Successful lobbying in China

Back to Yenching

On 24 October I had an evening lecture at The Yenching Academy, Peking University (“Beida”). The theme was lobbying in China. Duration: well over two hours including the Q&A.
This was the second one, see earlier post with the details of the Academy:
“Biking and Chinese cultural conflict”
In the first lecture all students were Chinese; this time all were basically foreigners

Can lobbying in China be successful?

Well, the first questions should be: is it legal? What do we understand with lobbying?
After clarifying that and giving a quick overview on the tremendous changes China saw over the past 35 years, I moved to the core of the lecture. I give two real lobbying examples: the “Athletes Alley”, the huge sculpture of the artist Olivier Strebelle; the re-launching of metro projects in China through the contract for Shanghai Metro Line 3.
Both are two projects I handled personally. Both are of the type what I call “Mission Impossible”.
A lively debate followed where I explained also how one can overcome a new cultural obstacle, how to face challenging environments and the need to think out of the box.
Another issue I discussed is the other side of the medal: the difficulties working with the head office in Europe and the often murky situations one faces there.

Checking “The Athletes Alley”

On Saturday morning 22 November we helped the technical team from Olivier Strebelle so they could make a detailed inspection of the statue in the Olympic Green.
Workers were busy covering the bushes they had planted to prepare for the winter. The bushes are obviously a bad idea as they block the view on the lower part, can’t see the feet of the athletes. The bushes will need to be moved once weather permits.
You can see a couple of shots from the “viewing point” where later the big stone will be placed to indicate the exact spot to make the “focal shot” with your camera.
Valerie can be seen with our car, and in deep meditation…
That part of the Olympic Forest was not open to the public yet. Some more cleaning up has to be done to remove (probably – I hope) what is left of the meteorological station. In other areas of the park some temporary structures are still to be removed (you can see the field hockey structure in the background). Also, no any toilets (whatever you want to call this). Unless you take all the trees into consideration.

Once all done the park will be really nice for walking and jogging.
While the weather was nice and the sky seemed blue, pollution was coming up quickly. See the view along the west road with Panggu Plaza – in the smog. API figures for that day were around 100 – the average – but I guess around noon it was far over 100. You can see the dust settling on some of the tubes…