China’s Open Door Policy (改革开放) began in 1978 under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, the paramount leader of the People’s Republic of China. On the 40th anniversary of China’s reforms, Young China Watchers (Singapore) would like to examine how China’s changes in the last 40 years have impacted upon its society, leadership and people at large. We have invited the following speakers to look at China’s transformation through these angles:
– Political : How have the reforms in the past decades changed the views of China’s past and present political leaders and how will it shape their worldview going forward?
[Speaker : Mr Keith Zhai, Bloomberg Government Correspondent]
– People : China society and its transformation – what were the paths taken by the Chinese people? What are the needs and longer term aspirations of the Chinese people?
[Speaker: Dr Zhao Litao, Senior Research Fellow, East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore]
– Social : Because of its one-child policy, China’s population has aged faster than elsewhere, what can China do in terms of its healthcare and social systems to address the struggles that come with an ageing population and changing gender demographics?
[Speaker: Dr Qian Jiwei, Senior Research Fellow, East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore]
– Cultural : What defines the culture of a modern Chinese society? What are the expectations and attitudes of the younger generation who were born and grew up post 1978? How similar or different are China’s youths as compared to the youths elsewhere? Does gender make a difference to the Chinese experience?
[Speaker: Ms Judith Huang, Writer, Tutor, Yale-NUS College, former Editor at China Daily (Beijing)]

We invite Keith Zhai, Zhao Litao, Qian Jiwei and Judith Huang
to discuss.

Hong Kong Singapore Business Association


The event is held in partnership with Hong Kong Singapore Business Association.Hong Kong Singapore Business Association is part of an international network of Hong Kong businessmen in 29 countries. The association is formed by key Hong Kong and Singapore businesses in collaboration with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. More details can be found at

Keith Zhai
Keith Qi Zhai was a former Government correspondent with Bloomberg News based in Singapore after having worked in Beijing for a decade. He was also formerly a government news reporter with Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post. An award-winning journalist, Zhai regularly breaks a wide variety of scoops including the Communist Party’s political reshuffles, economic and financial policies, cyber security issues and beyond. He studied in China, Canada and Japan.

Zhao Litao
Dr Zhao Litao is Senior Research Fellow at the East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore. He obtained his PhD degree in sociology from Stanford University. His research interests include social stratification and mobility, sociology of education, and China’s social policy. His research is published or forthcoming in China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, International Journal of Educational Development, Social Sciences in China, Built Environment, Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies, Frontiers of Education in China, Issues and Studies, Journal of Chinese Governance, and so on. He has authored or edited China’s Social Development and Policy (Routledge 2013), China’s Great Urbanization (Routledge 2017), and China’s Development: Social Investment and Challenges (World Scientific 2017).

Qian Jiwei
Dr Qian Jiwei is Senior Research Fellow at the East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore. He is also a co-editor of the book series Social Policy and Development Studies in East Asia (Palgrave Macmillan). He obtained his B.Sc. in Computer Science from Fudan University, China and Ph.D. degree in Economics from the National University of Singapore. His research on health economics, health policy and social policy has been published in publications such as The China Quarterly, Health Economics, Policy and Law, Journal of European Social Policy, Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, Journal of Social Policy, Land Use Policy, Public Administration and Development, Public Choice, Public Organization Review, Singapore Economic Review and Social Policy & Administration. His recent book is The Rise of the Regulatory State in the Chinese Health-Care System (World Scientific, 2017). His current research interests include health economics, political economy and development economics. His home page is located at

Judith Huang
Judith Huang’s first novel, Sofia & The Utopia Machine, was on the Epigram Book Fiction Prize 2017 shortlist. A three-time winner of the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award, she graduated from Harvard University. She translates poetry and fiction from Chinese to English and worked as an editor for China Daily at its Beijing headquarters.

Singapore – China’s Open Door Policy 40th Anniversary (Panel Discussion) with Keith Zhai, Zhao Litao, Qian Jiwei, Judith Huang [Wednesday, July 11]
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