China in the World (Bank)

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China’s internationalisation and integration in to the world economy (not to mention big banks and mining companies – more on which will follow soon) continues apace. The latest news is that Justin Lin Yifu (who was recently speaking in London) has been appointed as the World bank’s new Chief Economist. Forbes reports:

    “For the first time, the World Bank will have a chief economist from one of the developing countries that it is its mission to assist.

    The multinational lender on Monday named Justin Lin Yifu of China its new chief economist and senior vice president for development economics.
    The appointment appears to be a product of a campaign by developing nations to get the World Bank and IMF to draw more top staff from outside the U.S. and Europe. It also reflects China’s transformative impact on the global economy.

    …Lin’s appointment comes at a turning point for China in its involvement in world affairs. China became a top borrower from the World Bank in the last few decades after reversing its long-held disdain for such Western-dominated multinational agencies. Last year, it made its first donation to the World Bank, contributing to an assistance project to the world’s most impoverished countries.

    Lin, 55, is a specialist on China’s rural economy and development theory, and has frequently publicly voiced his views on a range of pressing economic issues. Last year, he called for narrowing China’s yawning wealth gap by reducing investment returns for the wealthy. He has also warned of the negative impact on China’s economy should the yuan be allowed to appreciate too rapidly against the U.S. dollar, predicting it would exacerbate the problem of excess production capacity, thin corporate profits and create deflationary pressures.

    It would be naïve to assume Lin’s appointment was purely a result of his academic skills. Lin has rock-solid political backing in Beijing, drawn in no small part from his decision nearly 30 years ago to defect from the Taiwanese army to China. In the middle of the night, he swam a mile and a quarter from the Taiwanese island of Quemoy to reach the city of Xiamen on the mainland, clinging to two basketballs to stay afloat.

    He left behind his identity as Lin Zhengyi, his wife and parents, and an MBA from National Chengchi University in Taiwan and reinvented himself, studying economics at Peking University and the University of Chicago, where he earned a Ph.D.

    Before Monday’s appointment, Lin had established himself as one of the most influential economists in China, setting up his own research institute at Peking University, the China Center for Economic Research.

    But he is more than just a scholar. For years, he was a delegate to the rubber-stamp parliament known as The Chinese People’s Political Consultation Conference. He was a surprise absence from the new lineup that was announced last month. His wife, who joined him from Taiwan, has a seat in the Chinese parliament as an ostensible representative of the breakaway island.”

      See news source:

      China Wins Top Spot At World Bank
      Forbes – NY,USA
      The multinational lender on Monday named Justin Lin Yifu of China its new chief economist and senior vice president for development economics. …

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