Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

The Communist Party and Business in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 9, 2011

From The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers (Richard Mcgregor)

“of China and the China Construction Bank laid off 100,000-plus employees each. In interviews with state bank chief executives, I had always been surprised about their refusal to discuss the job cuts made to get their enterprises into shape for overseas listings, naively thinking it would be a selling point for foreign fund managers. It was only later I discovered that the authorities had classified information about the mass lay-offs as a state secret and restricted detailed reporting to internal publications. Party discipline forbade the bank executives from answering my questions. On other topics related to the Party itself, however, some top executives, like Guo Shuqing at China Construction Bank, were much more forthcoming. Guo was an unusually open official, ebullient and chatty where most of his peers were stiff and formal. Instead of the kitsch replicas of the Great Wall and packs of green tea that many Chinese companies would give to visitors, a beaming Guo would hand out his books on macro-economic management and currency policy. Born in Inner Mongolia in 1956, Guo had been marked for higher office for many years. By his early forties, he had already served as a vice-governor in Guizhou, one of China’s poorest provinces, a sure sign he was being groomed by the Party, which increasingly insists that rising stars do time in government posts far from the more affluent coast. As a deputy-governor of the central bank, Guo had been parachuted in to run the body which managed China’s foreign reserves after his predecessor had committed suicide by jumping out of the seventh-floor window of a military hospital in Beijing. Guo landed at the China Construction Bank in 2005 in eerily similar circumstances, in the wake of its chairman’s detention for taking bribes.”

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