Professor Ann Lee Talks About What U.S. Can Learn from China

Ann Lee ChinaAnn Lee, Senior Fellow at Demos Talks to Us About Opportunities and What the U.S. Can Learn From China

Professor Ann Lee teaches Economics and Finance at New York University and at Peking University as well as being a Senior Fellow at the famous Demos Think Tank.

I have to commend and thank Professor Ann Lee.

I double booked our appointment confusing PST and EST. My wife told me I would do this eventually.

I had my main phone line shut down so I had to do the interview on my cell phone while a Verizon tech fixed my main line and he wanted to give me progress reports all during this interview.

I know little about China compared to Ann so I had to edit out several very stupid questions.

All in all Ann was a trooper and stuck with me even though she had an appointment with CNN right after our call.

Ann please except my apologies for I know this was one of the rougher interviews you had to do this week. Also thank you for your brilliance and insight on these matters.

We are no longer headed towards becoming a global economy. We are well entrenched in it now.As a nation, we have to learn the truth about our world and other nations and open ourselves up to possibility.

We cannot, as a country, grow out of our current situation by coddling our uneducated, lack minded fear about the other guy. Instead we must take the risk to lean into our fears and embrace all the world had to offer and teach us. – JW

Ann Lee

Adjunct Professor NYU and Peking Univ. Senior Fellow Demos

Ann Lee focuses on issues of global economics and finance, and is writing a book on U.S.-China relations.

A former investment banker and hedge fund partner, she is a frequent media commentator on economic issues. In addition to television and radio appearances on Bloomberg, ABC, CBS, CNN, and NPR, her op-eds have appeared in such publications as The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Businessweek, Forbes, and Worth.

She has been quoted in hundreds of publications and has been an invited speaker at numerous industry and academic conferences.

Ann is also an adjunct professor of economics and finance at New York University and a former visiting professor at Peking University where she taught macroeconomics and financial derivatives.

While she was teaching at Peking University, she also acted as an economic advisor to Chinese economic officials as well as to several large Chinese asset management firms.

She was educated at U.C. Berkeley, Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs, and Harvard Business School.

She is currently a Senior Fellow at Demos, a multi-issue national organization that combines research, policy development and advocacy to influence public debate and catalyze change.

ann lee what can the us learn from chinaBook

What The U.S. Can Learn From China

While America is still reeling from the 2008 financial crisis, a high unemployment rate, and a surge in government debt, China’s economy is the second largest in the world and many predict will surpass the U.S. by 2020.

President Obama called China’s rise “a Sputnik moment”—will America seize this moment or continue to treat China as its scapegoat?

Mainstream media and the U.S.government regularly target China as a threat. Rather than viewing China’s power, influence, and contributions to the global economy in a negative light, Ann Lee asks:

  • What can America learn from its competition?
  • Why did China suffer so little from the global economic meltdown?
  • What accounts for China’s extraordinary growth, despite one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world?
  • How does the Chinese political system avoid partisan rancor but achieve genuine public accountability?

From education to governance to foreign aid, Lee details the policies and practices that have made China a global power and then isolates the ways the U.S. can use China’s enduring principles to foster much-needed change at home.

This is no whitewash. Lee is fully aware of China’s shortcomings, particularly in the area of human rights, She has relatives who suffered during the Cultural Revolution. But by overemphasizing our differences with China, the U.S.stands to miss a vital opportunity.

Filled with sharp insights and thorough research, What the U.S. Can Learn from China is Lee’s rallying cry for a new approach at a time when learning from one another is the key to surviving and thriving.

Key points about the book:

  • Lays out what America can gain by studying China’s approach to politics, economics, finance, education, foreign policy and more
  • Author Ann Lee, a self-proclaimed “tiger mother for the U.S.economy,” has experience on both sides of the Pacific—she has taught in China and worked on Wall Street
  • Counters the trend of demonizing China by offering a rare nuanced view of how Chinese society actually works


Think Tank

A multi-issue national organization, Demos combines research, policy development and advocacy to influence public debate and catalyze change. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in New York City, Demos works with advocates and policymakers around the country in pursuit of three overarching goals:

  • A more equitable economy with opportunity for all;
  • A robust democracy in which all Americans are empowered to participate;
  • A strong public sector that can provide for our common interests and shared needs.


NOTE: In the interview I mention SME’s and TVE’s. For clarity I have here the meaning of the acronyms.

SME Small to Medium Sized Enterprise
TVE Township and Village Enterprise

Contact Ann Lee:
Website / Blog
10 Lessons the U.S. Can Learn form China (Huffington Post)

Twitter: @AnnLeesays
Facebook AnnLeeSays
Linkedin: Ann Lee


2 responses to “Professor Ann Lee Talks About What U.S. Can Learn from China

  1. Thank you Rey, It is a wonderful, insightful and interesting interview with Ann about what is really happening in China.

  2. Very nice interview about China! I am always fascinated about China and our relations with them. Great guest JW. I enjoyed the interview.

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