Former Asia Society Executive Vice President Jamie Metzl's lecture last month at the Vail Symposium last month is a fresh primer on the ongoing China growth dialogue.
Metzl, an Asia Society Senior Fellow, begins his presentation with a historical narrative beginning in the 15th century, juxtaposing the great Chinese explorer Zheng He and the West's intrepid Christopher Columbus. Fast-forward nearly six centuries, China has fundamentally shifted global order back to the East, and it's happening during our lifetimes. "China has some very fundamental flaws, but the China story is very much real," he notes. "Even though there may be big dips, I believe this China story will continue. It’ll be different from what we’ve seen in the past, but it will continue and it will continue to change the world.”
Metzl argues that Beijing increasingly has trouble garnering legitimacy:
But things are beginning to open up in China in many ways, and it’s true that the Chinese government needs to continuously make the case for its own legitimacy. And I think it does it in three ways. First is by stressing its connection to the Chinese Civil War and to Mao. Second is by being the driver of economic growth and making the case that you can get more economic growth with [the Chinese Communist Party] than you can without [the party]. Third is by positioning themselves as the champions of nationalism in China.
Watch the complete lecture above to learn why Metzl believes the rise of China and changing global order are inextricable.