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China's choices

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Published on Oct 2, 2012

Professor Gungwu Wang presents the Australian Centre on China in the World Annual Lecture for 2012.

Forty years ago, two choices made history. Australia chose China over Taiwan and China chose the United States over the Soviet Union. Both led to happy results for the two countries that decided to make their great leaps. China faces new choices today. In the context of the rapid changes in China since 1972, Professor Gungwu Wang uses a quote from Yu Yongding as his text: "China must choose between higher growth and faster structural adjustment. It cannot have both at the same time." Professor Wang discusses China's cultural growth and political adjustment, and argues that it can have both at the same time.

As a growing power, whatever road China takes will have a great impact. The future that Professor Wang believes its history and the people's capacity can build is one in which China is open to global development and does not retreat into the false modernity of nationalism and ideology that has plagued the world for the past century.

Professor Wang is the Chairman of the East Asian Institute, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Emeritus Professor at The Australian National University. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Science. Prior to his appointment at NUS, he was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong (1986--1995). Professor Wang received his BA (Hons) and MA degrees from the University of Malaya in Singapore, and his PhD at the University of London (1957). His recent books in English include Community and Nation: China, Southeast Asia and Australia (1992); The Chinese Way; China's Position in International Relations (1995); Diasporic Chinese Ventures edited by Gregor Benton and Liu Hong (2004). He also edited Global History and Migrations (1997); and (with Zheng Yongnian) China and the New International Order (2008).

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