Economic growth "will be China's contribution to the world"

27 November 2012

Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence and Chen Baosheng, Vice-President of China's Central Party School
Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence and Chen Baosheng, Vice-President of China's Central Party School

An appearance at the University by the vice-president of China's powerful Central Party School has signalled that China is stepping up its public relations strategy under new leader Xi Jinping.

Speaking at a media conference, Chen Baosheng emphasised that the benefits of China's economic success would be shared more equitably in future, while the new regime would introduce plans to crack down on corruption and promote clean government.

Chen said that "serving the people" was a central theme of the new regime, appearing in Communist Party documents for the first time.

"The Chinese people will have more opportunity to share the fruits of economic development in a fair way," he said. He described China's 7 per cent growth rate as "our contribution to the world".

Chen has been vice-president of the influential but secretive Central Party School - the training school for top Chinese officials - since 2008. He is close to the new Chinese leader Xi Jinping, the president of the Party School.

He said Xi Jinping - who was sent to work in the countryside as a teenager during the Cultural Revolution - had served at all levels in China, was in touch with public opinion, and would be "a leader you can trust".

"He understands what is in Chinese people's minds and what their needs are."

Chen led a delegation from the Party School for a roundtable meeting with University leaders including the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Michael Spence, and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor International, Professor John Hearn.

Dr Spence said the discussions had covered food security, public health and the development of a multi-party system in China.

"We listened with great interest because of the University's involvement in the development of the region," said Dr Spence.

"It was useful to discuss ways in which our United States Studies Centre, China Studies Centre and the new Sydney Southeast Asia Studies Centre can collaborate on issues to do with the stability and prosperity of the Asia Pacific region."

Contact: Richard North

Phone: 02 9351 3191

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