Already for the fifth time, the Swiss Embassy had the honor to host a Beijing Reception of the St. Gallen Symposium on December 4th 2013, at the Residence. With the topic «China‘s One-Child Policy – Implications on Society and Economy», the 5th Beijing Reception was serving as an appealing appetizer for the theme «The Clash of Generations» of the main event in May 2014, the 44th St. Gallen Symposium.
For the first time, around 20 top graduate and PhD students from various elite Chinese universities were selected to join a pre-gathering in forefront of the reception. The goal was to brief them on the Swiss higher education and research landscape in general, the St. Gallen Symposium in May and to encourage them to take part in the essay competition, in which they would have the chance to qualify themselves for attendance. After hearing the success story of Ms. Che Tang, a winner of the competition last year, many decided to take their chances at the competition.
The panel discussion on China’s One-Child Policy, which took place afterwards at the residence, was a huge success. The panelists, who were from different backgrounds and offered different perspectives included Dr. Urs Buchmann, as Managing Director of Head Corporate & Institutional Clients Asia Pacific of Credit Suisse Hong Kong Branch a European top manager; Victor Gao, Director of the China National Association of International Studies and renowned Chinese public intellectual; Prof. Feng Wang of Fudan University and world-class demographer; Crystal Jiang, as CEO of the Donglin Family Office a young Chinese female entrepreneur and finance expert; and Li Ren, being as CEO of Hangzhou China Arts Corporation a successful international Chinese entrepreneur.
Once again, the discussion was moderated by Mr. James Chau, News Anchor of China Central Television News, who did an excellent job in directing the discussion to the different aspects of the One-Child Policy and its consequences on for example personal life, resource sustainability and of course the demographic challenge and the financial burden it causes to the younger generation. The entire panel discussion was held under the Chatham House Rule which allowed the panelists to openly offer interesting personal as well as professional views. Further they discussed the government’s recent decision to loosen its policy and if or how this will change future prospects. After the discussion, the invited business leaders (Leaders of Today), Leaders of Tomorrow, students of the pre-gathering and the panelists had the chance to exchange during a buffet lunch and drinks.