Who benefits from growth? 谁从发展中受益?

Our economic future in Chinese and British eyes

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sheffield, addressed students at Nanjing University on the subject of political economy and the future for young people of both nations.

1. Who benefits from growth? Our economic future in Chinese and British eyes 谁从发展中受益?中英两国人民眼中的经济未来

It is my very great honour and pleasure to be invited to speak to you today.

I visit you as the President of the University of Sheffield which has a very special relationship with this wonderful place of learning. We are honoured to be your partners within our model Confucius Institute.

I am also a great admirer of your Chancellor Professor Zhang Yibin who I consider to be a true teacher and philosopher.

Professor Zhang Yibin and I have met together now both in England and in China, and in both countries we have talked together from the heart on issues that matter. We have eaten together, listened to stories from each other’s lives and experience, discussed the challenges we face within education, and I have read his scholarly insights on history and political philosophy.

You are indeed fortunate to be led in your education by a man who thinks so deeply about the importance of learning and what will best serve the needs of his students. His insights and his humility mix with his dedication to learning, and bring honour to this wonderful university and city.

2. Seeing together - Chinese and British eyes 共同审视-中英视角

My subject today is given in the spirit of the partnership between our two nations at a time which President Xi has called 'a golden age' of collaboration between us. But I also speak to you in the spirit of our two universities, both dedicated to understanding, excellent teaching and as partners together within the Confucius Institute.

I am going to talk about issues which affect all our lives at a time of change for both our nations.

I will speak about economics and how this affects who we have become and who we might be. I will also speak about education.

I also want to speak to you young people about what you need for your future, and to share with you the thoughts of young people like you in the West.
我还会与你们青年人谈谈你们需要为未来做什么, 并与你们分享像你们一样的西方青年的所思所想。

Most of all I will focus on the people, and I will do all this by trying to find ways we can understand by looking together. We will try to see more by looking through Chinese and British eyes.

3. Highgate cemetery - Karl Marx 卡尔·马克思--海格特墓地

When Professor Zhang Yibin visited London, he was moved to visit the grave of a man whose work he had studied and who is an important link between the thinking of our two countries – Karl Marx.

Some of you may not know this, but Marx is buried in London in Highgate Cemetery.

This is his memorial, inscribed with his famous call for unity amongst workers across the world.

4. An idea which would change the world (Marx and the reading room at the British Museum) 一个改变世界的思想(马克思和大英图书馆里的阅览室)

Marx work would go on to inspire thinking around the world, but he wrote his thoughts here, in the reading room of the British Library in London.

But who was Marx, and what problems was he trying to solve in his own times?

Marx was a Jew who burned with righteous indignation. In London and across Europe he saw injustice and he believed it had to be challenged by the workers themselves.

He thought history would witness a new world order, and that the people would arise.

His writings would go on to shape the political economies of great nations, including this one.

5. The alienation and commodification of workers 工人的异化和商品化

Marx believed, as I'm sure you know, that workers around the world were experiencing what he called alienation.

He was concerned that the people were not experiencing the fruits of their labours, that the means of production was removed from them and were being diverted into capital which would further oppress the workers.

Karl Marx believed that this was the devaluing of what made us human. A worker had become a commodity. He said there was a better way.

Marx did not live to see what he had imagined, but today the writing of this man whose life was very troubled in his own time has gone on to inspire the lives of countries he did not visit in ways he could not have foreseen.

He was in many ways the father of socialism.

How he would wonder if he could see modern China!

6. The new consumerism and alienation 新消费主义和异化

Today though our world is very different, and we still have many problems to solve.

Human beings are still feeling alienation but it is different from the kind that Marx might have imagined.

Today alienation is also linked to consumerism and materialism. We seek a harmonious society and justice for all, and yet many young people know more about iPhones than Confucius. They may measure their happiness in brands and show their success with selfies.

The philosophers of all nations are being challenged by the rampant growth of materialism. As one game show contestant famously put it, "I would rather cry in a BMW than smile on a bicycle."

But I should stop here.

Do I think that Chinese young people should not have phones and fashion? Do I believe that after the West has consumed so much that China should stop consuming?

Not at all.

But I do hope all young people will think about what will really give them a future. And I hope that you will learn from some of our mistakes.

7. Rethinking the global economy 重新审视全球经济

What are young people thinking in the West?

For many decades now, the West has pursued free market economics with a hunger for all the consumer goods which it promised, and this spirit of consumerism is now found all across the world.

Yet the excesses of the free market have also led to enormous inequalities and instability in the economies of the world.

It couldn’t last. Deep cracks began to emerge.

Capitalism alone cannot create a harmonious society, and it will not lead to wealth for all its people. In 2007, inherent weaknesses in the US economy began to spread across the world. This became known as the Global Economic Crash, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

It was termed a 'Minsky Moment' after the great American economist Hyman Minsky who had foretold the inevitable crisis of unrestrained free-market economics。

Governments had to intervene to support banks so that whole systems did not go under. Many of the poorest in society are still paying the price.

Capitalism continued, but with serious questions to answer from its own people. How could this have happened, and how could we ensure it would not happen again?

8. Occupy Wall Street - questioning capitalism 占领华尔街-质疑资本主义

New questions have emerged in the West about our economic assumptions.

The Occupy Movement went into Wall Street to challenge the way we thought about society and wealth.

Who benefitted from growth?

Economists began to talk about the need for new thinking. Capitalism as it had been experienced was now seen not to be bearing fruit, and many young people felt particularly concerned that it was incapable of providing them with a good life or dealing with the big questions for the planet.

9. The rise of socialism and nationalism in the West 西方社会主义和民族主义的崛起

In Britain, many young men and women have become interested in political movements which had their basis in the thinking of Karl Marx. Socialism is experiencing a revival in London and across many of the areas of the United Kingdom where the workers had once manufactured coal and steel.

Men like Jeremy Corbyn who is a Marxist and now leads the United Kingdom's main opposition party appeal directly to those who have real doubts about our current system. This is not a movement of the old. It is a movement of the young who are questioning the system they have inherited.

More worrying political movements have also stirred across the world. Nationalist politicians blame the difficulties of workers on foreign production. From America to Europe, we see leaders who give the message that the way to save the workers is to close borders. To build a Wall.

Perhaps the most well known example of this is Donald Trump,who appeals to older and disenfranchised workers.

He licenses his name to developers around the world, but his slogan which appeals to workers who feel let down by the promises of free trade is 'America First'.

10. Seeing ourselves from a new perspective - the earth from space 从一个新的角度审视我们自己—从太空看地球

There are problems though which need far more than national solutions.

Think of climate change - a challenge which above all demands international solutions for the future of all peoples.

We live together on one fragile planet. We see our earth as Marx never did, nor those who created the traditions of democracy.

In 2016 we can take an even wider perspective. We have seen the earth from space. We know that we are one planet circling just one star in a vast universe. And we also see that our world is rare in its resources and fragile in its environment. We have a duty to care. And to preserve this asset, we must work together.

11. Quote Jeremy Grantham - capitalism is totally ill-equipped... 杰瑞米·格兰瑟姆—资本主义完全束手无策……

China has a vital role to play in leading our world in facing climate change, and it is stepping up to the challenge.

Addressing pollution or global environmental sustainability on a planet which will soon be home to 10 billion people will require central planning, not only the profit incentive.

This is the view of a Sheffield graduate, Jeremy Grantham. Jeremy is an economist, a fund manager and an environmental activist. He says:
“Capitalism is totally ill-equipped to deal with a small handful of issues. Unfortunately, today, they are the issues that are absolutely central to our long-term wellbeing and even survival.”

12. President Xi warns of the dangers... 习主席对……危险的警示

President Xi Jinping agrees.

China has watched a time of challenge and difficulty in the world’s economy at the same time as its own people have experienced tremendous development. He is deeply worried that the desire for wealth could lead some in China to repeat the mistakes of the West.

This great nation is the world’s biggest developing country. A quarter of the world’s population live in this astonishing land.

You have enormous resources in your people and your nation, as well great challenges. Most important, people need to eat and to be safe. But in just one generation you have seen great changes in affluence. China is transformed from the land of the bicycle to the land of the iPhone.
你们的人民和国家拥有巨大的资源。与此同时,你们也面临许多重大挑战。 最重要的一点就是人民对温饱和安全的需要。但是,仅用短短一代人的时间,中国就实现了社会财富天翻地覆的变化——中国由 “自行车王国”转型为“苹果手机王国”。

The private sector now makes up 60% of the Chinese economy. But President Xi has warned entrepreneurs and universities that they must be very careful not to trumpet the western capitalist values which could harm Chinese society.

He is concerned that this will never address structural inequalities.

13. Quote Jim O'Neill - 'It's great to have these...吉姆·奥尼尔:拥有光鲜繁华、生活丰富多彩的市中心当然是件好事... ...

You may be surprised to know that President Xi's concerns that wealth is not being properly shared are also a driving force for some economists in the West.

Lord O’Neill is the Commercial Secretary to the UK Treasury. He is also a Sheffield University graduate.

As an economist for Goldmann Sachs he invented the term the BRICs – a description based on his observation on the talent and potential to be found in Brazil, Russia, India and of course China.

But Jim also cares deeply about working communities. He grew up in the great industrial city of Manchester in the North of England, and he knows that finance and economics have not served the needs of all the people.

He says:
"Don’t let the big shiny city centres of Manchester and Leeds give you the wrong impression – there’s still plenty of poverty. It’s great to have these fancy shining city centres with a lot of things going on, but you must engage with those people in those communities a mile or so outside the centre."

Pure free market economics sees little role for government. Jim does not agree. He believes there is a time to invest, to stimulate and to support what is needed to make change.

Jim is a reformer who thinks big. And he is an internationalist. The thoughts he has about economic growth and social good are as applicable here in China as the UK.

14. Judging economics by how well it serves the people以‘为人民服务’的程度来判断经济好坏

How do we decide what we must do?

The answer was famously stayed by Lei Feng. We must:
"Serve the people wholeheartedly..."

Who are these people we must serve with our actions?

Sometimes the decisions we take have the greatest impact on our family,

At other times the people are those of our nation.

When it comes to the greatest questions of all, the people are all human beings on our shared planet.

We cannot leave the greater good only to the short term interests of shareholders, some of whom may hold the means of production only for matters of seconds as they trade globally to create astonishing wealth.

15. President Xi - 'Development is for the people... 习主席“发展为了人民…

President Xi underlined this message at the G20 meeting in China this month, when he told business executives:

"Development is for the people, it should be pursued by the people and its outcomes should be shared by the people.”

Across the world, economists are asking profound questions about the choices we make.

How can we harness the energy of business without being ruined by its excesses?

16. Quote Andy Haldane - 'It's not just institutions... 安迪·哈丹:机构不仅…

One person who has been thinking deeply about these questions is one of our Sheffield graduates, Andy Haldane, who is now Chief Economist at the Bank of England.

Andy works in the great City of London, a centre of finance of the world and he works to create economic recovery and stability. But he also cares deeply about bigger issues and has met not only the leaders of industry but with people who work with the very poorest in society.

He knows that electronic trading floors do not tell the whole story. He says we need a broader range of measures of well-being, social as well as economic, subjective as well as objective.

But who is in the position to take a long view, when markets are driven by profit?

Andy points to institutions, like Universities or like his own central bank. And he thinks they can make sure that our economic system does not forget the wider needs of the people.
He says:
"The role of the Bank of England is to serve the good of the UK people, as it has been since its inception in 1694."
“自1694年创立以来,英格兰银行的职能一直就是为英国人民服务。 ”

Andy speaks not only about stocks and shares but about employment, health and housing in different communities across the land. Like many of the great social reformers, he is acutely aware of vast differences in opportunities and affluence. He thinks institutions can act with the kind of purpose which is desperately needed.

“It is not just that institutions matter, but that the forces shaping today’s great global systems mean they matter more today than ever previously... They also created the security of environment necessary to generate that progress – for example, through the rule of law and property and civil rights.”

17. Sheffield University 'will be for the people' 谢菲尔德大学将“为人民服务”

The kinds of institutions which can take a long view are rare, but they include universities.

So let me tell you more about my university.

Sheffield University was founded not only by governments and the rich, but by a city built by factory workers, craftsmen and women. This poster shows the ideas of the people who founded our University over 100 years ago and what they wanted to achieve.

It was displayed around our city in places of industry. Workers in factories gave penny donations because they believed a University could help make a better situation. They wanted better health and an education for ‘the child of the working man’.

But look carefully at the most important description of what our university would be.
"Sheffield University will be for the people."

This was a city built by workers who gained a worldwide reputation for their craftsmanship in metals and steel. And in our university, we are not at all ashamed that the knowledge we are privileged to share is at the service of the people.

18. Building bridges as well as walls 建筑城墙,也要修建桥梁

China is famous for its Great Wall.
I have walked on the Wall here in Nanjing and looked out over the beautiful lake and over the city. I have seen the cannon which once protected the city and its people.
But there are times when a people are protected not by walls, but because we build bridges.
We cannot properly serve the needs of our people if we fail to learn from one another. Separation is not safe because we need each other’s insights and knowledge. We need to be part of a wider world.

19. China's ambitions to be a global leader in advanced manufacturing 中国希望引领世界先进制造

And we are already working together.

Let me give you just one example of how we in Nanjing and Sheffield are doing this work.

China is building not only high speed trains but planes. President Xi wants to build greater capacity in areas of manufacturing such as steel, and in aerospace. He knows that this will be vitally important for the Chinese people.

Our engineers in Sheffield are world leaders in advanced manufacturing, working with companies such as Boeing and Rolls-Royce who are developing planes with China.

These engineers are working with your own engineers here in Nanjing. And on this visit I am delighted to say that we have agreed to work even more closely, creating opportunities for engineering students from both our universities to work together on global challenge projects which will create new products, wealth and employment.

20. Manufacturing and nuclear energy - China and Sheffield 制造和核能源-中国和谢菲尔德

Another crucial area where China and the U.K. are working together is on nuclear energy. You may know that just last week the British government confirmed that it will proceed with a joint venture with France and China to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

What you may not know is that the national centre for nuclear manufacturing research in the UK is part of The University of Sheffield, and that we have for a number of years been working with nuclear manufacturers in China on new generation technologies for the low-carbon nuclear energy which will be needed across the world.

We also bring greater understanding to business partnerships by making sure that our Confucius Institute does not only work with schools teaching Chinese but that it builds understanding between engineers, scientists and industry across the great challenges we all face.

21. Factory 2050 2050 工厂

We are doing this using the very best research in the world, and engineers from many nations work on these problems.

In our University we have built the world’s first reconfigurable factory where our engineers and scientists work with over 100 companies to make better products, but also to create jobs and wealth in an area of our country where there has been great inequality. This is a place where the new ideas of big data and high tech materials can be shared with companies and workers to solve problems. It is an exciting place!
It is also a place which is making change which benefits wider society. Our Factory is part of a globally-leading manufacturing innovation district which is leading renewed growth for the people of our city and region, who were once damaged by the forces of global competition and a lack of ongoing investment by central government.

Companies are working with universities and with the support of government to build up an infrastructure which creates greater prosperity and opportunity.

We are serving the people!

22. Skills of the future 未来的技术

And we have not forgotten the needs of the workers.

We began by speaking of Marx and his concern that workers were becoming alienated. In our university, we are lifting the role of the worker to the very highest level. Advanced manufacturing is the subject of PhDs and world-leading research.

We are also developing new forms of technical education which work with companies and young people to give the skills of the future so needed by the economy and society.
These young people will help to create the industries of the future and the technologies which will allow us to produce goods in ways which do not pollute our cities.

23. "He who wants to be a leader must be a bridge" “欲成领袖,先成桥梁”

In the country where I was born – Wales – there is a story told about giant who lays his body down to form a bridge across a river so his men can walk across him. This story was the inspiration for the motto of my school –

He who would be a leader, let him be a bridge.

China is a giant nation. A quarter of the world’s population is Chinese. And today China has seen that its future lies in making bridges around the world.

But bridges are nothing if people do not travel and trade across them, bringing with them ideas and understanding, seeing one another’s riches and exchanging gifts.

Today China is thinking about building bridges, literal and figurative.

Bridges are places of possibility and exchange. China is not isolated, it wants to trade with the world.

The Belt and Road initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping focuses on connectivity and cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the rest of the Eurasia through the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and an ocean going maritime Silk Road.

24. Learning together 共同学习

It is said that he who has all the answers has not understood the question. We have many questions. To answer them, we need to work together.

What will allow us to succeed?

I am convinced that we will do well if we remember two great principles.

First, growth and understanding needs to be at the service of the people. It is this which must shape our purpose.

And second, we will not find the answers to our greatest challenges alone. For us to see the answers and to build a better world for all our peoples, we will need Chinese and British eyes.

25. Khan Heng who sought understanding by borrowing his neighbour's light 匡衡凿壁借光

In his book on The Governance of China, President Xi refers to a beautiful and important story about education.

He describes Kuang Heng who lived during the Western Han period. He was eager to learn but his family was very poor, so he had to borrow books from other people. And not only books! Kuang Heng studied at night, so he needed a light source. Once he noticed a glimpse of light from his neighbour's house coming through a small hole in the wall. Kuang Heng then dug a bigger hole. To learn he needed the benefit of his neighbour’s lamp.

Walls need to be permeable so that we can learn from one another’s light.

As we listen to and learn from one another, we are borrowing the light which will benefit all our people, and the world. There is no greater task or privilege.