David Dollar has served as the World Bank's China Director and is currently the U.S. Treasury Department's Economic and Financial Emissary to China.
Before this assignment, Mr. Dollar worked as Director for the development research department of the World Bank, overseeing the Bank’s research on the investment climate and growth. He co-authored the recent World Bank reports Globalization, Growth, and Poverty and Assessing Aid. His earlier work focused on aid and growth, and the determinants of the success and failure of reform programs supported by structural adjustment lending. He has been a key World Bank spokesperson on investment climate, globalization, and the effectiveness of aid.
He has a PhD in economics from New York University and a B.A. in Chinese history and language from Dartmouth College.
David Dollar: I think on the Chinese side, there is a skepticism that the United States will accept the rise of China to a kind of coequal status. I think just kind of common sense that you wouldnwant to see another country emerge as the sole superpower; but I . . . From an economic point of view, there no reason for Americans to fear China rising to a similar economic status as the United States. I think in China, there a lot of skepticism that the American people and the American government will accept this. On the American side, I think there a lack of understanding that on the economic side China now really is a capitalist system with a tremendous amount of economic freedom. And this has generated a lot of prosperity. I produced a middle class, and Chinese people are pretty happy with this system. So I do think on the economic side there s a lot of potential for the countries to cooperate harmoniously. So I think on the American side there a little bit of misunderstanding about the extent to which China is reformed, partly because Americans tend to equate capitalism with democracy. And personally, I think in the long run, there a pretty close relationship between capitalism and democracy; but the long run is pretty long. And over 20, 30 years I think you can develop a pretty well-functioning capitalist system under a one party system, and not sure Americans fully appreciate that.
Recorded on: 7/3/07