He suggests that Chinese football build a foundation the way a house is built by focusing on youth football development, and running leagues in an industrialized way so as to create more opportunities for youth talents to pursue a professional career.
However, he says the development of youth football cannot be achieved overnight. "It is unlikely to see results in just three to five years," Wang said. "But it is never too late if concrete actions are taken to develop sports facilities, promote youth participation, and organize youth games."
As long as China has over a million youth players, the Chinese national team will have a chance to become a top Asian squad, he predicted.
The first "China Cup" International Football Championship was hosted in Nanning, the capital of China's Guangxi Autonomous Region in early 2017, featuring Chile, Croatia, Iceland and the hosts. The Wanda-founded annual event is an officially-recognized FIFA tournament whose results count toward the body's world ranking.
Wanda says it will communicate with FIFA to put the future games on international match days so as to increase the quality of the match-ups, Wang revealed. "The tournament is a good opportunity for the Chinese national team to learn from playing against high-quality opponents."
It has been six years since Wanda launched its "rising stars" youth project in 2011. The first batch of youth players will be 18 years old by the year-end. But Wang said it is still early to put them in China's reserve for future World Cup qualifiers as "youth training takes time."
Wanda has spent 100 million yuan (around 14.5 million U.S. dollars) annually for six years in a row for a combined 180 youth footballers to learn, train, and live in Spain. Wang estimated there would be at least two of them capable of playing for China's second-tier sides in the future.
If the youth project continues for another 10 years, it stands to produce young promising players capable of moving to the European leagues, some of whom may even qualify for the Chinese national team, Wang said. "In terms of fostering football players, we have to be patient and wait for up to 10 years before results can be seen."
He also admitted that Wanda's approach is tentative. "You have to try it if you want know whether a measure works or not," Wang said.
But the fundamental thing is that domestic youth training and participation should not fall behind, Wang pointed out. "After all, there is no football power in the world that relies on other countries to foster and train its own youth talents."