Study of­fers new win­dow on China

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By HUA SHENGDUN in Wash­ing­ton

The In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Fo­rum (IFF) launched a new re­port that con­tains in­sights from 20 of China’s top pol­icy-mak­ers on Tues­day in Wash­ing­ton.

The re­port un­veils the mind­sets of Chi­nese lead­ers as China’s econ­omy faces new chal­lenges.

The IFF China Re­port 2015, pub­lished by IFF in co­op­er­a­tion with Lon­don-based Cen­tral Bank­ing, was re­leased at Johns Hop­kins School of Ad­vanced In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies. IFF is a non­profit in­de­pen­dent in­ter­na­tional think tank based in Bei­jing.

“This is an ex­tremely use­ful re­port, fo­cus­ing pri­mar­ily on re­form in fi­nance and trade,” said Ni­cholas Lardy, se­nior fel­low at the Peter­son In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomics.

Though the re­port has con­straints, “it does a good job bring­ing us up to date on the plans and ex­pec­ta­tions of the re­form ar­chi­tects in China,” Lardy said.

One sig­nif­i­cant fea­ture of this re­port is that many top Chi­nese lead­ers were quoted. Th­ese lead­ers in­clude Com­merce Min­is­ter Gao Hucheng, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Lou Ji­wei, Deputy Fi­nance Min­is­ter Zhu Guangyao, Peo­ple’s Bank of China Gover­nor Zhou Xiaochuan, and many more.

“I was re­ally struck as I was read­ing it how ac­ces­si­ble the in­for­ma­tion is,” said Dan Wright, for­mer ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor for US-China Strate­gic Eco­nomic Dia­logue at the US Trea­sury.

Wright said the re­port had a sense of di­rect­ness to it, which is very use­ful for peo­ple out­side China in un­der­stand­ing the coun­try’s lead­ers.

Two of the lead au­thors of the re­port, Geng Xiao, direc­tor of the IFF In­sti­tute and vice-pres­i­dent for China of Fung Global In­sti­tute, and Yan Wang, deputy direc­tor of the IFF In­sti­tute and for­mer se­nior econ­o­mist at the World Bank, at­tended the event to ex­plain its high­lights.

Wang said one sig­nif­i­cant change they found is that com­pared to 35 years ago, Chi­nese pol­icy mak­ers now have more con­cern for “qual­ity of growth”.

“It is now some­thing on ev­ery leader’s mind,” she said.

Wang also found through writ­ing the re­port that China’s pro­posal for the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank (AIIB) shows its com­mit­ment to a “new mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism”, and that the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity should wel­come this in­sti­tu­tion.

An­other find­ing of the re­port is that ex­ports are no longer a driver of GDP growth in China, which Wang be­lieves has pro­found im­pli­ca­tions for the struc­tural re­form of China’s growth model. Liu Jingyang in Wash­ing­ton con­trib­uted to this story.

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