Monday, March 26, 2007

A Free Marketeer Leads Shanghai

According to a NYT story:

"The ruling Communist Party appointed Xi Jinping as the top leader of Shanghai...Mr. Xi, 53, was the party boss of neighboring Zhejiang Province and is regarded by political analysts in China as favoring deeper market-oriented reforms."
Read more here. Here is more from WSJ.

What's the likely impact of picking Xi to lead Shangahi?

My take is that, barring a heavy hand extending from Beijing to slow Shanghai's explosive development in order to preserve HK's status as China's financial hub, the appointment of Xi might help speed up the development of market infrastructure in Shanghai. Legal infrastructure and other norms of behaviour which are prerequisites in a market economy are what I have in mind here. Growth rates of Shanghai would inevitably rise as a consquence.

The ironic of all this is that just as we have just picked a Chief Executive here in HK who tries extremely hard to make sure that the development of this ex-colony fits in with China's five-year plan and slow Shanghai's growth in order to protect HK's position China's financial center, Beijing has picked a market reformer to lead Shanghai.
**Picture above shows US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Xi walking together during the former's trip to China last year.

No comments: