Victor Shih

China’s leadership is setting a new economic agenda halfway July, and much of the measures focus on the reduction on risk, even if – says political scientist Victor Shih at Bloomberg – that means announced financial reforms will be stalled.


China will proactively prevent and resolve systemic financial risks, and step up efforts to reduce leverage in the economy, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing Xi. He also called for greater accountability for regulators, saying it’s a “dereliction of duty” if they fail to spot and dispose of risks in a timely manner, and stressed that coordination of financial regulation should be improved, and weak links in supervision strengthened.

“The heavy emphasis on risk prevention will put a damper on much-needed reform in the financial market,” such as developing derivatives markets, said Victor Shih, a professor at the University of California in San Diego who studies China’s politics and finance. “With the wording on holding regulators for any signs of instability, they will definitely err on the side of caution. But if regulations are too stifling, financial talent may leave the country.”

Premier Li Keqiang also spoke at the meeting, calling for moderate credit growth and keeping liquidity “basically stable,” according to state television. He backed “professional, consolidated, penetrating” regulation of all financial businesses to reduce risks.

More at Bloomberg.

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