The Committee of 100 China Conference and Gala 2018 took place at the Beijing Marriott Hotel Northeast in Beijing, China on December 1-2 and featured many prominent U.S.-China experts including Ambassador Terry Branstad, current U.S. Ambassador to China; Ambassador Max S. Baucus, former U.S. Ambassador to China (2014-17); Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, Chairman & CEO of Sinovision Ventures; Jeffrey Lehman, Vice Chancellor of NYU Shanghai, twenty distinguished Committee of 100 members along with many other dignitaries including Ambassador Luo Linquan, former Chinese Consul General in San Francisco. Special thanks to C100 Board Member Mr. Guoqing Chen and HNA Group for their support of the conference.
The conference opened with the Summit which was followed by a Gala Dinner. Highlights included C100 Chairman H. Roger Wang‘s welcoming remarks, Dr. Kai-Fu Lee‘s keynote remarks on artificial intelligence, honoring Mr. Cao Dewang and Mr. Ming Hsieh with the “Leadership Award for Advancing US-China Relations – For Lifetime Achievement as an Entrepreneur and Philanthropist.”
The Gala Dinner featured C100 member Kelly Cha and stand-up comedian Joe Wong, as gala emcees. At the Gala Dinner, C100 was proud to present the “Leadership Award for Advancing US-China Relations – For Lifetime Achievement as an Entrepreneur and Philanthropist” to C100 Member Ming Hsieh, C100 Board Member; Chairman, CEO and President, Fulgent Therapeutics. The Leadership Award for Advancing U.S.-China Relations is granted to individuals who have demonstrated service, leadership, and dedication to strengthening the U.S.-China relationship.
The full-day summit took place earlier in the day and included more than 25 distinguished speakers, four panel discussions and two keynote speeches that addressed a variety of topics: New Forms of Business in China; Business; Finance and Investment; and AI/Autonomous Vehicles. The summit featuredAmbassador Max Baucus and Ambassador Terry Branstad as keynote speakers.
Former U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus kicked things off with framing the current state of the U.S.-China relationship from an American perspective, noting that “It’s a question of mutual respect…Neither country can bully the other.” He added that the U.S. has to pursue a long-term strategic policy towards China, not just a tactical policy. He also commended C100 for its work in building bridges, noting “there’s no end to how much more each of us can do to advance the ball in the interest of the two countries working together.”
The first panel “New Forms of Business in China” was chaired by Huiyao (Henry) Wang, Founder and President, Center for China and Globalization, and explored the new forms of businesses and industries that will help propel China into its next phase of economic growth. Panelists Roger Houben, CEO, iP2 Entertainment; Benson Lu, Managing Director, RT Capital, ICBC International; Xiaoxu Wang, CEO, China-University Intellectual Property Operation Platform; Chris Whittle, Chairman & CEO, Whittle School and Studios; and Ligang Zhang, CEO, iKang Guobin Healthcare Group, Inc. discussed innovations in healthcare (as the biggest growing sector), education (second biggest sector after healthcare), and travel and entertainment, all sectors that are poised to both contribute to and benefit from China’s continuing economic reforms. Panelists were all bullish on the opportunities ahead and agreed that intellectual property (IP) reforms and the development of artificial intelligence (AI) are two critical factors that will impact the development of these sectors.
The second panel of the day on Business looked at the current challenges facing businesses in China as the result of tensions and uncertainties in the U.S.-China relationship. Panel Chair Ya-Qin Zhang, C100 member and President of Baidu, Inc. engaged panelists Derek Chang, CEO, NBA China; Mark Duval, President, Terex Greater China; Ming Hsieh, C100 member and Chairman and CEO of Fulgent Therapeutics; and William Zarit, Chairman, American Chamber of Commerce, in a lively discussion of how tariffs and trade sanctions have only hastened the need for China to open up its markets and engage in economic and structural reform, not because of external pressure, but because doing so is in China’s economic interest. Panelists discussed the many business and economic opportunities that awaited in the undertaking of such reforms.
Following Ambassador Branstad’s luncheon keynote speech, C100 member and conference Co-ChairHoward Li presented Mr. Cao Dewang with the “Leadership Award for Advancing US-China Relations – For Lifetime Achievement as an Entrepreneur and Philanthropist.” Mr. Cao commented on U.S.-China trade tension by saying:
“It’s in line with the interests of the whole world, including China and the United States, if both parties can sit down to talk with a friendly and positive attitude to solve the problem…I hope that both China and the United States, and all sections of both communities, discuss and review this issue historically and systematically. Seeking truth from facts is the fundamental solution to the problem, and will help to promote the global economy. Nowadays, the global economy is not good. If the U.S. and China are hostile towards each other, I believe it will not only affect the two countries but also the world.”
Dazong Wang introduced Jeffrey Lehman, Vice Chancellor of NYU Shanghai. Lehman said “…if we are going to see the next generation truly flourish, all of us, not just universities, need to speak out for cooperation and respect for difference, for humanism and for cosmopolitanism.”
The third panel, “Finance and Investment,” was chaired by Hans Diederen, Managing Director, Golden Eagle International Retail Group, and featured Wei Sun Christianson, C100 Member and Co-CEO, Asia Pacific & CEO of China Morgan Stanley; Paul Gan, Global Head of Fund-of-Hedge-Funds, Noah Holdings; Christine Lam, Chief Executive Officer, Citi China and President, Citibank (China) Co., Ltd.; and Levin Zhu, Former CEO, China International Capital Corporation. The panelists addressed the size of China’s debt and how it presents various challenges and opportunities, and macroeconomic factors affecting the economy’s growth profile. It also touched on the evolution of how China’s financial markets have opened up to the West, the re-engineering of consumer banking and advancement of financial technology not only for economic improvements but also quality of life, and the future of investing in cutting edge technology.
The summit concluded with an engaging panel on artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles. The panel was chaired by Mei-Wei Cheng, C100 member and Chairman, HCP Packaging, with notable participants that included John Cheng, Vice President, Ford Greater China; Bruno Lambert, Senior VP, Smart EV Business Group of UCAR Inc.; Dazong Wang, C100 member and Chairman, Ophoenix Capital Management Inc.; and Diange Yang, Chair, Department of Automotive Engineering, Tsinghua University.
The Conference included a second day that featured the Leadership Scholarship Program (LSP) 2018 awards ceremony. As C100’s signature program in China, the Leadership Scholarship Program was established in 2005 with the goal of recognizing and fostering the leadership potential of young Chinese students, encouraging better understanding and exchange between the U.S. and China.
This year, 32 awardees selected from the top 18 institutions participated in the conference and mentoring program. Two panels were held: a panel discussion on “U.S.-China Educational Exchange” and one on “Leadership Development.”
C100 member and panel chair Edmond H. Pi (Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine) led the first panel which included insightful commentary from Wendy Kuran, Associate Vice President for Development, Duke University; David Moser, Associate Dean, Yenching Academy, Peking University; David Q. Pan, Executive Dean, Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University; and Xuesong Shen, Deputy Secretary-General, China Education Association for International Exchange.
C100 member and Chairman of C100 LSP Executive Committee Carter Tseng (Founder & CEO, Little Dragon Foundation) led the second panel. The discussion featured all C100 members including Mei-Wei Cheng, Chairman, HCP Packaging; Edmond H. Pi, Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine; Chiling Tong, President & CEO, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship; and Frank H. Wu, William L. Prosser Distinguished Professor, University of California Hastings College of Law.