State of the local state in China: challenges for Xi Jinping and beyond

Christine Wong

After more than three decades of rapid growth and extraordinary achievement, China is facing big questions about its development model, which has lately been tarnished by an addiction to investment-led growth, environmental degradation, corruption, financial risks, and rising inequality. Local governments have played a starring role in both the achievements and many of the current problems. This presentation will examine the challenge of managing a modernizing China through the lens of central-local relations to argue that the economy has outgrown the administrative structure, and a fundamental reorganization will be required to realign authorities, resources, and incentives.

This lecture is free and open to the public. Please RSVP for this event.
Refreshments will be served from 5:30pm.

About the Speaker

Christine Wong is Professor of Chinese Studies and Director of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Melbourne. Prior to joining Melbourne, she was Professor and Director of Chinese Studies at the University of Oxford, where she was a Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall. She has also held the Henry M. Jackson Professorship in International Studies at the University of Washington, and taught economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz; University of California, Berkeley; and Mount Holyoke College.

Christine has also held senior staff positions in the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, and worked extensively with other international agencies including the IMF, OECD, UNDP, UNICEF, and the UK Department for International Development. She is a member of the OECD Advisory Panel on Budgeting and Public Expenditures.

Christine has published widely on China’s public finance, central-local relations and their implications for governance, economic development and welfare. Her recent research is focused on urbanization and government financial management.

The George Ernest Morrison Lecture series was founded by Chinese residents in Australia and others in honour of the late Dr G. E. Morrison (1862-1920), a native of Geelong, Victoria, Australia.

The objects of the foundation of the lectureship were to honour for all time the memory of a great Australian who rendered valuable services to China and to improve cultural relations between China and Australia. The annual Morrison Lecture is organised by a committee of ANU colleagues from the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific.

The George E. Morrison Lecture Series is sponsored by the China Institute and the Australian Centre on China in the World.


Professor Christine Wong

Dates & times

Thursday, 11 September 2014

5.30pm - 8.00pm


Auditorium, China in the World Building (188), Fellows Lane, ANU

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