Scholars mull China's future, global role at forum

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The Fifth World Forum on China Studies opens in Shanghai, March 23. []

China's unique growth model is a topic of worldwide interest and will dominate discussion at a high-profile forum that opens today in Shanghai.

At the Fifth World Forum on China Studies, which runs through tomorrow, acclaimed China scholars will weigh in on the country's economic and industrial transition, foreign exchange rate reform and the impact of its rise on the world's political and economic systems.

A trio of global affairs experts are set to deliver speeches on China's distinct approach to modernization, its evolving role in the global economy and new orientations of its foreign policy.

Brazilian economist Theotonio Dos Santos, professor emeritus at Universidade Federal Fluminense and UN-affiliated expert on development issues, will speak about the global implications of China's economic success.

Dos Santos is mostly known for his "dependency theory," a school of economic thought arguing that poor nations on the periphery will remain poor after being plundered for resources by a core of rich countries that dictate terms of trade and economic integration.

Gustaaf Geeraerts, director of the Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies, will talk about the changing China-European Union relationship. Geeraerts also teaches international relations at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Mohamed Noman Galal, former Egyptian ambassador to China and now advisor to Bahrain's Foreign Ministry, will deliver an analysis of Sino-Arab relations.

The speeches will be followed by three roundtables on China's development in the next decade and its cultural revival.

Also today, the forum, with the theme of "China's Modernization: Road and Prospect," will present a prize for accomplishments in China studies to an undisclosed number of accomplished scholars, the second time such an award is given.

The prize was set up in 2011 to honor those who make exceptional contributions to China studies and increase the outside world's knowledge of the country.

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