Yao Yang, a leading economist at Peking University, argues pessimistic assessments of China’s growth trajectory underestimate strengths of the Chinese economy. These strengths, in Yao’s view, include China’s technological prowess, especially in clean energy products of the future such as EVs and solar panels, and its scale and cost advantages in manufacturing. Yao argues that Western efforts to “derisk” may impinge on China’s technological development temporarily, but will come at higher costs for the United States and its partners, given the funds required to reshore manufacturing and the projected revenue losses of selling key technology products to China.
Scholars at Guizhou University and Renmin University see the availability, quality, and productivity of arable land in China under pressure, and outline steps Beijing should take to increase agricultural production and reduce food waste. Among other approaches, they recommend Beijing encourage greater investment in food storage and transportation R&D, shape consumption patterns, and improve the application of innovative technologies to the sector.
Experts from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences argue China’s domestic supply of agricultural commodities is insufficient and import sources are too geographically concentrated. In great detail, the authors advance recommendations to make China’s food supply more resilient, secure, and green. Among other suggestions, they advocate improving the application of advanced technology to the farming sector, reconciling geographical gaps between concentration of inputs (such as water) and farmland, diversifying sourcing toward countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, and improving waste utilization.
Scholars from Renmin University argue that China is particularly vulnerable to supply shocks and rising prices for agricultural commodities triggered by the Ukraine war. A volatile and challenging geopolitical outlook, the authors suggest, represents a long-term risk for China’s food security. The authors call on Beijing to diversify sourcing of China’s food supply (including away from the United States) by encouraging greater Chinese investment in the Russian agricultural sector and pursuing trade agreements with a wider range of partners.
Experts from China Agricultural University argue the war in Ukraine will have long-term impacts on food supply chains and the global economy, causing many states to improve agricultural self-sufficiency, hoard supplies, and restrict exports. In this environment, the scholars suggest Beijing reduce its vulnerability to Western sanctions and enhance its influence over international food supply chains by encouraging Chinese agricultural conglomerates to develop a larger international presence and by better regulating and supporting agricultural production and innovation at home.
Cai Fang, a top Chinese economist, argues that China’s low fertility rate can be remedied with the right set of policy solutions. Cai recommends Beijing focus on policies that improve socio-economic development levels and promote gender equality, diagnosing these factors as key constraints on decisions around childbirth.
Lu Feng, a Peking University professor, argues a closed-loop domestic integrated circuit (IC) supply chain is urgently needed in the face of U.S. and allied technology controls. He suggests Beijing advance this goal by encouraging Chinese enterprises in the field to buy from and sell to each other – decisions that, Lu argues, will be made easier by U.S. technology controls. Lu also suggests China play to its strengths and use its expansive market as a source of leverage to influence the scope of such controls.
Jian Junbo, a Europe scholar at Fudan University, argues the term “de-risking” rather than “decoupling” does not represent a substantive shift in European technology and economic policy toward China. In fact, Jian argues, the term may be more dangerous for China because it rhetorically legitimizes technology and economic controls on the basis of responding to “risks,” appeals to stakeholders with varying threat perceptions of China, and paves the way for greater transatlantic coordination.
The CCP Politburo holds “collective study sessions” on a semi-regular basis, in which an outside academic or government expert leads a discussion on a selected topic. Such sessions are important signals as to what issues the senior leadership finds important. The eighth collective study session of the 20th Central Committee Politburo was held on September 27, 2023 and was presided over by Xi Jinping. At this session, Xi delivered a speech to Party cadres where he emphasized the need for China to participate in WTO reform, enhance its attractiveness to foreign investment, and improve its position in global value chains.
Song Guoyou, an expert on U.S.-China economic relations at Fudan University, evaluates Beijing’s response so far to de-risking strategies adopted by the Trump and Biden administrations. Song argues that China can limit both the scope and negative impacts of such measures by seeking to maintain stable relations with Europe and U.S. allies more generally, diversifying export markets, publicly contributing to global economic goods through promotion of the BRI and participation in RCEP, and sustaining U.S. business interest in China.