On the evening of April 27th, co-hosted by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China (RDCY) and CITIC Press Group, the 33rd Chongyang Forum invited Professor Niall Ferguson, a famous British historian to give a lecture, and held a dialogue with Professor Wu Xiaoqiu, vice president of Renmin University of China and expert in Chinese financial field, on the topic of “finance, the rise and fall of the great powers” . The two sides conducted a discussion focusing on former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and US, the development of Sino-US relations, and the“Chimerica”structure, financial system and RMB internationalization in the Trump’s era.
As the author of the book “Kissinger: The Idealist”, Professor Ferguson comprehensively reviewed Kissinger’s life course at the American political stage, pointing out that Kissinger’s experience as a “refugee” in his young age and the concern on the European balance of powers during his school period, have greatly influenced his later choice for the foreign policy.
In response to Professor Ferguson, Professor Wu Xiaoqi likewise highly praised Mr. Kissinger’s political intelligence and insights. Meanwhile, he also emphasized the role of Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Richard Nixon in promoting this process. Professor Wu stressed the successive influence of Kissinger’s visit to China, pointing out that the normalization of Sino-U.S. relations has helped China’s reform and opening up, as well as the economic development, which has laid a solid foundation for the gradual rise of Sino-US economic and trade relations.
Professor Ferguson noted that Kissinger paved the way for the "Chimerica" era, a neologism coined by him. The vocabulary emphasizes the close relations between China and the US in various fields such as economy and society, and regards the two countries as an inseparable whole in the international economic system. He said that risks such as the financial crisis have brought certain difficulties to the cooperation between China and the United States, but Sino-US economic and trade cooperation is still going forward after the ups and downs, so that the prospect of the "Chimerica" could be optimistic.
Professor Wu Xiaoqiu commented that "Chimerica" properly expressed the close and inseparable relations between China and the United States. From the perspective of China, he analyzed the conventionality and inevitability of Sino-US economic and trade frictions, and stressed that China’s continuously opening up will be an important factor for the existence of the "Chimerica" .
In the subsequent dialogue session, Wang Wen, Executive Dean of RDCY, shared his views, and conducted in-depth discussions with these two well-known scholars, Professor Ferguson and Wu Xiaoqi, on the Trump and the future development of China-US relations.
Professor Ferguson believes that history does not move in a straight line. He said that the US government has often contained China in the past and the Trump`s China policy has largely inherited it. He said that Trump`s great significance to world politics lies in reawakening attention to the balance of power, and the effectiveness of its domestic policies has greatly guaranteed Trump`s supports in US. Therefore, China needs more consideration for dealing with the balance of power in the future.
Professor Wu acknowledged Trump`s talents, but he also argued that China’s rise is an inevitable trend. He said that China should properly handle the balance of power with other countries. However, China needs to further explore common human values and strive to build a community of common destiny for mankind in order to acquire more opportunities to learn from the United States, during which China could reasonably adjust Sino-U.S. relations and the corresponding international pattern.
At the interactive session, focusing on the issues such as traditional civilization and financial development, financial system and the international inequality, and internationalization of the RMB, Professor Ferguson expressed his recognition of the complementarity between Chinese civilization and the Western financial system. He also gave high praise for the achievements that RMB is used in mobile payments and electronic transactions, and expressed his expectations for the free flow of RMB in the future. Professor Wu looked forward to the future development of China`s financial competitiveness from the perspective of financial innovation.
Professor Ferguson is a well-known British historian. He is currently a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford, and the Center for European Studies, Harvard. He has published fifteen books, and the first volume of his biography of Henry Kissinger won the 2016 Arthur Ross prize from the Council on Foreign Relations.
Professor Wu Xiaoqiu is vice president of Renmin University of China and director of Finance and Securities Institute. He also serves as vice chairman of the University Academic Council and Yangtz Scholar. Professor Wu is one of the most influential professors in the study of capital market in China.