When Kerry Brown first visited Shanghai in 1998, he didn’t have a very good first impression since streets were jammed with bicycles. “I remember I couldn’t even get across the road,” recalled the British author and professor of China studies at the University of Sydney.
But as a diplomat based in Beijing, he visited Shanghai more often between 2000 and 2003 and came to appreciate its diversity. Today it’s jammed with private cars. “I started to feel that Shanghai isn’t just one place, it’s made of different places and I realized Shanghai is a very abundant city,” he said.
Now Brown is not only comfortable in Shanghai but sees it as model and beacon for China’s reform and development, a place that embodies the Chinese Dream.
“Shanghai 2020: The City’s Vision for Its Future,” examines the city’s dynamics, its place in China and changes in Chinese society and the economy.
The book emphasizes three points:
- the future of finance in Shanghai
- the importance of middle class in the Chinese economy
- and what China’s future will be like.
Kerry Brown is Professor Chinese Politics and Director of the China Studies Centre, University of Sydney.
Team Leader of the Europe China Research and Advice Network (ECRAN) funded by the European Union, he is also an Associate Fellow of Chatham House, London. A member of the British Diplomatic Service from 1998 to 2005, he served as First Secretary, British Embassy Beijing 2000-2003 and was Head of the Indonesia and East Timor Section 2003-2005.
Educated at the universities of Cambridge (MA) and Leeds (PhD), Kerry Brown is a prolific author and sought after international commentator on the Chinese political economy, society and post-1949 history.