On December 5th, I spoke with Lord Wei at Asia House in London on the impact of China’s middle class to the West and the meaning of a new Chinese Dream. Sir John Boyd, chairman of Asia House, introduced Lord Wei and me at the event. Below is the speech I gave at the event.
Thank you, Sir John Boyd, for your kind introduction.
First, I’d like to thank Lord Wei and Asia House for hosting my book launch here. It’s such an honor for me. Thank you very much!
This is my second time in London. London is a special place for me because, as a native Chinese, my first exposure to the Western world was through Dickens’ novels and Shakespeare’s plays. I remember the first time I visited London in 1993, I made a point to visit the Dickens House and Shakespeare’s home.
Today, I come to London at a very different time. The West’s economy is faltering. The eurozone debt crisis is looming large. Yet, I believe the biggest story of our time is not Italy’s default, or occupying London. Although these events are very significant, there is another story that has far-reaching implications – the rise of China’s middle class.
Do you know that the Chinese middle class is already five times the size of the UK population? In fifteen years, the Chinese middle class will reach 800 million. It will change the dynamics of the world we live in, and have huge impact on everything – our life, our jobs, our economy, and the world.
Today, I’d like to talk about three things: First, I will tell you a little bit about myself – who I am, and why I wanted to write this book. Second, I will tell a story about people I interviewed in China to give you an idea what it is like to be middle class in China. Third, I will discuss briefly the main thesis of the book: “the Oneness of the World.” Continue reading