedicated to fostering deep and trusting personal relationships among Chinese and non-‐Chinese university students. Chapter Network