Image of China changes at “China speed,” U.S. experts say

Updated 2017-10-07 10:31:53 Xinhua
A man rides an ofo sharing-bike on a bike lane at a public park in Phuket, Thailand, Oct. 6, 2017. China's dock-less bike-sharing company ofo provide d more than 1,000 bikes in Phuket's key locations in late September and offered a 1-month free trial without deposit fee. Now the bike-sharing service has benefited local residents and tourists. Ofo's regular service fee will be charged at 5 Baht per 30 minutes usage, with a deposit fee of 99 Baht. (Xinhua/Li Mangmang)

A man rides an ofo sharing-bike on a bike lane at a public park in Phuket, Thailand, Oct. 6, 2017. China's dock-less bike-sharing company ofo provide d more than 1,000 bikes in Phuket's key locations in late September and offered a 1-month free trial without deposit fee. Now the bike-sharing service has benefited local residents and tourists. Ofo's regular service fee will be charged at 5 Baht per 30 minutes usage, with a deposit fee of 99 Baht. (Xinhua/Li Mangmang)

Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Beijing ... wherever Avery Goldstein went in China, he saw the trademark orange and yellow bicycles of Mobike and Ofo, the Asian power's top two bike-sharing heavyweights.

"This is something a year ago I didn't see and all of a sudden ... they are everywhere. How can this happen in a year?" Goldstein, director of Center for the Study of Contemporary China at the University of Pennsylvania, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

The professor of Global Politics and International Relations also found Mobike and Ofo bikes are much more convenient to use than those in New York City as users can unlock an Ofo or Mobike off the street using just a smartphone and electronic wallet and ride them to their destination.

Goldstein is not alone in experiencing the massive economic development and social progress at the incredible China Speed.

Robert Hormats, Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates and also a close watcher of China, said that every time he goes to Beijing, he is impressed.

"I keep saying Xin Hua (New China). It's that new things are happening, fresh things are happening there all the time," Hormats said. "So I love going, and you cannot understand China unless you go there. You can read, but you got to go there and talk to people."

The level of innovation in China has grown very rapidly, he noted. "China is doing well because it's very innovative and very hard working, and very competitive."

"If you really want to know China, you have to look at China's internal strength ... Don't make the mistake of thinking China is not a dynamic internal economy, because it is," Hormats said.

China ranks 27th in the world's most competitive economies list, up from last year's 28th, according to the latest report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in September.

China was at 46th when the WEF annual report was first launched in 2004.

Meanwhile, a new Ipsos Global poll about countries with positive influence on world affairs found China ranks 8th with a score of 49 percent, 9 percentage points higher than the United States.

Daniel Rosen, founding partner of Rhodium Group, said on Tuesday at a forum in New York that according to his tracking of China's innovation progress, in 18 months from now, the share of China's industrial output from innovation will surpass that of the United States.

"Now China's image is obviously a very powerful country, both militarily and economically," said David Reibstein, professor with Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

"It is the second most powerful economy in the world and growing and getting closer to the most important economy of the world," said Reibstein, who inaugurated the Best Countries ranking in 2016 jointly with U.S. News & World Report.

China was the 20th on its 2017 ranking, and in the sub-ranking of most innovative countries, China ranks 4th, only after Japan, South Korea and the United States.

Reibstein said he loves going to China because everybody that he runs into in China embraces change.

"My experience in other parts of the world and in the United States is people are resistant to change. In China there is enthusiasm in embracing change and that's great to see," he said.

The professor recalled that during his early visits to China, people there wore the same styled clothes and in shops only one brand of shampoo could be found.

"For me it was just amazing, people living there may not have noticed the change day by day, like watching grass grow," said Reibstein, who first visited China in 1981 and has been visiting the country on an annual basis since 1997.

"I would go (to China) every year and see the changes of the sight just so dynamic, so exciting," he said.

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