Chan Heng WingManaging Director, International Relations, Temasek Holdings
Former Singapore Ambassador to Thailand
China is joining America as a superpower on the world stage—but many in the two nations view the other with suspicion and distrust. Zheng Mingxun, with decades of experience in these two disparate cultures, has written On Equal Terms to help the West to better understand and deal positively with China. Zheng’s insights provide useful guidance for constructing a cooperative China–U.S. relationship, which is so crucial to our own and future generations.
Charles MorrisonPresident, East–West Center
Zheng Mingxun has spent a lifetime understanding, shaping, and leading business and political developments in the United States and China. On Equal Terms sums up his insight and offers the reader a useful and authoritative overview of 21st century China and U.S.–China relations. Zheng’s central thesis is that there is no intrinsic conflict between these two great powers, as long as they can deal with each other, of course, on equal terms. Easier said than done, but Zheng’s book is a good place to start.
Frank LavinChairman, Public Affairs Practice, Edelman Asia Pacific
Former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore
China has awakened and is in a frenzy to build a great nation, which was always meant to be its mission. The U.S. and the rest of the world must develop a new paradigm and view China truly as what it is instead of defaulting to their worst fear. Zheng Mingxun has the unique combination of experiences to help Americans and others develop that much needed new paradigm. Read it and China’s actions will make much more sense to you.
Sam SuVice Chairman, YUM! Brands Inc.
Chairman and CEO, China Division
With the emergence of China as an important economic power, readers will benefit immensely from Zheng Mingxun’s views and observations given his distinctive vantage point as an accomplished leader in both China and the U.S. In this important book, he sets out to foster greater objectivity and understanding between China and the West. Management at multinational corporations interested in China will benefit from his rich and balanced insights on this often challenging and increasingly complex market.
Spencer Stuart USA
China has risen to become the second largest economy in the world. Nevertheless, it is still a developing and emerging nation. The U.S. is the most developed country and the world’s leading superpower. No bilateral relationship today would be more crucial in shaping the global order and agenda than the one between China and the U.S. in the twenty–first century. Zheng Mingxun with his bi–cultural background has written this thoughtful book to help readers in the West better understand the complexities and intricacies of China. Hopefully, leaders in both the private and public sectors, not only in America but also in the West as a whole will heed his observations and advice.
C H TungVice Chairman of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference
Former Chief Executive of Hong Kong
China’s rise is changing the global equation. Zheng Mingxun with his East–West background has written this timely book to encourage readers in the West to have a more objective and balanced view on China. Reading On Equal Terms will be a good starting point for practitioners in both the private and public sectors to better appreciate the cultural and ideological differences between China and the West.
Francesco TrapaniChief Executive Officer
Introduction: An East–West Journey 1
1 The Hybrid Machine 17
Governance with Chinese characteristics
2 Guns and Roses 31
Expect a roller–coaster ride
3 The Chinese Piggy Bank 45
The global shift in economic relations
4 Not Made in China 61
Why the U.S. trade deficit with China is not what it seems
5 Land of Many Markets 71
"The mountains are high and the emperor is far away"
6 Guanxi and Mianzi 87
Still important despite legal reform
7 Soft Power 97
Winning hearts and minds
8 Climbing the Technology Ladder 115
From "Assembled in China" to "Innovated in China"
9 Winds of Change 133
China′s drive for alternative energy is gaining worldwide attention and respect
10 The Dream Team 145
China and America must put politics aside and work together for the benefit of the planet and for future generations
Appendix A: China′s Current Leadership 163
Appendix B: China–U.S. Joint Statement 165
Zheng Mingxun is a businessman and politician with an international career spanning many decades. His early working life was spent with U.S. multinationals on assignments in New York, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Manila and Hong Kong. In the 1990s, he chaired Inchcape Pacific Ltd., N.M. Rothschild & Sons (HK) Ltd., as well as the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce. Mingxun was active in politics as a Hong Kong legislator and a member of the Preparatory Committee on Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty and since retiring from politics and corporate life has chaired the Link Real Estate Investment Trust. He is now a board member and advisor to companies in China and Asia as well as being active in the private equity arena.
Zheng Mingxun is the author’s pinyin name in Putonghua. Like many in his generation in Hong Kong, he also has an anglicized name and is commonly known to his friends and associates as