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Cheng Siwei, 1935–2015

July 22, 2015

One of China’s most prominent economists, and a major figure in that nation’s economic transformation, Cheng Siwei, passed away on July 12 at the age of 80. Known as the father of China’s ChiNext stock market, and a key player in the development of China’s venture capital sector, Mr. Cheng’s distinguished career included vice-chairmanship of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, chairmanship of the International Finance Forum think tank in Beijing, and leadership positions in academic and scientific institutions. In October 2011, under the auspices of The Asia Foundation, Mr. Cheng traveled to the United States as the Chang-lin Tien Distinguished Visiting Fellow, attending private meetings with policy makers, academics, and business sector representatives and giving presentations at public forums and academic centers in San Francisco, Boston, and Washington, DC. At that time, Mr. Cheng shared his expertise and insider’s perspectives on China’s efforts to rebalance its economy, the next Five-Year Plan, and the role of the green economy. He was also a keynote speaker at the Global Financial Leadership Conference in Chicago. During his visit, In Asia Editor Alma Freeman interviewed him about China’s growth, Europe’s crisis, Occupy Wall Street, and Steve Jobs. Read that interview here. An accomplished scholar and a friend of The Asia Foundation, his expertise will be missed. (A more detailed obituary of Cheng Siwei can be found here.)

Economist Cheng Siwei addressing the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, 2011. Photo/Oliver Petzold

Economist Cheng Siwei addressing the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, 2011. Photo/Oliver Petzold


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InAsia is a bi-weekly in-depth, in-country resource for readers who want to stay abreast of significant events and issues shaping Asia’s development, hosted by The Asia Foundation. Drawing on the first-hand insight of renowned experts, InAsia delivers concentrated analysis on issues affecting each region of Asia, as well as Foundation-produced reports and polls.

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