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Wen Jiabao on China's Development

Meeting the Challenges: A Historical Record of China's Development
Editor: World Economic Forum
Publisher: The Chinese University Press
Year: 2014

Based in Geneva, the World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss nonprofit foundation best known for its annual winter meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in Switzerland. In 2007, the WEF established the Annual Meeting of the New Champions (also known as the ‘Summer Davos') in China. The meeting is held alternately in Tianjin and Dalian. From 2007 to 2012, the then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao delivered opening speeches at every Summer Davos Forum and answered questions at its Meeting with Entrepreneurs session. The Chinese University Press has published Meeting the Challenges: A Historical Record of China's Development, a collection of speeches by Premier Wen at the WEF events.

From 2007 to 2012, China and the world experienced the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the resulting upheaval in global markets, the impact of China's wide-ranging stimulus package in response to the crisis, and the gradual recovery of world economy. In addition to economic issues, Premier Wen's speeches also covered the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake in China, the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami and the resulting Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan. He also talked about China's political reform in 2011 in a discussion with a select group of participants, stressing the need to uphold judicial justice, the right to vote, the fight against corruption, etc. These issues are still the main concerns of many people in Hong Kong and China. His speeches also show China's increasing emphasis on saving resources and protecting the eco-environment while pursuing economic development. These are unfulfilled commitments as reflected by the fact that smog-choked cities with alarming high levels of PM2.5 particulate matter have become commonplace in China.

Nevertheless, these speeches can be seen as a lens through which readers may better understand the economic ups and downs in China and the world. With both Chinese and English versions, the book will prove valuable to researchers of relevant topics in China and elsewhere.