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China’s Development Evolution with Yuen Yuen Ang
Episode 2529th March 2021 • Charter Cities Podcast • Kurtis Lockhart
00:00:00 00:59:27

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China’s rapid rise may seem unprecedented, but its journey is oddly familiar. The question is, where have we seen this type of development before, and what does the future have in store? Joining us today to answer this is Yuen Yuen Ang, Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. Her research lies at the intersection of governance, bureaucracy, business and innovation and she explores which institutions best enable adaptation. A major focal point of Yuen Yuen’s research is China’s rise since 1978. We open our conversation with Yuen Yuen by asking her about how her cultural nomadism has put her in a good position to understand China’s impressive 43-year development. After hearing how her experiences in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States have helped her gain a useful perspective on her studies, we dive into the concept of complex development and talk about why its needs are greater than ever. Following this, we talk to Yuen Yuen about her two books, namely China’s Gilded Age and How China Escaped the Poverty Trap. To help listeners understand China’s meteoric rise in development, Yuen Yuen compares the state to Mcdonald’s and the concept of franchising. She touches on their powerful nature of being centralized, yet having versatility through local variation. China’s “franchised” development is also linked to the way they have used corruption to bolster their development. That isn’t to say that corruption is good though, as Yuen Yuen rather points out how corruption changes in tandem with development. To hear more on China’s current state, their trajectory, and much much more, join us in this deeply insightful and thought-provoking episode.


Key Points From This Episode: 

●     Introducing today’s guest, Yuen Yuen Ang.

●     How cultural nomadism has helped Yuen Yuen’s approach to development processes.

●     Yuen Yuen talks about Singapore’s most underrated development factors.

●     Hear about Yuen Yuen’s background working in complexity studies.

●     The best book that helped Yuen Yuen get to grips with complexity studies.

●     Yuen Yuen tells us about her book, How China Escaped the Poverty Trap.

●     We boil down development into its most fundamental forms, as written about in How China Escaped the Poverty Trap.

●     Why a lot of people in international development are uncomfortable with Yuen Yuen’s book.

●     Comparing Chinese bureaucracy to Mcdonald’s.

●     The role of SEZs in China.

●     We talk to Yuen Yuen about her most recent book, China’s Gilded Age.

●     Exploring the nature of corruption in capitalism and how it morphs over time.

●     How China’s corruption has evolved as the country has developed.

●     Yuen Yuen contrasts her two books.

●     Hear about China’s grand crackdown on corruption.

●     The drawbacks and doubts that come from China’s efforts to reduce corruption.

●     Yuen Yuen talks about her published articles on the Belt and Road Initiative.

●     Hear about the beehive campaign.

●     We answer: Will China become a technological leader of the future?

●     Stay tuned to hear details on Yuen Yuen’s upcoming book.


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Charter Cities Institute

Charter Cities Institute on Facebook

Charter Cities Institute on Twitter

Charter Cities Institute on LinkedIn

Yuen Yuen Ang

Yuen Yuen Ang on LinkedIn

How China Escaped the Poverty Trap on Amazon

China’s Gilded Age on Amazon

Harnessing Complexity on Amazon

University of Michigan