CSCS_Newsletter_2 - Editor's Message

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Active response and positive resultFreer labour migration, flows of capital, and trade in intermediate and final goods all promote income equalisation


    Issue 2

Canberra Society of Chinese Scholars



    December 2003



    In the past half year or so, Canberra Society of Chinese Scholars has been very active in seminars, social events, special events, as well meetings with delegations from China. In this issue of newsletter, most of those events are reported. We are also very glad to introduce our new members since last issue newsletter published. Dr Ligang Song has contributed an article related his work. A section for our kids’ Chinese

    language learning is also opened. We encourage more contributions from our members and their families, for the following newsletter issues.



    China-India Relationship

    With growing interests on the closer relationship between China and India, the

    once two hostile countries, Prof. Shuanggu Zhang, an expert on Sino-India

    relation, the former Education Counselor of Chinese Embassy in India,

    presented a seminar on 26 October which had comprehensively covered the

    history, religion, economy issues, particular in the education level of India.

    Beyond the common sense and knowledge of the connection between two

    countries, Prof. Zhang has also drawn the audience's extra attention on the

    dramatic changes and development in the India. From Zhang, we can seek more

    strong connection on the mutual trade and education cooperation within two

    countries in the near future.

    Hongwei Guo

    Financial Advice Seminar

    Financial advisers Chian Sevazlian and Yenni Kuang from AIA Sydney provided CSCS members a special seminar on general financial plan on 14 December. Audienced by scholars with families, they particularly talked about the responsibility, protection, saving plan. Questions were asked for different family situations.

    Xue-Rong Zhou

    Executive Committee Meetings

    Participants: Xiaodong Gong, Xue-Rong Zhou, Hongwei Guo, Fuxin Li.

    Executive committee held 6 meetings during the second-half year in 2003. Many issues have been proposed and comprehensively discussed, while some have been raised and discussed for several times. So far, most of the raised issues have been finalized and the remaining ones are still on the way, hereby to summarize as the following:

Issues Raised Proposal Outline Result stNewsletter After 1 newsletter creation, the meeting has been Xue-Rong Zhou is in

    planning to extend the format of CSCS newsletter with charge of the editing of ndmore contents, and to encourage all members to 2 newsletter and now it

    contribute. is coming

    Activities 1. Planning to organize a Moon Festival party for all 1. Active response and

    CSCS members in Griffin Center. And the details positive result

    have been discussed at the following two meetings

    with proposal budget.

    2. Based on some information supplied by Fuxin Li, 2. This issue will be

    we are going to seek the possibility to organize a conducted very soon

    holiday trip to Lake Entrance for CSCS members,

    where we will stay several nights. After an

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    extended discussion, we decided that Fuxin Li

    would work out the quote detail first, then make a

    decision on the detailed arrangement.

    3. The latest meeting has proposed the possible

    Annual General Meeting (AGM) which will be 3. To be decided

    combined with the possible traditional Spring

    Festival celebration activity. Initially, AGM was

    decided to be held at the end of January, 2004 and

    that will be finalized during the Christmas retreat.

    Grant Based on the application guideline of ACT On the Grant Ceremony

    Multicultural Grants Program for 2003/2004 and in the Law Hall of ACT

    considerable discussion as perspective projects are of 2 November, CSCS

    required to be included in grant application. The was successfully granted

    committee decided Hongwei Guo to make a application $1000

    draft and other committee members could then extend

    or revise further.

Seminar Planning to invite Prof. Shaunggu Zhang to address a Good reaction

    talk to CSCS member on China-India relationship.

    Another seminar about financial advice is also planned.

    CSCS Pamphlet Meeting has coincided on the urgent need for CSCS To be worked out very

    introduction brochure producing. The content, format, soon

    and possible style of printout of CSCS pamphlet has

    also been outlined in the following meetings.

    After some corrections, we will release the latest

    version of pamphlet of CSCS (electronics version) to

    require for the finalized advise and consequently print

    out without delay.

    CSCS Logo Based on the logo draft designed by Xue-Rong Zhou, Xue-Rong Zhou will

    so far we have received more suggestions made by Bo release the optional design

    Wang, Weibang Chen, Zhongyi Li and Tingsong Jiang. to all of the members very

    The committee has decided that all members are soon

    required to vote to choose from the candidate designs.

    If we can not eventually reach a consensus, we will

    seek for help from some professional designers.

    External Events Xiaodong Gong, on behalf of CSCS, presented an Positive feedback by the

    annual report on the meeting of Chinese professional delegates came across

    organizations and Chinese Student & Scholar Australia

    Associations in Australia which was held on 29

    September in Canberra at the Education Office of

    Chinese Embassy.

    Hongwei Guo

Middle Autumn Festival Party

916日:学社于Griffin Centre 举办了中秋节赏月活动:100多人參加了这次活动:使馆教育




    Xiaodong Gong

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Special Event

    President of the People's Republic of China, Hu Jintao, visited Australia from 22 to 25

    October 2003 as a guest of

    the Australian Government.

    Coming shortly after Prime

    Minister Howard's visit to

    Beijing in August, President

    Hu's visit provided an

    opportunity to expand

    further rapidly growing

    China-Australia relationship.

    During his visit to Canberra,

    President Hu met with part

    of Chinese scholars and

    students. He encouraged

    students and scholars to

    study and work hard in Australia.

    Most of CSCS members actively took

    part in welcome and farewell to

    President Hu at airport.

    Part of the CSCS members were happy to

    take a group photo during the visit by

    President Hu


    ...With Suzhou Industrial Park









    Xiaodong Gong

...With Chinese Academy of


    Supported by Counselor Shuanggu Zhang and Mr. Shizhuan Zhang of Embassy of Peoples Republic of China in Australia, CSCS had a meeting with the senior delegation of Human Resource Management from

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    Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on October 17. More than 30 CSCS members or other scholars in Canberra attended the meeting. Headed by deputy director of Bureau of Human Resources and Education CAS, Mr. Xingke Yang, the delegation introduced the developing status of CAS to scholars in Canberra. CSCS executive committee members had a deep discussion with the delegation to set up a formal connection with CAS.

    Xue-Rong Zhou


    Mr. Ming Luo from CSIRO Plant Industry works on seed development using Arabidopsis as a model plant. He identified several genes that controlling seed size. These discoveries have potential implications to crop productions.

    Dr Weixing Shan from Research School of Biological Science at ANU currently works on oomycete genetics and genomics.

    Dr Qi Wang from KAZ Group Pty Ltd. is a senior Analyst/Programmer. He works on development of software solutions for Australian Public Services, Department of Defence and private organisations. Dr Jinglong Chen from John Curtin School of Medical Research at ANU studying on cytokines and their signalling transduction. His previous research focused on structure and mechanism of plasma membrane calcium channels in liver cells.

    Dr Zhongyi Li from CSIRO Plant Industry is working on the understanding of starch biosynthesis in cereals. He has been working on the molecular analysis of the functions of the genes involved in starch biosynthesis, and the modification of starch structure and functionality through mutagenesis and genetic engineering.

    Dr Lintong Feng from Commonwealth Grants Commission is an economist with work experience

    including taxation and economic research, as well as background in metallurgy engineering. The current work is to provide State governments with an equal fiscal capacity (through federal financial assistance) to provide the same standard of services, provided they apply the same effort and work with the same efficiency. His research interests include fiscal equalisation, public finance and taxation, international trade, environment and greenhouse gases, industry economics, reforms, economic policy.

    Dr Bo Wang from CSIRO Plant Industry is working on origins of the causal agent of Fusarium wilt of cotton in Australia, evolution of the pathogen, and assessment of the potential threat of wild pathogens associated with native cottons in the country to Australian cotton production. His interests are soil mycology, plant pathology, and population genetics.

    Dr Qing Liu from CSIRO Plant Industry working in the area of genetic modification of plant lipids. The main focus of research last a few years has been the genetic improvement of nutritional values of cottonseed oil.

    Dr Benhua Tan from CSIRO Corporate computer centre (ITS) is a computer system consultant, specialised in System Engineering.

    Dr Zhongwei Zhao is a Senior Fellow at the Demography and Sociology Program, Research School of Social Sciences, the Australian National University, and a Bye-Fellow at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. His current major research activities concentrate on investigating health transition and mortality changes in China and reexamining the United Nations 1982 model life tables. Dr Huidong Jin from CSIRO is an IT specialist. His previous work was focused on mathematical analysis. He currently works on health data mining.

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The Challenge of Regional Income Inequality in China*

Ligang Song

    Australian National University

    While the Chinese economy as a whole has been growing fast since the late 1970s, a widening gap has opened up real per capita incomes across different parts of the country. In 2000 the per capita real GDP in Eastern China was 14,316 yuan, in Central China 6,130 yuan, and in Western China only 4,713 yuan. Per capita income in the richest parts of Eastern China is on average three times higher than that the poorest Western region.

    Regional income disparities matter as they act as a drag on the overall growth of economy. They are also a potential source of social instability. A major challenge for the Chinese government is how to narrow regional income disparities while pursuing its current growth and reform strategy.

There are two broad approaches to reducing regional disparities.

    One is the market-oriented approach that also seeks to promote efficiency. Marketisation frees up the flows of goods and factors of production within as well as cross-regions. Freer labour migration, flows of capital, and trade in intermediate and final goods all promote income equalisation across regions. Freer flow of factors of production across regions also leads to their best use in production thereby lifting productivity and generating more growth and income.

    The other is the government-driven approach, which is focused on policy measures designed to overcome geographical obstacles to trade, such as differences in infrastructure investment, and to address inequalities directly through poverty alleviation and education. Government support to achieve these objectives is often provided in the form of direct investment and inter-governmental transfer payments.

    Among the root causes of regional income disparity are factors like geographic isolation, initial poverty and underdeveloped infrastructure, government policies which disadvantage particular areas, and traditional culture. There is a significant variety of regional characteristics that lead to different regional growth and per capita income outcomes.

    The Western and Central regions differ significantly from the Eastern region in China in terms of the high proportion of agriculture and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in their overall economies. A region tends to have a lower level of per capita income when its share of agriculture is relatively high. The relatively high proportion of SOEs in the economy of the Western region is a sign that the region has been relatively slow to reform state-owned enterprise and promote private sector development. The high share of agriculture and state-owned enterprise highlight the difficulties that the Western regions face in restructuring their economies.

    Falling shares of trade and foreign investment (FDI) in total GDP are also symptomatic of the problems in the Central and Western regions. They need to create more favourable conditions to promote trade and inflows of FDI. Critical to this is the creation of a more open and liberal economy. Both trade and FDI are important to regional development as they facilitate a deeper division of labour, enhance flows of trade and information, and increase the mobility of factors of production not only capital but also technology,

    management skills and other know-how. These are the engines of structural change and economic dynamism.

    Increasing capital per worker, foreign trade, foreign direct investment and marketisation all play important roles in influencing the pattern of regional growth of per capita income in China. Jian and others (1996)

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    find that the regional income convergence is strongly associated with rises in rural productivity resulting from the market-oriented reform in rural areas, and is particularly strong in those provinces which were allowed to integrate with the outside world.

    Government also plays an important role (critically through government transfer payments) in achieving so-called ‘conditional convergence’ among regional income disparities. The accumulation of human capital

    (defined as proportion of workforce with higher education) is another factor that will lift the performance of low-income growth regions.

    While government can play some role in reducing regional disparities in income, that role can not be treated as a substitute for effectively functioning markets. In reducing regional disparities, market forces, through promoting the operation of the private economy, must be allowed to play their role in restructuring the regional economies and reducing income disparities. To strengthen the role of the market, regional governments need to dismantle local protections systems in order for regional economies to benefit from national and international market integration.

    The real challenge is to distinguish what government should do and what it should not. On-going market-oriented reform, and the institutional change that is necessary to support it, will help China to make such distinctions, in an approach to the problem of regional income disparities that is based on both efficiency and equity objectives.


    Jian, Tianlun, Jeffrey Sachs and Andrew Warner, 1996, ‘Trends in regional inequality in China’, China Economic Review, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 1-21.

     *This article is a summary of research prepared for the APSEG/CASS project on regional disparities in China. The project was funded by the Ford Foundation and assisted by the Ministry of Finance in China.


















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    1. CSSA Meeting

    Organized by Education Office of Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China, presidents and special guests from Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) and some Chinese professional associations around Australia had a workshop at Canberra on September 29 to 30, to exchange experience and to promote the support for the Development of Western China. All CSCS executive committee members attended the workshop. Ambassador Wu Tao invited all the participants to the reception in Embassy of the Peoples Republic of thChina to celebrate the 54 anniversary of the founding of the Peoples Republic of China, and happily took a photo with the participants. 2. Chinese School

    A new Canberra based Chinese school, Standard Chinese School (SCSA) has been registered by Dr Fuxin Li, a CSCS member. Dr Li has 18 years experience on education in China and Australia, as well as 6 years experience on Chinese Language education in Australia. His new school will stformally start Chinese language course on 1 February 2004 at Lake Ginninderra College Belconnen.

    3. Visit by Chinese President Jintao Hu

    On 22-25 October 2003, President of the People's Republic of China, Hu Jintao, visited Australia as a guest of the Australian Government. Coming shortly after Prime Minister Howard's visit to Beijing in August, President Hu's visit provided an opportunity to expand further Australia's rapidly growing relationship with China.

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    4. Visit by Deputy Director Qidi Wu, Ministry of Education of the Peoples Republic of China A delegation from Ministry of Education of PRC, headed by Deputy Director, Dr Qidi Wu, visited Australia in early November. Part of CSCS members and some other Chinese scholars and students in Canberra were met by the delegation. A successful discussion about education, research and other issues cared by scholars and students was held in the two-hour meeting. 5. Visit by President Yongxiang Lu, CAS

    Invited by Australian Academy of Sciences, President Yongxiang Lu of Chinese Academy of Sciences visited Australia in November 2003. President Lu presented a special seminar at the Shine Dome on November 14. Part of CSCS members attended the seminar.

    6. Lakes Entrance Tour

    CSCS executive committee is organizing a retreat tour to Lakes Entrance in December 2003 to celebrate the anniversary of CSCS founding. Several non-members and their families have decided to join us for the tour.

    7. Annual Meeting/Spring Festival

    A combined CSCS annual general meeting and Spring Festival party is being planed by the executive committee. Members will be informed when it is finalized.

    8. CSCS logo

    CSCS logo design has been thoroughly discussed among the members. The final decision will be made soon, and the logo will be used in the next newsletter.

    Xue-Rong Zhou

    This Issue

    Xue-Rong Zhou ( Editor

    Xiaodong Gong Writer

    Yuhe Gong Hongwei Guo

     Ligang Song

    Xue-Rong Zhou

    Xiaodong Gong Proofreading

    Hongwei Guo

    Fuxin Li

    Tingsong Jiang Photographer

    Fuxin Li Huanying Luo

General Inquiries

     Regarding CSCS and how to become a member, please contact with: Mr Hongwei Guo (Secretary of CSCS)

    +61 2 6253-0596

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