Mr Stephen Perry, Chairman of the 48 Group Club Comes to the 2015 China-West Colloquiums at London South Bank University
7 July 2015
At the invitation of the London Confucius Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine (CITCM), Mr Stephen Perry, Chairman of the 48 Group Club, came to the 2015 China-West Colloquiums at London South Bank University (LSBU) on 16 June and delivered a speech entitled “The New Normal and Common Prosperity, and the Implications for the West”. The colloquium was moderated by Professor Paul Ivey, Pro-Vice Chancellor of LSBU. The event attracted an audience of over fifty people, including members of the 48 Group Club, economists and experts in current affairs, representatives from business companies and organisations, and directors of Confucius Institutes in London.
Mr Stephen Perry is the son of Jack Perry. In 1952, Mr Jack Perry met in Cambridge with Ji Chaoding, Joseph Needham and two other Cambridge University scholars. After the Cambridge meeting, under the leadership of Lord Boyd-Orr, the Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and Professor Joan Robinson, a prestigious Cambridge economist, Jack Perry joined the ‘Icebreaker Mission’ as one of its organisers to break the imposed embargo and start friendly trade relations with PR China. The 48 Group Club also emerged at that time against this background, with the aim of promoting trade between China and the UK on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.
By combining his reading of historical data, his family’s experience and his personal observations, Mr Stephen Perry related his personal understandings of the new normal and common prosperity, as well as its implications for the West. Widely referenced and highly allusive, his speech moves from his father’s ‘Icebreaker Mission’ to China’s determination on implementing the ‘Four Modernisations’ and the ‘Open-Door Policy’, from the ‘process of urbanisation’ to the grand blueprint of the ‘One Belt, One Road’. The audience gained a deeper understanding of the impact on the world economic and political structure of the peaceful rise of China. He emphasised that the fundamental purpose of China’s developing her economy is to realise her dream of becoming a moderate wealth society and to bring prosperity and harmony to everyone’s life.
During the Question and Answer session, the audience took the opportunity to exchange ideas with Mr Perry on various current issues, including the impact of the possible British withdrawal from the European Union, the position of the UK in the process of Chinese economic development, and the opportune moments afforded to the UK development from China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ economic strategy. Mr Perry responded to the questions and offered many constructive views and suggestions on the problems and challenges that exist in China’s development. The colloquium was brought to a close with a highly engaging reception where the participants conducted in-depth discussions among themselves on the presented topics.