Jean-Marc Blanchard is Assistant Dean and Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Shanghai Jiaotong University and Executive Director of the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations. He also is a member of the Editorial Boards for Asian Perspective (US), Journal of Chinese Political Science (US), the International Journal of Emerging Markets (US), Journal of International Business Ethics (China), and the Global Studies Journal (HK) and a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. He previously served as President of the Association of Chinese Political Studies (US). His research interests include Chinese outward foreign direct investment, foreign direct investment into China, the China Investment Corporation, Chinese foreign economic policy, Chinese foreign energy security policy, multinational corporations, and globalization. He is a co-author of Economic Statecraft and Foreign Policy (2013), the editor or co-editor of and a contributor to seven edited volumes and special journal issues and the author of more than 45 refereed articles and book chapters in various academic publications. He currently serves as a Business and Economics commentator for China Radio International’s Global English service and is frequently interviewed by the nternational media. Dr. Blanchard received his Ph.D. and MA degrees in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and his A.B. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to his career in academia, Dr. Blanchard worked for the U.S. government Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and for the investment banking firm Kelling, Northcross, and Nobriga. He also served for many years as a senior consultant for KWR International.
In September 2013, China officially launched the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ). While initial designs for the SFTZ were relatively modest, it quickly blossomed into a scheme for a major revamping of China’s economic model. Anticipated changes included the institution of full currency convertibility, the implementation of market-based interest rates, the establishment of a greater number of private banks, a revamping of China’s traditional approach to foreign direct investment approvals, reduced customs red tape, easier business creation procedures, and an opening of many social services to private and perhaps even foreign investors. It was even rumored that there would be unfettered Facebook, New York Times, and Twitter access in the SFTZ. Speaking for YCW Shanghai, Dr. Blanchard examined what has been done to date versus what was planned, showing there remains a considerable distance between word and deed though some changes have taken place. He then identified various political and economic variables that might illuminate gaps between promise and practice as well as several politico-economic theories that speak to such factors. He concluded by speculating about what the future might bring in terms of this transformative plan and what would have to change for SFTZ plans to come to full fruition.