Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao defends his country's role in crisis

Posted by: Diane Brady on January 28, 2009

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao gave a blunt assessment of his peers’ performance on Wednesday, in a speech to attendees at the World Economic Forum. “This annual meeting has a special significance,” said Wen. “It’s our responsibility to send to the world a message of confidence, courage and hope.”

While Wen said that China has acted in an “active and responsible way in this crisis,” he had harsher words for other major economies. He blamed the turmoil on the “inappropriate macroeconomic policies of some economies”, as well as those countries’ acceptance of “prolonged low savings and high consumption” not to mention a “lack of self-discipline among financial institutions and rating agencies” and a failure of financial regulators to keep up with what Wen called “financial innovation”.

But Wen emphasized that China’s economy remains “on the track of fast and sustainable growth.” He noted that the “current crisis has inflicted a rather big impact on China’s economy”—from rising unemployment to downward pressure on growth. Even so, he said, “China’s economy is in good shape as a whole” with 9% GDP growth and stable consumer prices.

Wen elaborated on the government’s plan to kickstart China’s slower-growth economy with investments ranging from scientific research to teacher salaries. While Wen argued that the “global financial crisis is a challenge for the whole world,” he gave a clear message that his country will keep its own growth on track.

Wen’s speech was yet another sign of China’s growing assertiveness on the world stage. He spoke of the responsibility that the world’s major powers have towards vulnerable emerging markets, as well as the need for greater regulation.

In response to a question about China’s ability to continue growing, Wen noted that the growth rate had slowed in the fourth quarter to 6.8%. The country has a target of 8% for 2009—a goal that some have greeted with skepticism but which Wen said was “attainable through hard work.” In particular, he pointed to the country’s reform of its banking system, a “massive” savings rate and growing consumer demand. “There is still a gap between the rural areas and the cities,” he says. “No matter how many resources you have, you can never meet the demands there.”

On the subject of climate change, Wen said “we take the issue of climate change very seriously,” pointing to the country’s stepped-up regulations regarding emissions. China is also well ahead of its goals in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, he added. “The Chinese government knows its responsibilities full well,” he said.

And his message to the new U.S. Administration? “A peaceful and harmonious relationship will make both countries winners,” he said. “A contentious one will make us losers.” Continued cooperation will benefit not only the two countries, he added, but is critical to the entire world.

Reader Comments

Robert

January 28, 2009 2:03 PM

He's right -- the stupid and the greedy screwed things up for everybody. A big thanks to the USA for all that.

daniel

January 28, 2009 4:59 PM

I agree with Wen and did agree with the person who commented first on the news as well, BIG THANKS to the world police USA

phurpaman

January 28, 2009 5:18 PM

he can lecture!!What about human rights,freedom and the continueing oppression of Tibetans in Tibet?
Since when do we start listening to a murderer?

to phurpaman

January 28, 2009 8:34 PM

phurpaman,

well, in any case, how many iraqis and americans have the bush administration killed, speaking of murderers?
a brain washed, conceited american who never gets to learn about the propaganda in the US media.

Jeremy

January 28, 2009 9:04 PM

Stay on topic. There are sufficient number of moral low points for most nations, West or East.

rcch1

January 28, 2009 9:51 PM

Since when does a country with a history of slavery, racism, and blood of millions of native Indian on their hands, has the right to lecture about human right.

Joko Wardoyo

January 29, 2009 11:23 AM

I couldn't agree more with the Chinese PM. The source of today's trouble whether it is politically or economically lies with the US.

Jeff

January 29, 2009 12:42 PM

well china grew at the expense of american jobs leaving and they dont give a damn about the environment / and /or human rights!.....they should be talking.....look at yourself in the mirro Buddy!.

jeff

John

January 29, 2009 3:31 PM

Well, China didn't take any jobs from us, we sent the jobs to them, because those jobs are too hard and difficult for Americans to do to make a living. We only want jobs in the service industies, the easy job, such as managing money, other people's money. Now we have ourself screwed, and in the process screwed the whole world.

Daniel

January 29, 2009 8:48 PM

The West created the monster called Communist China. We kept investing in a country operated by a repressive regime, paying only lip service to human rights. We looked the other way when China bullied its ethic minorities and threatens to destroy the democracy in Taiwan. The rise of Communist China is an omen of things to come in the 21st century.

Ai Ba

January 30, 2009 2:37 AM

American can do only one thing- change cheap paper into USD. Why don't we create world exchange currency without using USD?
US always point out others and never understand themselves. During Thailand in crisis ten year ago, they said that government should not intervene private sector so finally US company can bought cheap asset in Thailand. So what a double standard they behave now.

Mark Smith

January 30, 2009 10:40 AM

Tweedledee and Tweedledum – Russia and China – IT WAS NOT US YOUR HONOR

Tweedledee and Tweedledum have obviously forgotten their Nations integral part in the world economic collapse. Russian and Chinese combined National greed and self-interest have had at least equal part if not more in contributing to the current economic mess.

Dear Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao China has manipulated the Chinese currency in a successful attempt to move the worlds manufacturing base from the US and other industrialised nations, as well their wealth into China, and thereby reducing the US and other Nations to their current decrepit industrial States.

What has happened is China after manipulating currencies to derive advantage over other Nations has positioned itself in such a way that it can afford to suddenly reduce production. The rest of the world is forced into recession. The rapid decrease in production forces the price of raw materials and other goods into a nose dive and the distressed companies are now open to takeover or at least influence via significant shareholdings and/or financial support.

Who needs tanks.

Did Putin blink when the price of oil more than trebled putting sever economic pressure on the rest of the world? The reason for Putin going into Georgia was simply to control energy supplies to Europe. As well the disruption of energy supplies to Europe does not appear to have helped the world economic circumstance? Russian financial prudence – get real.

Tweedledee and Tweedledum try and change your Nations approach from self-interest to enabling the independence others first, history will reflect much more kindly on your efforts.

BW Observer

January 30, 2009 2:22 PM

After the financial dust and debris that had settled over the past year, it is confirmed now an universal truth everywhere that the US is the epicenter of this global shakeup which drags the rest of the world down, but the trigger that caused this crisis can be primarily attributed to that select group of subprime loaners or cheaters in US who should not have gotten involved in the real estate deals in the first place, but because of the lack of strong regulation policies, everyone was qualified to take a loan whether he or she deserves it or can pay for it! Americans have been spending on creidt for years like no others in the world, but when they do not have the goods to back up the spending obviously this irresponsible and greedy system will wilt no matter how sugar-coated it is covered on the outside ... So until this root social problem is corrected, more disaters will continue to manifest themselves ... it is easy for the obama administration to promise about fixing these social issues but honestly tackling the crisis is another matter

danny

February 1, 2009 12:53 AM

China is doing good. Thats all I know. Premier Wen congrats.

Tommy

February 3, 2009 1:11 AM

It is a selfish statement for US to blame China for the economic crisis because of currency manipulation/high saving rate/low consumption. One should read Empire of Debt: The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis (written by fellow American) which had already predicted this catastrophy in 2006. It is time for US to start cleaning up their own mess and stop blaming/intervening others.

The Nowhere Man

February 3, 2009 1:51 PM

I agree with Tommy and the others who believe the US should spend our time and energyfixing our own problems rather than finding others to blame or to criticize. I lived in Europe and China for almost a decade. It is incredible how we look to the rest of the world when you live outside and learn a bit about the perspective of others. I remember a statement by a young man who was born to inmates in an insane asylum and grew up there. When asked "my goodness what was it like to be around crazy people all the time for years and years?", he answered "I didnt know they were crazy until I got outside." Walk a mile before you judge others, my fellow Americans. And look in the mirror before you speak your judgment.

To phurpaman again

February 4, 2009 10:24 AM

Phurpaman,

You have no knowledge about Tibet's history. Tibetans lives are much better than before. Do you want to see a regression to the slavery society?

With regard to human rights, TONS THANKS to the U.S. government which teaches us how to respect peoples human rights as well as their lifes.

PM Wen Jiabao is a great man, considering his behavior during 2008's earthquake disaster... presented in the most dangerous district, invested great efforts in the reconstruction of the province, and took care of the people. You can look back to Present Bush's behavior in Hurricane Katrina for comparison.

waiting

February 8, 2009 11:15 AM

PM Wen is a great leader,you can see his
hair from black to sliver.

kamran

December 24, 2009 3:37 AM

pleas help me im to much poor. im fighting the message of Christ spreading.because im evenglist , i request to u help me in prayer and offering and come to my country for visit.

kamran

December 24, 2009 3:37 AM

pleas help me im to much poor. im fighting the message of Christ spreading.because im evenglist , i request to u help me in prayer and offering and come to my country for visit.

Post a comment

 

About

How can you manage smarter? Bloomberg Businessweek contributors synthesize insights from the brightest business thinkers, critique the latest management trends, and comment on leaders in the news.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!