Trans-Pacific View author Mercy Kuo regularly engages subject-matter experts, policy practitioners, and strategic thinkers across the globe for their diverse insights into U.S. Asia policy. This conversation with Daniel H. Rosen, founding Partner of the Rhodium Group and co-creator with the Asia Society Policy Institute of the newly-launched China Dashboard, a tool that tracks 10 key categories in China’s economic reforms, is the 115th in “The Trans-Pacific View Insight Series”.
Explain the rationale behind launching the China Dashboard.
Policy and business decisionmakers must make critical strategic and commercial decisions about China’s economy and market opportunities based on the growth outlook, which depends on reform implementation, but gauging progress on reform is difficult. The Dashboard helps address that need.
Briefly describe how are the Dashboard datasets are compiled and verified.
We compile the Dashboard using three rules. First, we define reform in each area based on China’s self-stated goals. Second, we evaluate indicators for how reform should show up in observable data, and consult Chinese and Western experts to ensure that the options we select are reasonable. Finally, we make sure that the resulting indicators are easy for non-specialists to understand.
How is the China Dashboard unique as an analytic tracking and assessment tool?
While many analysts look at some selection of indicators for China’s economy, Dashboard is unique in using China’s own vision for reform and developing a tracking resource that is not biased toward foreign interests, or Beijing’s official line, but rather will make sense to all sides.
How could “The Policy Picture” feature in the Dashboard enhance policy analysis?
While the indicators in Dashboard look at concrete outcomes, and not pledges and expectations, the policy picture can be an important guide to the outlook. If the policies discussed today are effectively implemented today, they will move the indicators in the right direction in the future.
How might The China Dashboard be useful to both policymakers and business leaders?
By facilitating greater consensus about the pace and direction of China’s reform implementation, Dashboard will give policymakers and business leaders inside and outside China a shared basis for discussing the outlook. Without objective data, leaders are likely to talk past one another and over-rely on intuitions and conjectures that are less reliable.