China: Programs and Resources



The Leaders Forum in China takes participants to meet with leaders in business, government, education, the arts, medicine and society.  The encounters are face-to-face with people and wherever possible, in their own environment, so that participants may understand more clearly the complexity of the challenges and opportunities in China today.

 Through discussion and shared experiences, participants explore the reasons why these individual leaders have made the choices that they have, the obstacles they have faced, the factors that helped them to accomplish their goals and the underlying beliefs and experiences that contributed to their actions.

 People anywhere can provide a lens through which one can understand a country, a culture and a particular point in time.  This Forum experience is designed for participants to discover China through the eyes and lives of the people they meet.

Perhaps most importantly, encounters with people across China also provide a lens through which to view our own organizations, cultures and countries and in so doing gain a greater understanding of ourselves.

This program is designed to expose you to as many circumstances, people and issues as possible in one short week.  Some of these encounters are planned, many will happen spontaneously.  Learn from all of them.  You will form your own view about China, raise new questions, meet new people, find other truths than those you already know.

 For more information on past International Forums in China, click here





The People of The International Forum in China

The Resources of The International Forum include the many people around the world who have been involved in our mission and our experiences around the world.  They include experts from business, politics, art, music, history, religious thought, science, society and culture.

To view a list of some of these experts click here


Suggested Readings for China

The following list are articles and readings which have been provided as background materials to the learning experiences and executive development programs of The International Forum in China:

Recommended Book List - A suggested bibliography for Participants of the Forum in China and for members interested in the region.  These books have been recommended by those involved in designing the International Forum experiences in China and East Asia.

Readings and Articles:

China Takes Off, by David Hale and Lyric Hughes Hale, Foreign Affairs, 2003.  This is one of the better overviews of what is happening in China including its recent successes and challenges.

Who Will Pay for China's Growth (An International Forum Learning Resource Report), by Weijin Shan, September 2003.  How can China sustain its growth rate of over 7% for the longer term particularly when problems such as its enormous bad loan portfolio need to be dealt with?.  Dr. Shan explains how the current situation came about  and what some of the alternatives are going forward.

Revaluing the Renminbi ( An International Forum Learning Resource Report), About 50% of China ’s exports are generated by foreign corporations producing in China at lower costs to compete on world markets. Consumers in America , Japan and Europe are the beneficiaries of this.  What happens when the RMB is revalued by 20%-30%? How will it affect China ? What could it mean for the companies and economies of Europe , America and East Asia ?  This collection of articles tried to get at the current situation of China's trade balance and the value of its currency.  

Confucius (An International Forum Learning Resource Report), Confucius or Kongfuzi, who lived during the 5th and 6th century BC is the philosopher whose thought has influenced the Chinese both morally and politically for over 2000 years.  His work is captured in the Analects, which was a record of the dialogues which he had with his students.  The simplicity of the parables and rules that emerged from this ensured that even the uneducated could retain the messages, enabling an incredibly strong influence on the Chinese population for centuries. Confucius taught his students much like Socrates did his. Both men believed that the main purpose of education was virtue and self-improvement.  Their teachings were dedicated to such questions as: What makes a good man? And how can we develop this quality in ourselves? 

China - A Selection of Dynastic Histories (An International Forum Learning Resource Report), In April 2004, The International Forum will travel through three cities of historical significance in China .  Beginning in Shanghai , one of the younger cities in China – it grew to prominence during the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and during the Republic of China (1911-1949).  Now it is the key financial center under the People’s Republic.  The City of Hangzhou , south west of Shanghai , was the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) until it fell to the Mongols in 1276.  The city of Wuhan dates back to the Shang Dynasty (3,500 years ago) and it was part of the Chu during the Warring States Period (476 BC-221 BC) and during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) it became a busy trading port on the Yangtze River. Chinese civilized history is re-told through its dynasties – a reminder that nothing remains the same and that everything has a rise and fall, a birth and death.  The account of China ’s history follows a cyclical pattern with the rise and fall of each dynasty, unlike western history which is re-told in a fairly linear progression from the Ancient Greeks onward.  The attached reading chronicles parts of China ’s history from the Shang Dynasty through the forming of the People’s Republic.  It is a brief overview and a simple introduction designed to peak your interest, yet not tell the whole story.

China: An Industrial Powerhouse Emerges, by James Kynge, Financial Times, January 23, 2003.  This article is a brief discussion of China's most plentiful asset - workers - and their attractiveness to foreign companies from both a cost and quality perspective.  Longer term, how much of the world's production of autos and electronics will come from China and Chinese companies?

China's Neighbours Get Nervous, by John Thornhill, Financial Times, December 3, 2002. This article discusses the potential implications of China's rising economic power and what some of the implications are for the region and the world, in terms of markets, foreign policy and security.  

Will China Blindside the West, By Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, December 3, 2002.  This article recounts the authors own experiences in China with the growing industriousness and ambition of some of the people he's met in China.  He comments: "But it's possible for China simultaneously to torture people and enrich them. Human and financial capital are growing and being deployed more sensibly, and a ferocious drive and work ethic are galvanizing even remote nooks like Gaoshan...China is on course eventually to recover its traditional pre-eminence. And just as China at its peak was blindsided by therise of the West, we're likely to be blindsided by the rise of China."

China's Coming Transformation by George Gilboy and Eric Heginbothan, Foreign Affairs July-August 2001 this article outlines many of the changes taking place in China including political, economic and some of the social challenges with an a viewpoint on U.S. policy for China.

The State-Owned Enterprises: A Barometer for Reform and Opportunity in China by Kenneth J. DeWoskin, 2001 discusses the situation with China's SOE's and the implications for foreign investors in China

Chinese History from Pre-Historic to the Qing Dynasty, link to e-museum web site at Minnesota State University including timelines, background and maps.

Alcatel to Reorganize China Operations, Take Majority Stake in Shanghai Bell, By Andrew Batson, Wall Street Journal; October 23, 2001

Mountains and Water in Chinese Art, By Karen Albert

The History and Meaning of the Chinese Communism, viewpoint from Christine Loh, Chief Executive of Civic Exchange, Hong Kong, June 2001

The Clash of Civilizations? by Samuel Huntington, 1993.  Excerpt: Civilization Identity will be increasingly important in the future, and the world will be shaped in large measure by the interactions among seven or eight major civilizations. These include Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin American and possibly African civilization. The most important conflicts of the future will occur along the cultural fault lines separating these civilizations from one another"  


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