ECMI - China Management Improvement




2012 - What's new



During 2012 I establish cooperation with a Chinese student working for a Master degree at my former Department at the University of Geneva, the Department of Political Science: Ms Chen Yali prepares a master thesis on the compatibility of Confucianism with liberal democracy. As there are no specific competencies within the Department in Chinese politics, with the agreement of her supervisor, Prof. Matteo Gianni, I am helping Chen Yali in her work, and she helps me with my research on China’s reforms. Chen Yali has previously studied political science at the Unive rsité de Versailles and industrial logistic and organisation at the Université de Savoie (both in France). She is Fluent in French and is working for improving her competencies in English.

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October 11th to November 13th 2012

As I have done since 1997, this year again I visited China for the purpose of collecting first-hand information about the changes occurring in China’s economy, polity and society on the eve of the XVIII Party Congress planned to start early in November 2012. This Congress was to confirm the changes at the top of the Party leadership, and especially within the Permanent Committee of the Politburo.

As usual, since 2004, my privileged contact has been with professors and researchers at the School of Public Policy and Management of Tsinghua University in Beijing, Center for China Studies

Discussions revolved around topics such as the best strategies for rebalancing China’s society and economy, the necessary improvement in the management of the interface between economic development, social equity and environmental protection, as well as the relations with the rest of the world, especially the USA.

Meetings have been held with professors Hu Angang (also a member of the Party Congress), Cui Zhiyuan, Li Xiguang, Yang Yongheng, Liu Qiushi, Wei Xing, and Wang Yahua.

Discussing China’s development strategy with Prof. Hu Angang in his office
at the School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University


Prof. Yang Yongheng explains the activities of the China’s Institute for Development Planning of which he is the Acting Director


At Renmin University School of Public Administration I had meetings with Professors Dong Keyong and Qin Huimin, as well as with Dr Wang Dan.

At the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) I had a meeting with professors Sun Xuegong (Deputy director of the Institute of Economic Research) and Zuo Chuanchang (Academy of Macro-Economic Research) and several associate researchers.

Lunch after meeting at the NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission) with professors
Sun Xuegong (fourth from left) and Zuo Chuanchang (second from left) and associate researchers.

While in Beijing I had the opportunity to express my ideas about China’s situation and future in a long interview with Ms Zhao Yining, senior journalist at the 21st Century Business Herald that was published on November 7, at the eve of the Party Congress, along with interviews of other foreign experts such as Francis Fukuyama and Barry Naughton. You will find herewith the interview in Chinese, and the English translation.

I have been pleasantly surprised and honoured to be invited by Prof. Chen Gang, Associate Dean of Peking University’s School of Journalism and Communication to give a short conference at the “Serial Activities of Advertisement Department’s 20th Anniversary of SJC of PKU – 2012 CCM & Digital Marketing Development Forum, November 1, 2012.

Although the topic I was invited to develop was well outside the range of my official competences, I finally accepted the invitation under condition that I could develop a general approach to marketing by insisting on one of the 3 dimensions of a marketing strategy (in addition to effective management and innovative technology) i.e. reputation. I illustrated the purpose of my speech (entitled “China’s economy and the development of brands, some ideas from Switzerland”) by briefly explaining the strategy developed by Nicholas Hayek for rescuing the Swiss watch industry from Japanese competition in the 1980s.

Delivering speech at Peking University



Answering questions from the audience

While in Beijing I visited the Swiss Embassy to meet the newly-appointed Ambassador, Jacques De Watteville for a very interesting exchange of opinions, as well as Ms Fabienne Aemisegger (Deputy head of the Political section), who had been my former student at Geneva University.

As usual, during my stay in China, I had the pleasure of meeting once again several of my former Chinese and European students who are now working in China in the private and in the public sectors and provide me with some useful insights into the working Chinese environment.

Similarly to each year since 2007, I was invited to give a conference at the CELAP in Shanghai-Pudong (China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong) (Documentary by China Radio International with interview of Jiang Hailshen, Vice-President of CELAP). This time the conference was for a group of senior officials from western provinces on “China, the West, and the Myth of New Public Management”.

Delivering conference at CELAP





Answering questions form the audience


I also had the opportunity to exchange ideas about the present situation and future of China with a group of CELAP’s professors during a workshop organized especially for my benefit. I also had discussions with members of the Department of International Exchange, i.e. CELAP Vice-president Jiang Haishen, Ms Song Jin (Director General), Prof. Harry Liu Genfa (Director), Professor Jiang Junjie, Mr Sean Wu, and Mr Ma Hui Min (Assistant to the Vice-President).

After lunch and discussion with Vice-president Jiang Haishen (first from right, holding a copy of my book on Chinese
and Western New Public Management), Ms Song Jin (Director General), Prof. Harry Liu Genfa (Director, first from left)

Between November 6 and 10, I also paid a 4-day visit to Chongqing, where I had contacts with the municipality, the Chongqing University Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Prof. Zhang Jin, Vice-Dean) and with a young Mexican scholar, fluent in Chinese, doing research on China’s development strategy.

With Prof. Zhang Jin at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences

With Miguel Angel Hidalgo Martinez near Chongqing University

Last but not least, while in Chongqing, I took the opportunity to visit one of the new towns built in 2010 for poor urban residents and migrant workers.

Views of a new district for poor urban residents and migrant workers




New district market




People at the market







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May 2012

Prof. Urio new book has been published by Routledge and can be ordered either through your bookstore, the publisher or Amazon:

Paolo Urio, China, the West, and the Myth of New Public Management. Neoliberalism and its Discontents, London & New York, Routledge, 2012

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