Today began with a tour through Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City.
In the afternoon, the group was hosted by businessman and developer Mr Li Ruohong at his King’s Garden Villa, one of Beijing’s most exclusive residential properties.
Mr Li regularly facilitates negotiations and cultural exchanges between business and political leaders at his estate. During the Beijing 2008 Olympics, for example, 10 heads of state visited Mr Li at King’s Garden Villa.
Mr Li is an extremely successful, influential and well connected businessman in China. After a successful career as a developer, for the last 10 years Mr Li has been working to promote peaceful interaction between nations and business sectors as chairman of the China World Peace Foundation. He is also a member of the University of Alberta’s Business Advisory Council and was gracious in providing us with his insider views of China’s role in the world and of opportunities for business in China.
Mr Li’s Q&A session provided us with insight into Chinese infrastructure and energy sector investments in Africa, his view of short and long-term growth prospects for the Chinese economy, and, in particular, opportunities within clean energy wind and solar sectors in China. He explained China’s non-interference foreign policy, a policy that seeks the objectives of mutual respect and world peace.
Mr Li discussed the challenges of reconciling China’s traditionally command economy with modern, free-market values. He discussed his vision for what he calls a “global economic supermarket” to which all nations contribute. As long as the rules are clear, Mr Li explained, the outcome of the “global economic supermarket” will be beneficial to all nations.
Mr Li closed by graciously offering his contacts and assistance to the group for anyone who wants to do business in China.