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Forum on China’s Economics Education and Research in Honor of Gregory Chow

 In conjunction with the CES annual conference in Xiamen, the Chinese Economists Society and Xiamen University organized a forum on Chinas economics education and research in honor of Professor Gregory Chow.  The organizers of the forum also used this occasion to celebrate Professor Chow’s 80th birthday, even though his actual birthday would be in December.

 
The forum was held at the scenic campus of Xiamen University on June 21, 2010.  Professor Chow himself made a keynote speech entitled “Directions of Economics Education and Research in China.”  He was followed by Tongshan Wang, Director of Institute of Quantitative and Technical Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and Weiping Zha, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Higher Education Press.  Wang spoke about the influence Professor Chow had on his own career and recalled the days in early 1980s when the first group of American professors came to China to teach econometrics.  Zha, who during the 1980s was the civil servant at China’s State Education Commission administrating the China-US Exchange Program in Economics, spoke about the foresight and wisdom of Professor Chow in initiating and maintaining the exchange program, despite the criticisms and pressures he endured in the US.  The second half of the forum was a panel discussion where deans and vice deans from seven Chinese universities offered their perspectives on the state of economics education and research in China.  They are:
 
·        Zongwu Cai (Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics, Xiamen University)
·        Li Gan (School of Economics, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics)
·        Ying Ge (School of International Economics and Trade, University of International Business and Economics)
·        Shaoan Huang (Institute of Economic Research, Shandong University; and School of Economics,  Central University of Finance and Economics)
·        Gengqiang Lei (School of Economics, Xiamen University)
·        Ruilong Yang (School of Economics, Chinese Renmin University)
·        Lin Zhou (Antai School of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University)
 
Two other persons involved in the China-US exchanges program also spoke at the forum.  They were Ligang Song of Australian National University and Junsen Zhang of Chinese University of Hong Kong. During 1980s Song was a tutor to the students of the Ford Economics Training Center at the Chinese Renmin University.  Zhang was one of the Chinese students selected by Professor Chow and China’s State Education Commission in 1985 to study economics in North America. 
 
In the evening of June 21, a banquet was held to celebrate Professor Chow’s birthday.  During the banquet, Yongmiao Hong, President of the CES, presented Professor Chow with a birthday present on behalf of the CES and Xiamen University.  It was a golden picture of eight galloping horses, reflecting the well wishes of every participant of the forum that Professor Chow would live another 80 years of healthy and energetic life.  Jason Yin, Treasurer of the CES, spoke about the support that Professor Chow has lent to the CES throughout its 25 years of history. Holly Wang, former president of the CES, surprised everyone by singing an adapted version of a well-known Chinese song, Zhu Jiu Ge (A Song of Toast), in honor of Professor Chow. 

 
 
Gregory C. Chow is Professor of Economics and Class of 1913 Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus, Princeton University.  Best known for the Chow Test for structural change in a regression, Professor Chow has made significant contributions to econometrics and dynamic economics.  Members of the CES particularly appreciate his research on Chinese economy and his contributions to the modernization of economics education in China and the reform of the Chinese economy.  His book, The Chinese Economy, has been translated into Chinese (Nankai University Press, 1985) and is widely read in China.  He served as Chairman of the American Economic Association’s Committee on Exchanges in Economics with the Peoples Republic of China from 1981 to 1994 and as Co-chairman of the U.S. Committee on Economics Education and Research in China with support from the Ford Foundation from 1985 to 1994.  In those capacities he worked with China’s State Education Commission and from 1985 to 1987 selected three groups of Chinese students to study economics in Canada and US.  He oversaw the Ford Economics Training Centers at the Chinese Renmin University from 1985 to 1995 and at Fudan University from 1987 to 1992, through which economics professors from Western countries taught modern economics to graduate students in China.  Furthermore, Professor Chow has advised the China’s State Education Commission on economics education in China, the Prime Minister and the State Commission for Restructuring the Economic System on economic reform in China.