Yukon Huang: Debunking Myths About China's Economy

World Affairs
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China’s rapid growth and transition towards a more market-oriented economic system have encouraged spectators to predict massive changes to the Chinese political and social system. However, while growth is slowing, the economy remains sound and the Chinese Communist Party emerged from the 19th Party Congress with its strongest leader in years. What makes experts forecast again and again that China is on the verge of collapse? Yukon Huang, former Country Director for China at the World Bank, cuts through the myths and joins us to discuss his new book, "Cracking the China Conundrum: Why Conventional Economic Wisdom is Wrong." His in-depth analysis explores the varied dynamics at play in China’s economic growth today and sheds light on why so many China watchers have gotten it wrong.
Yukon Huang
Senior Fellow, Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
N. Bruce Pickering
Vice President of Global Programs, Asia Society and Executive Director, Asia Society Northern California, Asia Society
For more information about this event please visit: www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1782
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Website: www.worldaffairs.org

Published on


Dec 1, 2017

WorldAffairschinaunited stateseconomyeconomic developmentcommunist partyasia




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Comments 1 168
Karl P
Karl P 23 days ago
Very prescient isn't it? Look at the tariff war that's broken out 18 months after he predicted it.
expsterm1 27 days ago
Sounds all great and good, but since China is not totally transparent with their data and statistics, whatever conclusion this guy derives needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
Alexhanshuai 28 days ago
Marie Devine
Marie Devine 29 days ago
Rabbi Kaduri said, When there is an election and no government, Messiah is around the corner. That is what we have now in Israel. Elijah & Moses channel. Our Creator speaks to all nations to MAKE NO COVENANT with other nations, that includes America. If the nations including Israel WATCH they would not let their place be broken up. Watch Yah's word: Exodus 23:32. "Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods." Exodus 34:12 "Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goes, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee. The Word of God is Messiah, Deliverer, Savior, only when he is believed. John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God." :14 " And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory the glory as of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth." See also Psalms 1 & 2. Psalm 1:1, 2 "BLESSED is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. :2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD and in His law does he meditate day and night." Psalm 2: "WHY do the Heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing? :2 The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, :3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. :4 He that sits in the heavens shall laugh, He shall have them on derision."
Desa -
Desa - Month ago
Americans are fundamentally wrong.
Marx Seet
Marx Seet Month ago
In Short, China is a capitalism country with built-in socialism which I think it is hard for many fully developed countries (that go full steam ahead with capitalism which tiled towards the rich) to understand. Reasonable explanation and make perfect sense. I think he forget that it is by virtue of the Chinese to save compared to the USA who kept consuming even with their debts. Try to see Chinese using the western perspective, you will forever remain stupid and never figure that out. Can see the interviewer was very sad that he never get the answer he wanted to hear, Lolx
Sally AH
Sally AH Month ago
I didn't know USA only invested about 1% in China's FDI in 2017, as mentioned by Yukon Huang. I am surprised as I thought USA has a huge investment in China. I just googled, it is actually 2%. en.portal.santandertrade.com/establish-overseas/china/foreign-investment
CSXRockford Month ago
Po Tsui
Po Tsui Month ago
1 year ago ,like a prophesy...
KUN Month ago
A few claptrap opinions here and there but still on spot, no matter how wrong the corruption is, the anti-corruption is slowing our local governments down. China is so weird.
Paris Zachariades
Interesting talk. Since conventional wisdom, as the speaker suggests is debunked, then it is neither conventional nor wisdom, which in itself IS an interesting proposition that shows the path to several key elements. Thus China appears to have several governance elements that are better then other countries, deducing also the advantageous elements of the Chinese people, and you actually have faster progress, as simple as that! Of course applying as suggested the conventional wisdom of implementing those elements in other countries per say will not yield the same results, but allowing oneself to capitalise on them given the nature of one's country will, at the same time going forward with other elements that one is at an advantage, will invariably make even faster progress. But is figuring out these 'tree' elements the issue, one should ask, or is the 'forest' problem a different one?
Winnie The Pooh & CCP's
Mao Chandara
Mao Chandara Month ago
Please, how can I purchase this book ?
Jonathan Young
Jonathan Young Month ago
American views are wrong because Americans are bombarded with faked news.
John Hoffman
John Hoffman Month ago
China is a totalitarian mercantilist state. It is them or us!
chris wilson
chris wilson Month ago
This old dummy knows nothing.
Tim Tim
Tim Tim Month ago
China has successfully drafted a strategy that uses enables synergies between urban and rural development to be used profitably to improve the living conditions in the rural areas while at the same time reducing the cost of labour and living in the urban areas. This is the reason why migrant workers have returned to their villages after their career, to become farmers with greater financial capital that has enabled the to afford agricultural equipments to boost their productivity. Kudos to china. Let the west stop making baseless comparisons but rather take into consideration the context of both countries in relation to development.
Tim Tim
Tim Tim Month ago
This is nonsense talk. What this guy is listing as problems are issues China is already addressing and succeeding in them. China has proven that state sponsored capitalism as some calk it, can be very innovative, competitive and generate economic gtowth. In my view, based on my experience in Asia, i think that success comes from a combination of several factors such culture, discipline of the people, loyalty and the political/social/economic will which has proven to be an economic driver in the case of china in ways that have promoted economic growth, technology and innovation couple with the willingness to change positively and adapt to new things. Let the West mind its business.
Sigurd Zidi Penpal
Even without China, US must still have a net deficit in Balance of Trade with the rest of the world because it's currency is the world Reserve Currency. The more the global economy grows the bigger the deficit has to be to facilitate global trade. It is that simple.
Sally AH
Sally AH Month ago
And Trump and his advisors are barking at the wrong tree.
Dan Man
Dan Man Month ago
Everything he says makes sense, not much of it is new to me. I doubt the US has what it takes to reform & think longer term, they're too stuck in a loop of worshipping money.
JinFX Month ago
LOL All these comments saying he is wrong and now two years later his predictions are coming true!
Caitlyn J
Caitlyn J Month ago
Yukon is one of those China experts who really know the country. However his message is foreign to many westerners because it’s kind of upsetting unlike the kind of Gordon Chang.
Sally AH
Sally AH Month ago
Economics theories cannot be conventional and fixated. The world changes. Yukon has really done a good job diving deep into the core of the real world situation and has analyzed things more thoroughly. His views make sense but may not drill into most people's pysche.
King Java
King Java Month ago
The American government is controlling and spying all the American companies and businesses. The American government couldn't spied on the foreign network equipments.
jpinst22 Month ago
An abundance of misunderstandings and nonsense. China's institutions are not what you think they are and cannot be analyzed in the way you analyze institutions with similar names in more advanced economies.
Veek M
Veek M Month ago
very nice video :) thank you
Huxby Month ago
i think im munna move to China.
Internet Marketing Maps
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Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe Month ago
Just plugging his book. The Chinese domestic economy has been built on debt and massive QE. The trade deficit is not what it seems. Take Wall-mart for example. I bet 90% of its stuff is made in China, but who gets the bulk of the profits? Its not the Chinese. And I bet there are lots of smoke and mirrors to avoid tax liability too. This man is part of the System. Don’t expect any real insights.
Francis Duke
Francis Duke Month ago
Steve Bannon and Liethuezer need to sit down with Yukon for a day or two to realign their realities and perceptions on China-and learn from the source
John Gordon
John Gordon 2 months ago
AI has been in the U.S. for years so you cant blame China for the decline of the U.S. economy, the main difference between the two is that one will invest in new technology and the other one drags its feet also the U.S. is one of the most corrup countries that will use gender politics and they support Banks to the detriment of the population, you cannot continue tp print money without verifiable financial backing.
jian cao
jian cao 2 months ago
China is thinking of long term, Xi is now permanently a president . Haha, what a joke from this professor. He is like a cctv reporter
jian cao
jian cao 2 months ago
This professor is a joke. I grow up in China. Ccp cheats all the time.
Sy Fan
Sy Fan Month ago
You are so fake. LOL
jian cao
jian cao 2 months ago
Haha, he believes China will be bound by TPP, CCP have not be fair to their own people since they are in government
jian cao
jian cao 2 months ago
Too naive, China is now building for few families. It is China inc, not a country. Ccp is just a system of control. Like a computer program language to do a lot things fast
Erl Happ
Erl Happ 2 months ago
Yukon Huang should be standing for president. He is a problem solver. The US needs the reorientation that he could bring. Reminds me very strongly of J K Galbraith. America needs the insights that a person with a Chinese heritage can provide. Where is the political party that can accommodate him?
BZ Ent
BZ Ent Month ago
Erl Happ yes a ccp propagandist for us president ..
Chi Huang
Chi Huang 2 months ago
Proud Chinaman!
Kefalos 2 months ago
Interesting talk!
eliterun 2 months ago
Thoughts: "Trade imbalance isn't a problem" -Huang, presents two items that might be correlated, doesn't elaborate further. Needs some support. "Imbalance isn't a problem!" -Huang, presents anecdote about Xiaoping's policies...needs some support *Makes point about relative density of city size in China vs. world* interesting tidbit. "Corruption in China = sharing of government resources w/ private sector" -Huang. Interesting. Would be interesting to hear me. As a financial analyst with a background in real estate, I'm going to respectfully disagree with his analysis about property values. He makes a comparison to India property values, and argues the fact that since they are 2x China's, that China is OK. If he's going to try to find best comparables, I would encourage him to take a look at the Japanese property market from 1955-1990, and its performance afterwards. In addition, rents in China are completely out of sync with property prices. When I was in Guangzhou this past fall, the rent : price ratio was 4x what it would be in the USA. He also throws out the red herring that "China didn't have private property! Increase in price is fine!". To some degree that's true, but it doesn't cover the entire degree of the rise of the Chinese housing market, especially given its illiquid state that he references. He sometimes makes a statement and doesn't elaborate, which is troubling. I'm going to need some backup if you're claiming conventional wisdom wrong. Maybe a teaser for the book? Regardless, I found the Skagen presentation by Louis-Vincent Gave to be much more illuminating in this respect. He had some interesting information, but I really wish he would have supplied more info to back up his arguments. If you're not super in-depth on China, I think this may be informative, but if you want a very nuanced and detailed perspective on China economically/geopolitically, I would encourage you to explore further.
eliterun 2 months ago
Dollar as global currency does not cover the trade deficit. Lazy, lazy explanations. USA ran a relatively small trade deficit up through about 1994. That's the effect of the dollar as a global currency, maybe 100 billion. We're looking at ~600 billion now. His explanations are just as lazy as conventional wisdom, and it drives me nuts, especially when he just spouts off conventional wisdom on trade and doesn't dig into them either. There's some interesting stuff here, but don't take it all as gospel truth.
Rick Tasker
Rick Tasker 2 months ago
Interesting that everyone in China and the U.S. is wrong in everything they think and that Mr. Huang is right :-)
Robert Byers
Robert Byers 2 months ago
Huang makes great points that make sense. .I love his claims that conventional opinion is wrong. I agree with that. The wealth of a nation is based on the intelligence of its people. Historically the southern Chinese were smarter then the others from what I read. anyways irs about whether Chinese can keep up intellectually with us.or surpass. its not about robots but real men. China will be better then india based on intellect but will they man for man be our equals?? i still see China as inferior as a people(s). Relative to numbers they don't really do well.
Jude Lu
Jude Lu Month ago
Robert Byers average Chinese has an iq of 102... average American has an iq of 90-something? East Asian countries took the top five spots.. what makes you think Americans are more intelligent?
Alex Perez
Alex Perez 2 months ago
The greatest game of softball I've ever seen. No follow-up questions, no pressing, no nothing. Regardless of your political stance--and I'm highly sympathetic to China, in general--you must agree that there's a lot of evasion going on here. What an embarrassment for everybody. Where is somebody like Bill Moyers when we need him?
123spleege 2 months ago
American politicians live in a box. they go out a bit, for a week and feel like they have traveled. they go eat Filipino food once and say I like Filipino food. they watch a RUvid video, such as we are doing, and assume," I get it". Nope!! Not even close. You do not read one page of a book!!!!! all information and to some its education, is in sound bites but, the world has become more and more complex and so the way Americans get information is truly just scratching the surface and a waste of time because many just don't want to spend the time to understand another society and culture. We are a global world now but many South East Asian and China, Korea, japan, Taiwan, want to hold onto their identity. Proudly so. Americans do not have that because we are mutts. that is how we started and its not bad necessarily. Chinese philosophy goes back thousands of years and not all of that has been abandoned. How old is America??? And American foundations are in independence, pulling away from another culture, which again is bad and good. Understanding other nations is knowing yourself and living among the other nations peoples. Learning language is critical. However, we are all in such a hurry to make a buck fast. impatient and ignorant and fat. Look at Trump. What a loser.
Gabriel Sims-Fewer
Gabriel Sims-Fewer 2 months ago
Willing to challenge conventional "wisdom", but blindly accepts the idea that Europe and the US are less corrupt than developing countries.
DG E 2 months ago
this guy is an exaggerating apologist for the PRC his numbers and enthusiasm are inflated
SING CHUNG LEE 2 months ago
Actually, you guys can easily DEBUNK this "Huang" guy by asking him, whether this particular video of his repugnant preaching, can be freely broadcast INSIDE CHINA ......... or not. People who live INSIDE Commie Chin@ cannot even freely access this video without the help of VPN software, which bypasses the Official Internet Censors. And even if they use those VPN software just to watch this video, they'll still have to bear the risk of being persecuted by the One-Party State. THIS WHOLE VIDEO is just what the Anglophones called "Soft-Handed Propaganda", nothing less, nothing more.
tsbm9 2 months ago
yukon ( what a name ) huang is a chinese agent.
Festo Nzima
Festo Nzima Month ago
Truth hates
poison fish
poison fish 2 months ago
How China makes their profit, black market products, fake apple phones and every other products is copied and sold around the world. Common sense.
Dale Kirkendall
Dale Kirkendall 3 months ago
We don't hear the truth about China.
gamevalor 3 months ago
An empire that oppresses Tibet, East Turkestan, Inner Mongolia and Taiwan with a communist regime cannot sustain itself in the long-term. There's also a Hong Kong independence party. The whole Cantonese region may become an independent republic.
Cicero Araujo
Cicero Araujo 3 months ago
We lost. China builds bridges we build walls
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