China’s friendly blackmail of EU may do the trick

September 14, 2011

It’s no surprise that China’s pledges of support for indebted trade partners come with strings. But Premier Wen Jiabao, addressing the World Economic Forum on Sept. 14, was unusually blunt about what he expects in return: to be named by Europe as a market economy.

Wen passes ball on China’s needed reforms

March 5, 2012

The outgoing premier cut China’s growth target in his last parliamentary address, but gave little news on big issues like inequality, the yuan and food safety. A focus on stability makes sense, but the longer important reforms are ignored, the more costly they may be to implement.

China reform may require a deeper crisis

March 20, 2012

The outgoing premier and his likely successor have both called for change. But the biggest required reforms will leave powerful losers. Unlike Greece, Spain or Russia, China lacks creditors or voters to hold leaders to account. Greater turmoil may be needed to force a shift.

China doesn’t need a policy U-turn

May 23, 2012

The premier has given investors hope for a new stimulus. But Beijing shouldn’t panic this time. Unlike in 2008, there are no massive job losses threatening stability, and still too much money sloshing around from the last stimulus. Structural reforms are the right remedy.

Wen’s stimulus medicine may not be best for China

July 12, 2012

Premier Wen says investment is still key to spurring growth. No one wants to end their reign with a hard landing. His successors may disagree, since stimulating investment will worsen the imbalances they inherit. The economy is slowing, but another stimulus would be a mistake.

Trade should leave China and India both winners

December 14, 2010

Decades of mistrust haven't stopped China and India's trade from tripling in the past five years. Now China wants to restart free trade talks when Premier Wen Jiabao visits New Delhi later this week. India has long resisted such an agreement. Yet more open trade should leave both sides winners.