In China Too, Special Interest Groups Lobby Against Free Markets

RisingForeignInvestmentInChina.gif Source of graphic:  online version of WSJ article cited below.

 

(p. A1)  BEIJING — When Chinese President Hu Jintao visits the U.S. in mid-April, he is sure to field tough questions about Beijing’s trade and economic policies amid a wave of rising protectionism.  But he also is grappling with a similar backlash at home.

Amid one of the longest and fastest growth streaks of any modern economy, China is wrestling with concerns from a rising wealth gap to corruption to environmental damage.  But the latest uproar has turned on foreigners, targeting the many outside investors that have piled into China and prospered — even while fueling much of the country’s growth.

. . .

(p. A8)  In some ways, the 63-year-old Mr. Hu faces a more complex situation than his predecessors, as China becomes more like the U.S., with greater tolerance of dissenting views and organized interest groups.  Resistance to some market-oriented changes is mostly driven by special interests such as disenfranchised farmers, private businessmen and ministries trying to hold on to their powers.  At the national legislature’s March meeting, lobbying by interest groups picked up markedly.

 

For the full story, see:

KATHY CHEN.  "Amid Tension With U.S., China Faces Protectionist Surge at Home."  The Wall Street Journal  (Fri., March 31, 2006):   A1 & A8.

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