虽然今天很难想象，但就在不久以前，中国还几乎不被视为地区强国。 然而，在短短几十年里，中国开发了其增长潜力，使近8亿中国公民摆脱贫困，成为全球消费者，从而巩固了中国作为全球最主要大国之一的长期地位。 随着中国在全球经济、政治和文化领域的影响力不断增强，中国在全球舞台上的作用不断形成和扩大。 理解,开始理解——这下一阶段中国变成世界领袖,有必要考虑国家的当代演进,从中国公司的业务实践和民族特性的文化复兴,重新专注于艺术、教育、人文科学。
国际货币基金组织(IMF)发布的《2020年世界经济展望》(2020 World Economic Outlook)显示，中国已取代美国成为全球最大经济体。 根据国际货币基金组织(IMF)和美国中央情报局(CIA)提炼的衡量标准，即购买力平价(PPP)，该报告显示，中国经济(24.2万亿美元)现已超过美国(20.8万亿美元)。 尽管许多主流媒体目前仍认为美国是世界上最大的经济强国，但根据现有的各项指标，中国经济将超越美国是不可避免的。 在创造最大经济体的过程中，中国已成为世界上大多数主要经济体的最大贸易伙伴，这显然将重塑中国与这些国家的关系。 例如，中国在多年屈居美国之后，最近成为欧盟最大的贸易伙伴。2020年，欧盟与中国的贸易额为7090亿美元，而与美国的贸易额为6710亿美元。 到2020年，中国经济是世界主要经济体中唯一实现增长的，并将继续成为后疫情时代世界经济的主要引擎之一。
在经济安全的驱使下，中国在过去十年中投入了大量资源来加强与非洲、拉丁美洲和加勒比地区的关系。 中国不断壮大的中产阶级正稳步成为拉美产品的最大消费国，他们需要哥伦比亚的石油、智利的铜和乌拉圭的牛肉。 中国共产党的一个关键性战略决策是“一带一路”倡议，该倡议于2013年提出，并于2015年由政府正式发起，旨在加强区域协作和贸易网络。 截至2021年初，19个拉美和加勒比国家政府加入了规模达1万亿美元的跨大陆贸易网络，这不仅表明中国作为贸易伙伴的影响力日益增强，而且也确保了未来几十年参与国之间有利的经济机会。
在世纪之交经济剧烈变化的背景下，由于经济的快速改革、快速增长和全球竞争，中国企业经历了前所未有的动荡和制度动荡。 因此，中国的商业领袖学会了如何应对不可预测的商业环境，并不断适应快速发展的商业体系。 这种敏捷性与将组织视为家庭的独特文化趋势相结合。 中国的管理者像培养孩子一样培养他们的员工，作为回报，他们对员工提出的要求远远超出了职位要求，因此，中国的公司像紧密的家庭单位一样运作，忠诚、奉献和人际信任是稳定的支柱。 这种现象直接转化为获取地方政府拨款、投资资金、以及将企业传承下去所必需的关键技能的利用。
中国企业的战略思维也不同于西方企业。 他们倾向于重视高资产周转率，并在合适的时机做出关键决策。 他们偏爱非常简单和等级森严的组织结构，高度依赖与有用的商业和政治角色的紧密个人关系，以及避免债务(由于过去的不稳定)，这导致现金持有量不断膨胀。 拥有极高的抱负和对未知领域的开放态度，成功的中国企业在保持高速增长和快速发展的同时，不断生产新产品和涉足非相关业务的能力得到了完善。 越来越多的中国品牌为世界各地的消费者所熟知。
随着中国从计划经济转向市场经济，并越来越多地拥抱私营企业，那些专注于艺术、人文和教育的机构也获得了极大的自主权和资金机会。 中国中央政府倡导全国5万多家博物馆、美术馆、图书馆和文化馆等文化设施免费向游客开放。 在过去的十年里，有一个巨大的推动，以重振公众对艺术的欣赏和热情，在传统和表演艺术家，艺术社区和教育机构建立艺术中心的资金和赠款大幅增加。 此外，其他国家的文化部，特别是欧洲、亚洲和澳大利亚的文化部，近年来在中国的巡演也大幅增加。
中国文化复兴的首要目标不仅是提升中国艺术家的影响力，而且要把中国变成全世界的文化中心。 15年来，中国已经建成了一些世界上规模最大、设备最完善的表演艺术中心，并在继续努力。 中国许多主要大学的一个值得注意的新方向转变是发展当代和现代艺术项目和学校，特别是那些具有跨学科的重点。 例如，中国科学院大学这两年成立了李政道科学与艺术中心，倡导艺术与自然科学的互联互通。 虽然艺术学院传统上与其他学术领域是分开的，但这种日益增长的趋势为国内外学生获得对艺术的新尊重铺平了道路。 在过去的几十年里，中国留学生已经成为美国和欧洲大学的主要收入来源。 然而，很少有人注意到，中国大学的国际学生也经历了数量的激增。
回顾过去的100年，中国经历了战争、贫困、饥荒、经济改革以及与世界各国关系和合作的发展。 作为一个拥有14亿人口的国家，在如此短的时间内经历了如此多的变化，中国政府把改变民生作为工作重点放在首位。 这就是说，在20世纪70年代，中国共产党(CCP)把经济改革和改善人民生活摆在了最重要的位置。 这使得中国企业进入全球竞争，中国消费者进入全球市场，从而使中国经济与境外的世界相关联。
这一转变也促使中国企业参与全球对话，提供了一个交流中国商业实践哲学、分享中国观点并与世界其他国家形成合作的机会。 从宏观上看，这些合作是中国“一带一路”倡议的引擎，在贸易网络沿线建立联系。 此外,比以往任何时候都更为紧迫,是为国家努力获得相互理解,建立信任,和发展合作关系面临全球变暖等人类共同战斗,核废料,威胁生物多样性,富人和穷人之间的差距和财富的再分配。 在艺术、文化和教育交流方面的投资将给世界带来一个更加生动的中国，而不仅仅是媒体所强调的经济强国。 反过来，这种对中国更加复杂和微妙的理解将有助于打开中国人民了解和拥抱世界的大门。
China, More than an Economic Miracle
JUNE 24, 2021
BY: Bin Ma Zhu Zhu Wei Zhu
China’s growth into an economic superpower in a matter of decades is unprecedented, but how has it been managed? Professors Bin Ma and Zhu Zhu, along with artist Wei Zhu, analyze the economic policies, business management, and cultural renaissance which have transformed China in the last century.
Painting by Wei Zhu, Executive Director of the Tsung-Dao Lee Center of Sciences and Arts at University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Director of the Science and Art Committee of the China Home of Nobel Laureates
While difficult to imagine today, it was not that long ago that China was barely considered a regional power. Yet in just a few short decades, the country has untapped its growth potential, lifting close to 800 million Chinese citizens from poverty and turning them into global consumers, thereby solidifying China’s long-term position as one of the most dominant global powers. As China continues to exert economic, political, and cultural influence around the world, its role in the global arena continues to take shape and expand. To understand – well, to begin to understand – this next stage of China as it transforms into a world leader, it’s necessary to consider the contemporary evolution of the country, from the business practices and national idiosyncrasies of Chinese firms to the country’s cultural renaissance and renewed focus on arts, education, and humanities.
An economic behemoth in the 21st century
The 2020 World Economic Outlook presented by the IMF indicated that China has displaced the U.S. to become the largest economy in the world. According to the yardstick refined by the IMF and CIA, namely PPP (purchasing power parity), the report shows that China’s economy ($24.2 trillion) has now exceeded that of the U.S. ($20.8 trillion). Although much of the mainstream press still considers the U.S. the top economic powerhouse at this moment, with all existing metrics, the fact that China’s economy will surpass the U.S. economy is inevitable. In creating the largest economy, China has become the biggest trading partner for most of the world’s major economies, and this will evidently reshape the relationship between China and these nations. For example, China has recently become the biggest trading partner of the European Union, after years of being second to the United States. In 2020, the trade of the EU with China was $709 billion, compared with $671 billion with the U.S. With the efforts of an efficient strategy for handling the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as proceeding one of the fastest vaccination rollouts, China’s economy was the only major global economy with a growth in 2020 and will continue to be one of the major engines for the world economy in the post-pandemic era.
As Brazil’s ambassador to China explains, China is simply a more reliable trade partner.
Driven by reasons of economic security, China has dedicated considerable resources over the last decade to strengthening its relationships with Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. China’s growing middle class is steadily becoming the top consumer of Latin American products, demanding oil from Colombia, copper from Chile, and beef from Uruguay. A key attribute of the Chinese Communist Party is the Belt and Road Initiative, introduced in 2013 and officially initiated by the government in 2015, with the goal of enhancing regional collaboration and the trade network. As of early 2021, 19 Latin American and Caribbean governments have joined the $1 trillion transcontinental trade network and this not only points to China’s growing influence as a trade partner but will secure favorable economic opportunities among the participated countries for decades to come.
Other ambitious infrastructural projects, powered by China, are underway, such as proposals for transcontinental railways linking the Atlantic and Pacific coasts from Brazil to Chile, and a $3 billion port in Peru that is being constructed by a Shanghai-based shipping company. As Brazil’s ambassador to China explains, China is simply a more reliable trade partner, with which a mutually beneficial relationship can be easily built, hence it is paramount for countries to continue building trust and relations over time.
Chinese approach to business management
Given the drastic economic changes since the turn of the century, Chinese companies have experienced unprecedented turbulence and institutional turmoil due to the fast economic reformation, the fast-paced growth, and the global competition. Chinese business leaders have thus learned to cope with unpredictable business environments and constantly adapt to quickly evolving business systems. This agility is coupled with the unique cultural tendency to treat organizations as families. Chinese managers nurture their employees as they would their children and, in return, they make demands on them that go well beyond what the job description entails and as a result, Chinese firms operate like tight-knit family units in which loyalty, dedication, and interpersonal trust are the pillars of stability. This phenomenon translates directly into the harnessing of the key skills necessary to secure local government grants, investment funds, and navigating through bureaucratic red tape, as well as passing businesses down generations.
Chinese companies also differ from Western businesses in their strategic mentality. They tend to value high asset turnover and making key decisions at opportune times. There is a preference for very simple and hierarchical organizational structure, a deep reliance on strong personal ties with useful business and political actors, and an avoidance of debt (due to past instabilities), which leads to ballooning cash holdings. Defined by having extremely high aspirations and an openness to uncharted territories, successful Chinese firms have perfected their ability to constantly produce new products and venture into unrelated businesses, while maintaining high growth and fast pace. More and more Chinese brands become known to consumers around the world.
Chinese cultural renaissance
As China moves from a planned economy to a market economy and increasingly embraces private enterprises, those institutions that focus on the arts, humanities, and education have also received a drastic boost in autonomy and funding opportunities. The Chinese central government is advocating for free entry for visitors to cultural facilities across the country, including more than 50,000 museums, galleries, libraries, and cultural centers. There has been a huge push in the past decade to revitalize the public’s appreciation and passion for the arts, evidenced in the large increase in funding and grants available to traditional and performing artists, art communities, and educational institutions to establish art centers. Furthermore, the ministries of culture of other countries, especially those in Europe, Asia, and Australia, have drastically increased performance tours in China in recent years.
Investments made in the communication of art, culture, and education will bring a more vivid China to the world.
The overarching goal of the Chinese cultural renaissance is to not only elevate the influence of artists based in China, but to transform China into a cultural hub for the entire world. In the past 15 years, China has constructed some of the world’s largest and most well-equipped performing arts centers, and the efforts continue. One noteworthy new directional shift in many major Chinese universities is to develop contemporary and modern arts programs and schools, especially those with an interdisciplinary focus. For example, the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences recently established the Tsung-Dao Lee Center of Sciences and Arts to advocate for the interconnectedness of fine arts and the physical sciences. While art schools are traditionally separated from other academic fields, this growing trend has paved the way for domestic and international students to gain a newfound respect for the arts. In the past decades, Chinese international students have become a major income source for universities in the United States and in Europe. Yet, little attention has been paid to the fact that the international students at Chinese universities have likewise experienced a boom in numbers.
Marking the CCP centenary
Looking back at the past 100 years, China has experienced wars, poverty, famine, economic reformation, and the development of relationships and collaborations with other counties around the world. As a country of 1.4 billion people, and having experienced so many changes in such a short period of time, it is critical for the Chinese government to prioritize well. That said, in the 1970’s the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) positioned of upmost importance both economic reformation and the improvement of the people’s lives. This brought Chinese businesses into the global competition as well Chinese consumers to the global market, thus making the Chinese economy relevant to the world outside its borders.
This transformation also motivated Chinese companies to engage in a global dialogue, providing an opportunity to communicate the Chinese philosophy of business practice and to share Chinese points of view and form collaborations with the rest of the world. From a macro perspective, these collaborations serve as engines for the CCP’s Belt and Road Initiative, building connections along the trade network. In addition, what is more urgent than ever, is for countries to endeavor to gain mutual understandings, build trust, and develop collaborative relationships in order to face common human battles such as global warming, nuclear waste, the threat to biodiversity, the gap between rich and poor and the redistribution of wealth. Investments made in the communication of art, culture, and education will bring a more vivid China to the world, not just the economic power that has been emphasized by the media. And in turn, this more complex and nuanced understanding of China will help open the doors for Chinese people to understand and embrace the world.