Sharing hopes and dreams for China

By Eugene Clark
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, February 27, 2013
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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe advised us to "Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men." Similarly, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Community Party of China, Xi Jinping, has spoken movingly of the "Chinese Dream". Xi Jinping has also stressed that China's dream must be part of a larger dream for a world that works together peacefully, constructively and cooperatively to improve the lives of citizens in all countries and helps to create a collective legacy that will make the world a better place for our children and grandchildren and future generations to come.

Among his first meetings after becoming General Secretary, was one with a group of foreign experts working in China. At that meeting and subsequently, Xi Jinping stressed the need for China to be open to and engaged with the world. He referred to the China Dream and the role that individuals, organizations and institutions must play in making that dream a reality. Great countries and great cities around the world seek to attract experts to provide the talent to enable countries to innovate and prosper. Similarly, Xi Jinping has called on the need to attract more foreign experts to China to help find solutions to the many problems that must be solved if China's dream is to become reality. I am honored to have been selected as one of these many foreign experts.

My interest in and involvement with China goes back to the mid 1990's when I was part of a team that received Australia's first China-linkages grant for a joint project between CUPL and the University of Canberra. On that project I worked with CUPL's Professor Wang Weiguo in comparing Australia and Chinese consumer law developments. As Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Canberra I played a leading role in establishing linkages with several of China's top universities, including, in addition to CUPL, Nanjing University and East China University of Science and Technology.

As a citizen of both Australia and the US and with extensive experience in law and education in both countries, as well as 17 years of involvement with China, my aspiration and dream is to make a small but positive contribution to the success of China and the US. If both countries work in partnership to make successful progress in meeting the challenges ahead for the rest of this century, then the chances of the world achieving its collective dreams will be greatly enhanced. Put another way, one of the biggest threats to the world's future is for either the US or China to fail.

How will I contribute to the China dream? I am a senior law professor and university administrator with experience from both the US and Australia. I did my first three university degrees in the US where I was a legal practitioner and dean of two nationally accredited law schools. I completed a Master's Degree in Educational Administration and my PhD in Australia where I was Emeritus Professor and formerly Head of the Law School and Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Canberra. My substantive field of expertise is E-commerce Law. I have been the author, co-author or editor of twenty books. One of my recent publications is as co-author of Internet and E-commerce Law, Business and Policy (Thomson). I also have extensive university leadership experience and have played leading roles, for example, in the establishment of the National Court of the Future and Centre for Customs and Excise Studies.

As a foreign expert working in China I hope to play a leadership role in assisting China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) in establishing a research and teaching expertise in the important area of Internet Law, Business and Policy. With more internet users and with more mobile phones and social media involvement than any country in the world, China's future development must include becoming the world's leader in this new form of commerce. In addition to being a leading manufacturer in an Industrial technology, China must also assume a leading role and Information Age and information communication technology.

As a person who has a strong belief in the importance of creating sound institutions that build lasting change, I believe that China's e-commerce potential will only be achieved by balancing hardware and software. This will require giving more attention to more than the hardware infrastructure itself. Among the most important of these' soft' factors is developing the full potential of the world's most sophisticated computer—the human brain. This will require more scientific and evidence based management practices in both public and private sectors. We also need greater public awareness of science, technology and innovation. It will mean cherishing China's wonderful and proud past while at the same time igniting and nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit among all generations, young and old, so that together they may guide China to a brighter future. I am grateful to the editors of China.Org for allowing me to participate so that I may make a small contribution to communicating the China Dream.

The benefits of an Information Age must flow to all citizens. China must work to ensure that it closes the 'digital divide' between the digital 'haves' and the 'have not's'.

In achieving its economic development China must also be sure to maintain important traditional values regarding the family, education, friendship and commitment to improve society and promote prosperity for all.

As a senior university leader, I am also working with China University of Political Science and Law's International Office and Research Office. I am assisting the College of Comparative Law in further developing the China-Australia and China-US Law Institutes. This involves promoting international linkages, new course development and professional development for faculty.

As a commercial lawyer I am keenly aware that China's e-commerce potential will not be fully realized without putting into place the appropriate legal infrastructure and architecture that strike the appropriate balance between business, consumer, government and other stakeholders' interests. I have a special interest in dispute resolution, including how society can set up electronic dispute resolution mechanisms that will meet the needs of internet commerce.

As a former US based CEO, one of the most powerful lessons I learned is that dreams and vision will be hallucination without excellence in execution. In whatever I do I hope to help improve the process in order to maximize the chances of successful outcomes and enable growth to scale.

As a business entrepreneur, I have a special interest in the role of competition and especially the importance of facilitating small business growth with important outputs for China in both innovation and job creation.

As a social entrepreneur and one experiencing Beijing's challenges with pollution, I am reminded of the importance that we all work together to ensure that future growth and development also includes improvement and protection of the environment so that the future growth achieved will be truly sustainable and enrich the lives of its citizens socially and personally as well as economically.

As a former High School deputy principal and experienced educator, I know that China's dream must be built upon a solid foundation of excellence in education for all Chinese citizens. Also, the various levels of education must work closely together and with industry to ensure that we are educating citizens not only for vital jobs, but for life.

I have been fortunate to have and be working with many wonderful Chinese friends and colleagues. The 21st Century has been termed the 'Asian Century'. I am thankful to be part it and to have the opportunity of making a small but positive contribution to the China Dream and a brighter future for all.

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