Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

The UP Asian Center in partnership with the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies (PACS) will be hosting the Ambassador Chito Sta. Romana Memorial Lecture, “China's Rise and its Implications for ASEAN” on 10 February 2023, 9:30 am, Philippine Standard Time, ONSITE at the GT-Toyota ASian Center Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public. Online registration is required. Seating is first-come, first-served. 


After centuries of relative decline, China has experienced a dramatic turnaround in development since Deng Xiaoping initiated economic reforms in 1978. By some measures, China is already the largest economy in the world, and in dollar terms, it could overtake the United States within the next decade or so. This is not a given, however, and the country will have to overcome domestic as well as international challenges. On the former, low productivity growth, demographic headwinds, growing tensions between the richer and poorer parts of society, and resurging ideology could derail its success. Internationally, growing tensions with the US and its allies and a resurgence in geopolitical risks could slow down China’s rise, and even risk a fragmentation of the world economy. Whatever the outcome of these tensions, it will have profound consequences for China itself, for the world economy, and for its main economic partners, which today is ASEAN. The lecture will delve into the domestic and international drivers of China’s future success, and will discuss the consequences for ASEAN and beyond.


   Professor Bert Hofman is the director of the East Asian Institute and a Professor in Practice at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.  Before joining NUS, he has worked with the World Bank for 27 years, 22 of which in Asia, and 12 of which in China. Mr. Hofman was the World Bank Country Director for China from 2014 to 2019, the country economist from 2004 to 2008, and the Chief Economist for the World Bank in the East Asia and Pacific region from 2011 to 2014. Before coming to the World Bank, Mr. Hofman worked at the Kiel Institute of World Economics, The OECD and NMB Bank (Now ING). Mr. Hofman has extensive experience in advising governments around the region on a wide range of development issues, and he has published on fiscal policy, debt issues, and China’s and Indonesia’s recent economic history.  View his full profile.


The event is organized by the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies (PACS) and the UP Asian Center. Know more about PACS.


Ambassador Jose Santiago “Chito” L. Sta. Romana was Professorial Lecturer at the UP Asian Center in 2015, where he taught Politics and Governance in China. He was a founding member of the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies where he served as President from 2014 to 2016 before being appointed the Philippine Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. Ambassador Sta. Romana played an extensive role in improving the bilateral relations between the Philippines and China.


For inquiries, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 8 981 8500 local 3580.
The Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The UP Asian Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. It also offers a Ph.D. program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. As an area studies institution, the Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website.