The Chinese economy was going through a three-year period of adjustment, but growth could return to about 8 percent afterwards, a Chinese economist told a forum held here Monday.

“From now on to the coming two years, the Chinese economy is actually going through a period of an important adjustment, including reforms and dealing with the consequences of the stimulus package of the financial crisis,” David Daokui Li, director of the Center for China in the World Economy at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management, said.

“And after that, … the Chinese economy most likely will be able to go back to a relatively faster rate of growth,” Li said at the “Big Changes in China: Outlook for the Next Decade” forum, co-organized by Tsinghua University and Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia (CLSA).

“The overall picture of the coming 10 years would be initially low growth like low 7 (percent) from now on to 2016… Then the growth will very much likely pick up to something around 8 percent,” said Li, who is also the dean of the University’s Schwarzman Scholars Program.

Li said the Chinese economy faced a period of contractionary reforms, including anti-corruption and financial reforms.

These reforms were “necessary,” Li said.

He said anti-corruption reform was important for long-term growth and for re-establishing a new model of doing business in China.

From a short-term perspective, Li said the Chinese economy would run through a downward trend at first this year and then pick up by the third quarter, resembling the “mini recovery pattern” seen last year.

Former World Bank president James D. Wolfensohn said a Chinese would be nominated as president of international institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund at some point in the future, due to China’s economic strength.

Tsinghua University President Chen Jining told the forum the extremely ambitious and comprehensive reforms China had announced recently would have a major impact on all areas of Chinese people’s life.

“The world is watching these reforms with great curiosity,” Chen said. “A major focus of the reform is on economic issues, as China has become a major driver of the world’s economic growth over the past decade.”