China’s Emerging Middle Class: Beyond Economic Transformation
The rapid emergence and explosive growth of the Chinese middle class will have a significant impact on China’s course of development, with wide-ranging implications not only for China’s long-term economic prospects, energy consumption, and environmental well-being, but also for potential political change in China.
On December 14, the John L. Thornton China Center hosted a discussion of China’s Emerging Middle Class: Beyond Economic Transformation (Brookings Press, 2010), a new book edited by Brookings Senior Fellow Cheng Li. Panelists including Dr. Li, Brookings Senior Fellow Homi Kharas, and Professor Martin K. Whyte of Harvard University addressed the political, economic, and social ramifications of a burgeoning Chinese middle class.
Senior Fellow Kenneth Lieberthal, director of the John L. Thornton China Center, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, participants took audience questions.
“The 21st century has revalued these small geographies. That’s what the 21st century demands,” Katz said, noting that these days, “[w]e aren’t innovating in isolated business parks” in the suburbs.