China's system attuned to maximizing growth: expert

Updated: 2007-04-26 08:51

JERUSALEM -- The political system of China, which is sufficiently flexible and competitive, is fundamentally attuned to maximizing its economic growth, a renowned US expert on modern China told the audience on Wednesday at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

At the inaugural ceremony of Louis Frieberg Center for Asian Studies at the Hebrew University, Prof. Kenneth Lieberthal from the University of Michigan gave a keynote lecture on China's economic growth and its future challenges, namely "The Fundamental Forces and Challenges Shaping China's Future".

Lieberthal used to be a special assistant to the former US President Bill Clinton for national security affairs and senior director for Asia at the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration. His research focuses on the evolution of China's political economy, Chinese political structure, multinational corporate investment in China and India, as well as foreign policy decision-making in China among others.

Lieberthal noted that although China has maintained a unprecedented GDP growth in recent years, it faces both internal and external challenges in the course of a sustainable development, including resource shortage, pollution, problematic social ethics and so on.

Following his lecture, the audience raised a broad range of questions over issues concerning China.

The Louis Frieberg Center for East Asian Studies in Hebrew University was founded with an aim to develop a cadre of Israeli East Asian specialists that would spearhead the expansion of Israel 's growing diplomatic, economic and cultural relations with East Asia.

"The importance of East Asian studies is more evident today than ever before. No one today can afford to ignore the vibrant economies of (South) Korea, Japan and China. And the global influence of East Asian countries is constantly rising," Dr. Gideon Shelach, Chairman of the Louis Frieberg Center for East Asian Studies, addressed the audience at the inaugural ceremony.

Through its activities, the center plans to bring together scholars from different departments and faculties at the Hebrew University, from Israeli academia and from abroad to combine advanced inter-disciplinary research, focusing on the history of East Asia, its cultures and traditions, and contemporary society and political structures.

"We try to make this (East Asian's) rich cultural heritage part of the intellectual world of our students," said Dr. Shelach.

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