Li Holds Fast To Financial Reform

Prime Minister Li Keqiang gave a boosterish speech on the new leadership’s commitment to economic reform to the World Economic Forum meeting in Dalian. There wasn’t much if anything new to the broad-brush proposals or to the timetable — gradual. The weight of the speech was more in that he made it than in its detail, and in his declaration that “China is now at such a crucial stage that without structural transformation and upgrading, we will not be able to sustain economic growth.”

That is a message that he and President Xi Jinping will be carrying into the Party’s Third Plenum to be held in November though there it may be less universally well received than it was by the WEF audience. In Dalian, Li did, though, make clear that financial-sector reform was central to the progress. He also held out some hope that foreign financial firms would be allowed a bigger slice of ownership of Chinese firms.

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