What the US Can Learn from China
Ann Lee, Author and Demos Senior Fellow
Photos | Transcript | Watch on C-SPAN

altNew York, NY—At an Author Series event on January 27, 2012, Demos Fellow Ann Lee discussed her book, What the US Can Learn from China, and provided an overview of the areas in which China has excelled economically and politically: meritocracy, strategic planning and economic reform. She also addressed areas where China needs to improve, including stereotypes. Lee said relations between China and the United States are doing relatively well, though communication between the two nations could be improved. She also discussed how lessons from the Chinese experience could help the US through the economic downturn.

Lee emphasized that soft power is becoming increasingly important on the global stage. China is expanding into Latin America and Africa in its quest for energy and other resource, which is creating tension with the US, who has long dominate the regions. At the same time, the US has become increasing involved in China’s own backyard.

Although China still has a long way to go in order to compete on the global market, Lee is proud that China has been able to pull itself up in spite of many obstacles. She noted that there are still things that China can learn from the US, like encouraging an open exchange of ideas and entrepreneurship.

Lee believes the US needs to become more dynamic, setting aside ideology that did not work and incorporating practical solutions to achieve results. She stressed the importance of having an open mind and not letting preconceived notions affect the future. The top leadership of both nations must engage in dialogue in order for there to be a chance of cooperation. Through this renewed relationship the two nations can start to negotiate win-win opportunities for both parties. She urged that the US needs to understand that demonizing and criminalizing China is not going to help us find sustainable solutions and that China needs to be less aggressive when faced with criticism about public perception. Overall, Lee argued that the West needs to give China time to work through all of the changes that are occurring—particularly in the social and economic spheres.


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WFPG President Patricia Ellis
opens the discussion

  WFPG President Patricia Ellis and
Speaker Ann Lee

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