Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Walker's Exchange of Visits Led to Ocu-China Tie / Year-Ago Trip to Women's College Could Be Historic for Oklahoma's Future

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Walker's Exchange of Visits Led to Ocu-China Tie / Year-Ago Trip to Women's College Could Be Historic for Oklahoma's Future

Article excerpt

It was in March, 1984, that Dr. Jerald Walker, president of Oklahoma City University, was invited to visit Ming Chaun College for Women in Taipei, Taiwan.

He was recommended by a fellow Methodist college administrator to help celebrate Ming Chaun's 27th anniversary. He was accompanied by Dr. Michael Hwang, dean of the Asian Studies Institute at OCU and a former columnist in Taiwan.

Walker was accepted so well that he was invited last fall to visit Mingjin College in Taiwan. On that trip, Walker and Hwang were invited to visit the former moutain home of Chiang Kai-shek. They met a large number of government officials.

Meanwhile, OCU was visited last August from Chin Hsio-yi, director of the National Palace Museum in Taiwan and formerly secretary of Chiang Kai-shek for 25 years.

The publicity in Taiwan and China from those visits led to a visit to OCU last December by nine officials from the Peoples Republic of China, or Communist China.

That's how Walker, Hwang and Willis J. Wheat, senior vice president of Liberty National Bank and Trust Co., came to visit to China in January.

It was because of these events that OCU has agreed to teach a recently-announced masters in business administration program over two years at China's Minestry of Commerce in Tianjin.

This is a significant tie for OCU with China and its rapidly-changing economic system. It could result in long-lasting effects for Oklahoma, which started seeking investment by China through Gov. George Nigh's trip last year.

The MBA program also gives OCU a special status. State University of New York is the only other American University with an MBA program in China. Harvard, Brown, Johns Hopkins, Duke and the University of Illinois have ties there.

However, the experiences of Walker, Hwang and Wheat during the trip are important in themselves.

They reveal the rapidly-changing economic atmosphere of Communist China, plus the opportunities that may be available to cities and states that learn how to work with China. OCU can help Oklahoma acquire that knowledge.

China's new approach to the marketplace was explained by Ma Hong, president of the National Academy for Social Sciences, an information-gathering division of the Chinese government with 11,000 employees in Beijing plus five subsidiaries in provinces.

China had tried to build a Soviet Union type of highly centralized state economy until the death of Chairman Mao in 1976. The result was a stagnant economy, insulated from the world with outdated technology and low worker morale.

Two years later, China decided to seek an economy that would combine some aspects of a free market within a Socialistic framework.

"Their idea is to design their own model unique to China," said Wheat, "instead of following a pre-conceived blueprint. Under the Soviet model, they tried heavy industrial development, such as steel, but they didn't have the market for the products. Now they are turning toward a greater emphasis on light industry and meeting consumer needs."

As a result, China has extensive needs in developing a vast number of strong leaders for management, technology, law, economics and general knowledge of how free markets work.

OCU can help fulfill those needs, said Walker. It's not hard to see how the OCU faculty can help Oklahoma by bringing back knowlede of China's remarkable effort and contacts with China's leaders. …

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