Chinese State & Society in Transition, a Talk by Dr. Angang Hu
Dr. Hu claimed that after experiencing the modern stage (After 1950), take-off stage (After 1980), China's development will enter into a powerful, prosperous period after 2020, making China a socialist country with strong comprehensive national strength.
Hu talked about the history of Chinese modernization and future development in economy, society, politics, culture, ecology and national defense.
Hu compared the modernization process of China with that of other countries like US, Japan and India using data of multiple indicators from ecological, industrial, economical perspectives.
Dr. Hu started the talk with a brief introduction of the life cycle of Chinese national development. After 1950, China entered the modern state, which represented the starting point of Chinese modern economic development. After 1980, China entered the take-off stage. Chinese economy developed rapidly throughout this era and will continue to grow at least to 2020, predicted by Hu.
Dr. Hu compared the economic development among US, Japan, China, and India, using indicators such as population, GDP, GDP per capita, Export Dependence, the Output ratio of Non-agricultural Industries and Urbanization Rate. Hu came to the conclusion that China is gradually becoming one of the leading powers among international economies.
Modernization, defined by Dr. Hu, is the process that includes continuous positive changes on different levels within a society. Dr. Hu examines the history and future development from a societal perspective, including economic, social, political, cultural, ecological and national defense. Hu refers to the unity of these six sectors as “Six in One”.
Dr. Hu further defined the modernization process in China as a continuous accumulated development, a construction process that will further develop if the following conditions are met: conceptual change, economic change, social change, cultural change and the change of system. "The change of system is the most important of them all,” said Dr. Hu. The core concept of system change offered by Hu was “实事求是 解放思想 (emancipating the mind and seeking truth from facts)”.
Hu listed five factors that hugely impacted China’s modernization process: the advantage of backwardness, the advantage of socialism, China’s cultural advantage, green ecological advantage, and the impact Chinese party leadership which is an important political advantage.
Dr. Hu touched upon the measurement of national modernization process used in his research. The indicators include GDP, GDP per capita, Power Production, Industrial Structure, Employment Structure, Urban and Rural Structure, Life Expectancy, Average Education Longevity, HDI(Human Development Index), innovation index.
A comparison between the modernization process of China and US was also made by Dr. Hu. Hu views the US as the most developed, powerful country. Whereas China is a “laggard chaser of modernization”. After the preliminary growth of modernization, China will eventually play a transcendent role in world economy.
Hu used Engel’s coefficient to analyze the data variation between urban and rural households. He categorized the poverty types in households into absolute poverty, sufficient food and clothing, prosperity and greater prosperity. The rate of absolute poverty in rural areas is way higher than that of the urban areas, which indicates the existence of huge economic gap between Chinese social classes.
The urbanization processes between US and China was also compared. Hu proudly claimed that Chinese urban population outruns that of the US, and therefore indicates China’s rising status in the world economy.
After categorizing the quaternary employment structure in China into rural agriculture, rural non-agriculture, urban formal and urban non-formal, Hu offered his vision on accelerating the urbanization process in China: to crack the quaternary structure from industrialization and informatization to the synchronization of industrialization, informatization, urbanization and agricultural modernization.
Dr. Hu ended his discussion with a slogan of his “If China succeeds, then the world will succeed; if China fails, then the world fails.”
Reporter: Julia Guo Editor: Chao Wang.