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Jonathan Fenby CBE gave a talk entitled ‘the challenges facing China’s new leadership’. Mr Fenby began with a whistle-stop tour of Chinese history since the foundation of the Qin dynasty in order to place recent developments into their historical context. He then discussed various factors in China’s current political situation, such as the issues of state corruption, economic instability and the threat of demographic crisis. As regards the general trend of China’s future, Mr Fenby chose the middle ground: he described himself as neither a ‘China supremacist’ nor supporter of ‘hollow growth theory’, suggesting that China would continue to grow but expressing doubt that China will ever become global hegemon.

Patrick Swire WFM