China’s Anti-Poverty Miracle?

– Good evening And welcome to the John F. Kennedy Junior Forum My name is Harpreet Singh I’m a first year here at Harvard College and a member of the JFK Junior Forum Committee here at the Institute of Politics The Institute of Politics is excited to be a part of this fall’s Harvard Votes Challenge A voter registration competition between Harvard schools Harvard has partnered with TurboVote to streamline the voter registration process and provide important information about voting deadlines HKS students can sign up by going to and all other Harvard students can sign up by going to Before we begin please note the exit doors which are located on both the park side over here and the JFK street side of the forum over here In the event of an emergency walk to the exit closest to you and congregate in the JFK park Please also take a moment now to silence your cellphones please You can join the conversation online tonight by tweeting with the hashtag #chinaforum which is also listed in your program Please take your seats now and join me in our welcoming our guests, Lu Mai, Rohini Pande, Anthony Saich, and our moderator Graham Allision Thank you (audience applauding) – So good evening I am Graham Allison A professor here at the Kennedy School And we have organized for you a real treat tonight A discussion that I hope will warm your hearts but I think also stretch your minds So the topic tonight is what the World Bank president calls China’s economic miracle And China this year is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of its opening to the market, marks to the market, and considering what’s happened in that period, so let me begin with a pop quiz So 1978, Chinese setting out for the market, what percentage of the Chinese population is struggling to survive on less than $2 a day Look at this pyramid of poverty, you think 25%? 50? 75? Let’s see So 90 So nine out of every 10 Chinese in 1978, I was alive then, some of you were, most of the panelists were Were struggling just having $2 a day So just think about it What is $2 a day? I don’t think probably anybody in the audience can quite imagine, I certainly can’t I’ve tried, but actually the World Bank had tried to describe what the effects of this are on human beings If you’re severely malnourished than somebody on less than $2 a day is as a child, by the time you’ve gotten to your 1000th day of your life, your brain has shrunk by 40% So just as a, and now have a good life I do think of it as bizarre So 90% 2018 what does that pyramid look like? What percentage today? Take a guess Less than $2 a day in China today Let’s see 1%, 1% So one in every 100, well that’s hard to believe It is hard to believe, but brute facts are hard to ignore So what we are gonna do is explore this to try to better understand what’s going on here And we have a fantastic panel to do that So it’s a special honor to welcome our special guest, a colleague from China, Lu Mai, who is a graduate of the Kennedy School in 1991 So for those of you who are students at the Kennedy School, and who then spent two years at, what was then HIID,

which is now the Center for International Development, as a researcher, before returning to China, where he’s been one of the actors in this drama that is seen 90% of people who were below the $2 level raised up to better standards of living And shook the number of extremely poverty people poor people to 1% Lu Mai’s China research development foundation is a leader in China in addressing particularly the problems of the poorest of the poor And he will tell us about that And he also has organized the China Development Forum which is the China Devos So as a former dean of the Kennedy School, I would say this is kind of graduates of the school of whom we are extremely proud as they go out and change the world So we are very happy to have him Let’s say thank you for him coming back (audience applauding) In addition we have Rohini Pande, who is a good evidence for us that this is a topic that’s not finished, and the next generation of scholarship is actively digging in a whole question of poverty, not just the extreme poverty but poverty in developing countries and economic development Rohini is a professor here at the Kennedy School, and is part of the Center for International Development where she co-directs the project on evidence based poverty, how do you call it? – Evidence of policy design – Okay We are happy to have her offer a perspective on that, particularly in terms of the kind of research that’s now being done in the US and internationally and finally our colleague Tony Saich Tony like Lu Mai has been not only a scholar in this space but an actor before he came to the Kennedy School, he for more than a decade ran the Ford Foundation’s projects in China, including projects that were attempting to help Chinese economic development and the reduction of poverty He here is the director of the Ashe Center, which is the epicenter of Chinese studies here at the Kennedy School and substantially at Harvard So we’re glad to have such a fantastic panel, but let me stay with this puzzle for a second, because I’m a late comer to China studies But I’ve been fascinated by China for the last 20 years, and have been studying it as much as I can, particularly the rivalry between a rising China and a ruling US So I commend from an international relations perspective, but I look at this and I say well, well, and how can this be? Now interestingly if we do the next slide here, China’s not done yet So at Davos last year, the leader of the Chinese delegation was a fellow named Liu He, just again gave another good shout-out for the Kennedy School Liu He is a graduate of the Kennedy School, of whom we’re very proud He’s the Vice Premier of China now running the economic program And as he said at Davos, the boss that is Xi Jinping, his boss, has said unambiguously that before the end of 2020, the number of Chinese below $2 a day is going to be essentially zero So they’re not stopping at 1%, essentially zero And Lu Mai works with Liu He, so he may be able to tell us a little bit about how this is going and undoubtedly as all of us know from the old hockey stick, as you get closer and closer to the last mile, it generally gets harder and harder So it’s a more complicated, a more complicated story Now both Lu Mai and Liu He work for a very determined boss, if we will take the next slide here So Xi Jinping, as he says here, has made this one of his highest priorities And again Lu Mai may be able to illuminate that a little bit for us how that works through the system to cause somebody to do something to the extent that it does I think in China it probably has a little bit more direct impact than presidential statements in the US would be inclined to do, but any case you can help us understand that So let me start with the big picture,

and then we’ll drill down So if I started in 1978 and I have 90% of people with less than 2$ a day and now I jump to 2018, and that’s shot to 1%, where I’m on my road to zero And I think what’s going on here? How did this happen? Again I would say it’s a first approximation from 60,000 feet looking at it maybe the main storyline is a poor country, which China was in 1978, becomes a rich country or a richer country like it is in 2018 So the lesson for those of us here from other countries as we have lots of students from other countries, some of whom have big pockets of people below 2$ a day is get rich okay? And John Kennedy’s version of that was a rising tide lifts all boats So if you go from the GDP of China in ’78 to 2018, the sea goes up, all the boats go up Maybe then there’s a few islands or pockets of poverty, but is that the big storyline So Lu Mai why don’t you tell us? You’ve been in the middle of living this for these 40 years Tell us a little bit about how this happened And then we’ll ask Rohini and Tony to offer your thoughts about that – Thank you, thank you Professor Allison Yes 40 years passed very quickly, just like yesterday What’s happened in China, that picture is wonderful, just come down from 90% to 2% First Deng Xiaoping used very good words to set up the goal to motivate the society In letter of 1979, he set up the goal China should build up well off society in the end of the 2000 Well off in Chinese is a (speaks foreign language) The words that come from the poem 3000 years ago I asked some assistant to him or involved in the policy making, but they told us this come from Deng Xiaoping himself Well off means you do not worried about the food and the clothes You’re not rich but you do not need to worry (speaks foreign language) That’s the explanation about the (speaks foreign language) So he used this term under say by 1990, we should reach 500 US dollar per capita GDP under by 2000, it’s 1000 US dollar So he started a reform, and the reform, keep the household responsibilities implemented in the rural and in the urban, so economic growth really solve big problems for the poverty The second thing in the last 40 years is that something, some policy, we can call it pro poor policy, like cease of agriculture tax, provide a free compulsory education, set up a rural cooperative healthcare, and those policy benefits all the farmers, but the poor people get the most benefit from that, and the third element is the government Project to fight with the poverty Government has an aid from 1984 They called that (speaks foreign language) Work for food You come to build a road, build a dam, and then for exchange you’ll get a green, you’ll get the money That’s a 1984, the project So the different generation of leader keep their promise

That’s a political promise Deng Xiaoping made well off society Now by 2020, the goal set up very clear By 2020 is well off society in all front, for all the people So Xi Jinping when he took over, thus he need to keep this promise, zero people under the absolutely poverty Nobody should worry about their food Nobody should worry about their clothes That’s the promise he made, and he really motivated society to fight with this poverty Before him the word we used is poverty alleviation You help poor, but what’s the result is that doesn’t matter, but you give the money, you help them Now for him, the term change is (speaks foreign language) get rid of the poverty That’s very clear, and that’s the standard for the all government official who need to working on this So they took five approach One is developing the project including help those farmers and the poor, give him some tool, give him some money, help him in the technology Second, relocated the farmers from a poor area Totally they plan to move 10 million of those farmers from poorest mountain area And the third one is for education They guarantee if you go to high school, if you go to college from a poor family, it’s free Another one is social security is covered, especially for the poor and the elderly If you will seek rural cooperative health care cover 40% but insurance cover another 40% and the poverty alleviation cover 20 So almost you don’t need to pay if you are in the poverty So the government working on this under motivated the whole society Center government this year spent 106 billion RMB for this remainder 30 million of people still under the poverty Under every governmental ministry, every level of a government get assignment, and the coastal area and the big company has the responsibility to help the county in the poverty They got assignment and they have to finish this job, so this is a big effort Ask some local government official, they think is not so difficult to achieve 3200 Chinese RMB per year So they can help those family to do that to achieve that goal If not they promise to cover that minimum life allowance So this minimal allowance in those poverty county, if it’s a below to 2%, government will take over to cover all those – Okay thank you, that’s helpful So Rohini, you see this when you look at other countries as well as China, and it’s overall What do you say before somebody like me who looks and says wait a minute here’s 1978, here’s today, 90% 1% wow What do you make of this? – So I think you do look at China and say wow I think that certainly true It’s also the case when we look across the world So you talked about in 1978 90% of the Chinese lived under poverty If you looked across the world that was also a

very high number then, and today I think just the last set of World Bank figures came out last week Now it’s down to one in every 10 person lives in poverty down from something like one in every three in 1980 And certainly China has been an incredibly important contributor to it I think if we look at it a broader perspective, it raises two questions First at a very broad level should every country aim to do what China did? You know really try to get growth going and hope that that’ll as you said be the tide that lifts all boats I think the second question is looking ahead how is, so I think China has something like 43 million households still under poverty, and how are they going to get out? How easy is that going to be? So I shall talk a little bit about both of them I think they are quite linked that when we look at reductions in poverty certainly the case that it’s still, most poverty remains concentrated in rural areas I think 80% of the world’s extreme poor live in rural areas So when we talk about ending extreme poverty, we are largely talking about rural poverty and what we see and I think you see that also in China we increasingly see not large swaths of a country that is poor, but I think Graham you used this word You see these islands of poverty among and it’s plenty, so I think you just talked about it, but in China I think for the last 20 years there was something like 680 nationally designated high poverty counties So these are counties that would be removed from this list if less than 2% think in overall channel in western regions less than 3% are under poverty And I think one thing that’s striking is of course it’s a high standard, but that in 2017 of this list of 680 counties, they removed 26, but it was the first time they had done any such removal in 20 years So what tells you that in the last 20-25 years of high poverty reduction, there were these persistent pockets of poverty And this is true I think if you look across the world as well especially in what I often describe as high poverty middle-income countries So these are countries that have become richer, but have at least 1% of the world’s poor living in them and China has features of them So those are countries like India, China, Nigeria, Indonesia, you increasingly see these countries, they’re growing fast They’re becoming more unequal and you find poverty in these sort of bits And so the question is how are you going to remove this last bit of poverty? Is it going to be successful as you described in sort of very top-down manner, where you’re going to engage for instance in policies like moving a large number of individuals away from say rural mountainous areas where you don’t think there’s much economic activity to peri-urban areas? I think history has many examples of attempted large-scale migration that often doesn’t go so well I think there’s a question of if you provide individuals education in today’s world is basic education going to be enough or are we seeing returns to education only when we look at secondary education and upwards? So I think there’s a lot to learn from China for the rest of the world It’s clear that growth is an extremely important element of reducing poverty, but I think we also learn that as poverty falls economic and social disadvantage get increasingly intertwined It also becomes more concentrated in those pockets And I think then the question is can you affect the last bit of economic disadvantage without recognizing that there is social disadvantage that you have to account for and take care of So that would be the point at which (mumbles) – So why don’t we hear from Tony and then Lu you might want to jump back in yes – Yeah I mean first I want to congratulate Lu Mai and his group for all the work that they’ve done There’s no doubt the leadership is important There’s no doubt that economic growth is important, but I think we really need to unpack why the numbers in poverty dropped and also I think one thing of getting rid of the designated poor counties would be important because there’s a massive incentive to stay poor and this answers your question that as the number of poor dropped, the number of poor counties went up, because for example there’s one county Xin Chào, which was put into the list It was worth 560 million renminbi to be classified as a poor county So there was a lot of incentives for local officials not to declare that they were poverty free

because they’d lose a lot of the benefits So that really distorted things I want to make a couple of points and I think it’s important to think about why and to think about the history The first important point is that the biggest drop in poverty occurred before the government set up the leading group on poverty alleviation So something else was going on, which wasn’t related to direct state engagement Most Chinese research concludes that most of the programs that the government has directed had not been successful where they’re directly focused on poverty alleviation There’s other things which have been very successful, which I’ll come back to So direct intervention on poverty alleviation on the whole has not been very successful from Chinese government attempts If you look at why did the first boom came, well it was still collective agriculture and the state increased purchasing prices by 20% and 40% Immediately farmers had a lot more income that led to generating off farm employment and so on and so forth What it did do was the state had a massive budget deficit, so it had to move to alternatives And so basically the collectives got broken up You got household farming becoming the norm So essentially I think what’s driven it are three things Pro-poor policies which Lu Mai correctly indicated, increased marketization and urbanization Those three things have been really important So I think it was more the indirect effects of government policy, rather than its direct interventions, which are important and if you look at the World Bank growth commission, to a large extent what China’s done successfully are things which relate to that, the heavy investment and infrastructure I think one of the most important things China did was build rural roads I mean suddenly there was an incredible rural road building program which was incredibly important for helping farmers get produce to get better facilities into the farms Belatedly important investment in health There’s also been a lot of investment into education, particularly for rural girls and incorporating them into the workforce and urbanization as I mentioned, and also allowing markets to allocate resources efficiently, so I’m not denying that there has been tremendous progress I think if we try and think of it in terms of lessons for other countries to think about, we need to kind of unpack those overall figures and say okay what really worked, what didn’t work One of my fears at the moment moving forward is this policy has to work, so it will work The figures are gonna show everybody’s out of poverty, but an obsession on income masks other problems And I saw something from Tsinghua, a little while ago that shows that over 40% of those in poverty say the reason is from illness and the costs of healthcare So if it’s just a concentration on getting the figures right on income, my fear is it will miss some other figures, and if you look at place like Xu Tran there’s 60% recidivism The people come out of poverty and they drop back into poverty So it’s a fantastic story, there’s no doubt about that, but there’s real things that have to be looked at moving forward to get the last group out of poverty and make sure that as those people get lifted out they stay out of poverty And so some of the things like Lu Mai’s group is doing on these nutrition projects for school kids are really important, because he didn’t talk about it, but what their projects show is the improvement in school of those kids is dramatic through those kinds of programs so those are kinds of things I think need to be stabilized and increased – So that’s extremely helpful We’re getting you know different angles of this and trying to drill down on it and parse it would be the stuff of a long conference, but still trying to trying to get the picture here So again I’m just from a distance I look at this and I think, okay anybody that can take 90 down to one and it’s going to zero, and if the thing in question is having less than 2$ a day, I cannot see how that’s not a good thing and how it’s not amazing and so it amazes me So then I say well if there are other places where for example in Sub-Saharan Africa, there’s 400 million other people now with less than 2$ a day, and in India and Pakistan there’s 200 million people now with less than 2$ a day

Nobody could deny that they would be better off for whatever other problems they have if they had 2$ a day And 2$ a day is not nirvana excuse me I mean that’s how about four dollars and how about a ten dollars So Lu Mai help us how you see this because you’ve been living in the middle of it, and I think particularly as Tony suggested part of what you do is with your Research Foundation is experiment with programs I mean you have one experimental program I think you told me about when we were in Beijing that has, I don’t know how many people? 40 million or some All experiment, with 40 million people or something So tell a little bit how, comment on Rohini and Tony but do it from the perspective of things you’re doing here – Thank you The situation like this China adopted market economy transfer from a central planning economy to market economy That’s a really gifted engine for the girls but meanwhile for the market economy, there’s a winner, there’s a loser There’s some people get rich very quickly, but some people in the remote area need help So very fortunately Chinese government has this commitment they should not, they will not because those area used to be revolutionary base or the minority people live or that’s their responsibility, they need to fight for to help those people So no one behind How can they do this this time? They have our targeting Targeting to a household So fortunately with this internet from a central government they can have exactly the data about this 30 million of the people, where they live, and what’s the problem he face So this is new things compared with before, and if you want to keep you in as a poverty county, that means that those poor family did not change and then you will be punished That’s one thing so new technical really helpful For some approach we still need some time to see, like voluntary migration 1993, I did assessment for World Bank about this migration in Nin Xia At the beginning World Bank thought this migration decreased in size, but this is not force the migration Government build new house Each one cost 200,000 RMB for certain square meter And the poor family they need to pay 10,000 maximum not more than that So all those house is the near the city, near the highway so this is the transition point They come down and then they can go to the city, and get the better public service So that’s another thing We understand for the, you said 680 counties who live in the mountain area are really poor is true In those area, there’s 44 million of children from zero to 15 years old So they live in the poverty area Many of them are poor kids So we need to working on this For example we did some social experiment 2007 under in that county, the boys 30 year boys 13 is just as high as 10 years old in the city So three years shorter That time we started the school meal We learn from US actually And the school meal project went very well

Government now took over covered 32 million of students for compulsory education in the rural area And we measure, we’re monitoring this and measure and we saw in the five years the children grow faster compared with before And then we started our program in the village preschool education This one won one award this time They called Wise Project Award so we were happy, we’re proud of that because children in the project totally will run 2300 and the local government now run more than 10,000 this village preschool It make big changes for those children, but you spend only 300 US dollar per year So for school meal is 800 RMB So 120 US dollar per year, but make a big changes We started 2015 about parenting So we use home visiting model to do that In the first county it’s so successful Now we expanded to seven county under our go We hope government will take over and cover all those 680 counties We give the proposal under Xi Jinping agree with us and gives instruction to formulate the plan for child development in poverty area from 2014 to 2020 So after that by 2020 if government achieve the goal that goal is in the poverty area The children should reach the average of Chinese rural area students achieve so if we reach that level we will continue especially for the zero to three The earlier child development We also learned that from US head start, earlier head start and we adopt that in Chinese local situation, and it worked well and we have a lot of data, if anybody interested we will add to discussion – Lu Mai let me be simple-minded to just try to push a little further and then get comments So it sounds to me like you and Lu He whom I have talked to about this, and he agrees with you, and your boss Xi Jinping, think this is a soluble problem and you’re going to solve it by the end of 2020 That is to have no people, essentially zero you said, below 2$ a day So that’s what you said I’m typing, so you think okay we figured out how many there are, 30 million that’s how many you said are left We know where they are They live in 680 some counties We know their name presumably you said that now we have a database And then we know how to fix this problem We got five things to do We can either encourage them to move and we can have the children have a nutrition program, and we can do this and we can do, so that sounds to me like an engineer basically fixing the bridge or something And it sounds a little ambitious A little, I mean slightly amazing, but it’s amazing, I’m already amazed to get from 90% to 1% so I can believe in miracles So I mean if I got it I mean this is just, this is a problem you’ve defined it You think you understand it and you’re gonna solve it Is that it? – First I am sorry I need to correct that Lu He is assistant to Xi Jinping, I come from nonprofit organization So far behind of that (audience laughing)

– But I know for sure that Liu He thinks extremely well of you and appreciates the work you do obviously – That’s right That’s a policy-making process we learn from here, but in China this is a bottom up and top down process They listen if we give a suggestion to help them to solve the problem Can we end of the poverty? Absolutely poverty? Is that a question? Yes it’s a question We have a same question This gentleman in (speaks foreign language) poverty area, he is the age just 40, he was born 1978 He just started two years grade two, under the unfinished, and cannot continue, but now he is in the poverty What he learned, look at in the war All his money he worked for and he write down on the war, only himself can understand the calculation Nobody understand How to help him? Government build up a house for him, this is government built house, and the government gave him a pig for him to raise and earn some money, but he has no skill The pig was died (audience laughing) So that’s the problem, but now government official give him assignment, as forest guard, Every month earn thousand, but he need to trot the area to prevent fire That’s a public job, but for the future because the future we will have a hi-tech We will have a lot of a new problem, so future is those children So the girls, these are pretty girls So I cannot help her His score is very low, that’s a problem But for another three, this family has, we help him for the preschool We help him for the parenting We help them with the nutrition intervention So look at them, they are more healthy and more educated We will change this inter generation transmission of a poverty We will have those family have a sustainable poverty elevation And I think absolutely poverty will become the history in China, but fight with the poverty is still a big issue – Okay so let me just say that we’re issuing now an invitation to you today to come at the end of 2020 or at the beginning of 2021, and we’re going to have a celebration if this is successful I wouldn’t bet against it I don’t know Rohini what do you say about this? Because no other country does this I mean India doesn’t do this The US doesn’t do this Nigeria doesn’t do this So I find it bold, a little shocking, audacious maybe, what do you make? – I mean as you said we should watch and I think there’s a long history of trying to think of anti-poverty policies as an engineering problem, and mostly everyone has discovered that people make it hard right, so engineers like working with say atoms They’re predictable you know what they do, but then when you have policies and that need to be delivered there are people involved and people as we all know, can’t be fully predicted So just one thing I mentioned which I recently saw which I thought was interesting and I know we are short of time so I’ll end there, is as we know Jinping has also had a very well publicized and large anti-corruption campaign And one of the places where you know there’s been significant effort has actually been in the distribution of anti-poverty funds So a lot of anti-poverty resources in China go to the local county level and then distributed locally, and I think that’s just one example of when there are people and people have different preferences, we may want our resources to go to children,

and you know in many countries the problem is perhaps even larger, but I think that’s just one example of where I think an engineering approach may come up against people – So Tony you have studied this problem for a long, long time and done a lot of things about it for a long long time – Very quick because I guess people have questions I mean I think one of the most important things Lu Mai just mentioned was the learning experience of the government to target households rather than geographic areas Because the targeting to geographic areas a lot of poor people didn’t live in those areas There was a lot of leakage, a lot of corruption So I think that’s been a very important shift The second thing that I worked on a lot back in the early 90s was on microfinance programs, which you know were very helpful in terms of helping particularly women in some of the impoverished rural communities, to find ways to move out of things So I think that was another important factor and again it was a good learning experience for the Chinese government I think the other two problems really come back to what I said earlier Recidivism has been very high in the past So it’s how to avoid that and then the next challenge is really gonna be when you’ve got people out of absolute poverty, not only do you how do you keep them out, but how do you advance to the next step because we do know in urban China also which often doesn’t get spoken about, there’s about 19 million people receiving the minimum living support Debam schemes, And so there’s also a significant set of issues there as well So there’s gonna be enough to keep Lu Mai and his organization going for quite a few years yet – Okay so we’ll all look forward to the end of 2020 or if we finish early, but any case in 2021 Let me open the floor to the audience There are microphones here on the floor, and I don’t know whether upstairs or not, yes at the lounges, yeah, and stand up please at the microphone to make your point please Yes sir – Hi my name is Ryan Davis and I’m a senior at the college My question is about the Social Credit System which is supposed to roll out in China by 2020 I asked this question with the assumption that may be we don’t or that China does not fix or get to the zero percent poverty goal by 2020, or with the assumption and agreement that even if you’re at 0% poverty you can still dip below that Well I know the program still needs to be tweaked and it’s largely unknown The things that I’ve read about have said that undesirable behavior will be punished with things like worse loan conditions, being given the stigma of being a bad citizen, and prevention of certain jobs So my question is that a lot of the undesirable behavior that we punished is a natural consequence of poverty and living in adverse conditions For example a food insecure person is more likely to commit some sort of property crime or theft, and so wouldn’t this direct this program directly impede ability anti-poverty measurements? And if so, how do you reconcile these two goals? – Good question, good Please Lu Mai – We separate with this rural poverty area with urban with some cases that you mentioned Under rural give credit is also the way to help a poor family, but to make sure they have seeds, they have pigs to raise and have some tool It is the problem at the bad loan for Bank of Agriculture for those kind of the reason, they failed to achieve the goal So in that case I think the time they need to be final responsible for those loans – Maybe this gentleman, thank you – My name is Patrick Ramirez I’m a junior over at the college studying government And I was wondering so it was mentioned that you’re part of a nonprofit organization, and how you work with the central government on tackling this issue and I’m familiar with how American, the American government interacts and the rules, American non-for-profits interact with the

American government in tackling these type of issues here, but I was wondering how that works more in China if you could expound on that, and your respective rules – As a nonprofit organization, we are a little bit different, for example with Ford Foundation We affiliated with government think tank That’s advantage or disadvantage Advantage is if we have a some suggestion, we have a result through their channel directly it go to the top leader Disadvantage, yes financially we are independent, but not that totally, not totally (all laughing) – Tony say a word about how the Ford Foundation was part or with respect to this question for foundations and the government and the environment – When I was running the Ford programs in China, it was at a time when the Chinese government didn’t have as much money as it has now to put into projects There weren’t as many international organizations in China apart from the World Bank, there was only one or two others So we in a sense were in a very privileged position to be able to work in policy areas The most important thing though is that we never ran projects in China We funded other people to do those projects So you know it had to be something that organizations or local communities felt was important and then we would help them with funding in what we try to do coming back to some of the points that Lu Mai was making earlier, we try to work with local communities that were trying something experimental So we did a lot of work in reproductive health for example social forestry, but we try to link those experiments, with the relevant ministries at the center So that the local experiment had some feedback into people with decision makers ‘cos no way we could take something to 40 million people or whatever I mean we’re working in very small villages, very small counties So someone had to think this was a good idea and champion it and then sort of scale it up To be honest it wasn’t easy At that time China didn’t have a great understanding of not-for-profits, and there was a lot of suspicion about what we were really doing, but there were a lot of great people doing fascinating things and we were able to help them I think it’s tougher now because the Chinese government has so much more financial capacity that I think finding the niche of where do you provide value-added in China has so much more international engagement Many things that Lu Mai talked about that they’ve learned from experiences in other countries that finding the niche that makes you special I think is tougher now than when I was working there – Gentleman in the lounge please – Thank you very much Graham My name is Demaji and I’m from Nigeria And this is a really interesting subject for me because just last month the Brookings Institution says that the largest number of the extreme poor people now live in Nigeria and no longer India So this is really key for me Right now I think that we do not even have a coordinated approach to this We haven’t even started to tackle the issue of poverty, and meanwhile in the last 10 years, we’ve actually had you know decent growth, so the issue has been how do you make this growth inclusive? So I just wanted to tap into your experience you know to see from a policy point of view, from a government point of view how do you organize yourself to begin to address this issue at the root – Great thank you Lu Mai you have been hired by the Government of Nigeria let’s say Can you do this in Nigeria? What the answer – Yes if I say what Chinese people did and you can do also 40 years it’s not very long for us We went to Liberia and invited by Liberia government for a school meal project, because we run that in China successfully So we would like to share vision Just think about that, inclusive means you think about

people’s need Those students in the school eat one meal per day So they have a land They control the rice but the company import all rice from other country And consumed by the government officials, by the top society of the people That’s unfair That’s not inclusive Home growth under school meal That’s our plan We want to work with them Everything started from small, but I believe, I still have faith about human being People want to have a better life Other people can help each other, and here I would like to say Chinese people make a progress, as you see we work hard Our leader made some mistake but not too many, but we feel very appreciated for the help we received World Bank especially 1980s 1990s help China to design the program for those loans Asia Development Bank, other international organizations, scholar including here We treat the Chinese government official with, Tony, about 600, that’s a capacity building So we very appreciate that We didn’t see we should not, we never forget about this That’s sincerely thank you – Thank you So we have more people up than we have time, so what I’m gonna do since we are already standing, this lady in the lounge and this lady on the floor please ask your questions together, and then we’ll respond to them, and I apologize for the others that are up, please – Hi I’m a student and I’m from China I’m a sophomore in the college I wonder what kind of advice you’d give for someone who would like to go back to China and approach these problems and help to from, the social science perspective, what kind of advice would be appropriate Thank you – Thank you and then this lady’s the final question, yes – Hi I’m Runbo I’m a researcher visiting the Ashe Center Following the Nigerian colleague, I’m from Zimbabwe and 54 other African countries are looking to China to copy the model Are there any disclaimers that you can give us because we might know the steps that led to China’s miracle but we do not know what we should be cautious about in the process, and after the miracle, then what? Are we looking at democracy because that is what some of our leaders are telling us Are we looking at authoritarianism? What should we then look at after the miracle? Thank you – Thank you Two simple questions We don’t have much time but Lu Mai what would you say? – Welcome to join us I bring some of my colleague here, one from back from Oxford, one from Washington University, and so come and talk about that About China miracle, yes, not any shoes can fit everybody So find your way and about the democracy, I should say which one first we need to think about carefully Freedom is the priority, is the precondition for the market economy but no theory proved that democracy is a precondition for market economy So I don’t know The most important thing is countable The government should take responsibility to the people for the people Otherwise election for his career, for her career that’s not solve the problem of the people – So unfortunately we’ve come to the witching hour but let me say again on behalf of the Kennedy School and us at Harvard, it’s amazing to think of students

come here, something happens, sometimes they go back to their country, amazing things happen Harvard tries to take a little bit of credit for it I don’t think necessarily deserved but we’re certainly happy to have been part of it, and I think the point that Lu Mai made about the programs that Tony has run at the Ashe Center training people from China to help build capacity is again suggestive of the ways that we’ve at least had a little part in a miraculous story, but I would say for an opportunity they’d like to hear from one of the people who’s been part of this We’re very grateful and we’re looking forward to your coming back and before as well for discussing how the process is going, but certainly for the end we’re going to look forward for a great celebration So let’s say thank you very much (audience applauding) – Good – Thank you – Thank you – Thanks