Tom Phillips, Telegraph:
Designed to resemble a Ming dynasty table by French architect Anthony Bechu, the Shanghai academy opened in 2005 and is part of a new breed of elite institutions geared towards senior government officials.
A prospectus handed out to visitors said the “international, contemporary and innovative institution” offered “cutting edge leadership training”. Gordon Brown and Romano Prodi have both visited while past speakers include Lord Patten, the University of Oxford chancellor, and Robert Zoellick, then president of the World Bank.
Professor Frank Pieke, the chair of Modern China Studies at Leiden University, said the academies were conceived because of Beijing’s “impatience with the lack of what they call the quality of local cadres and their inability to govern their localities or institutions effectively.
Fascinating to watch China’s shift towards being a services economy. Firms like Ogilvy, DDB and Edelman already have Chinese offices – how long until China starts to grow its own global powerhouses?