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Hinrich Foundation sponsored book “China, Trade and Power: Why the West’s Economic Engagement Has Failed”, written by Stewart Paterson was unveiled at an event held by Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Shanghai on November 27, 2018. The book describes the unexpected outcomes of a Western policy of engagement with China, which led to the country’s accession to the WTO in 2001 without critical economic reforms, such as a floating exchange rate and open capital account.

Stewart Paterson presents China Trade and Power book at FCC Shanghai

The event was held at the Maya restaurant in Shanghai and attended by 50 guests. The event began with the opening remarks from Martin Ritchie of Bloomberg and Hinrich Foundation Director of Communications Berenice Voets. The welcome remarks were followed by panel discussion. The panelists included:

• Stewart Paterson, author, China, Trade and Power: Why the West’s Economic Engagement Has Failed

• Gao Ting, Managing Director and Head of China Strategy in the Equities Research Department at UBS

During the discussion, Paterson argued that today’s US-China tensions can be traced to China’s accession to the WTO in 2001, without subsequent and critical economic reforms. China’s integration into the global economy lifted hundreds of millions of its people out of poverty and cemented the legitimacy of the Communist Party. But the unintended impacts on standards of living and social inequality in the West have sown discord, raising questions about the effectiveness of Western liberal economic models that are far from resolved.

Paterson also explained how Western governments supported China’s accession to the WTO in 2001 primarily for geopolitical reasons and that the West’s strategy of engagement was aimed at economic, and, eventually, political change in China. However, Western policy makers did not adequately forecast the economic impact of allowing 750 million low-cost workers into the global economy.

The event concluded with a lively question and answer session with the audience, who asked questions about the book’s finding and how its key messages are currently playing out in the US-China trade relationship.

The Hinrich Foundation hopes that research work such as “China, Trade and Power: Why the West’s Economic Engagement Has Failed” will help create stronger institutions and better rules of engagement for improving global trade, making it more sustainable with optimized outcomes for all participants.

For more information on the book “China, Trade and Power: Why the West’s Economic Engagement Has Failed”, please click here.

About the author- Pragya Bhatnagar

Pragya Bhatnagar is a Research Associate with the Hinrich Foundation where he focuses on International Trade Research. He is a Hinrich Foundation Global Trade Leader Scholar alumnus, earning his Master’s degree in International Journalism, specializing in Business and Financial Journalism, from Hong Kong Baptist University. He received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Lucknow University, India.