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China's road to reform

Zhou Xiao Chuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, tells Sudip Roy why the renminbi was revalued and what financial reforms are next on the agenda.

Zhou: looking to reform rural financial system

ZHOU XIAO CHUAN is in a relaxed mood. The governor of the People’s Bank of China is sitting in his Washington, DC, hotel suite during the IMF/World Bank meetings sipping a beer. Maybe Zhou is at ease because the gathering is closing and he is looking forward to returning to Beijing. Or maybe it’s because for the first time in a long while at an IMF meeting the biggest industrialized countries haven’t criticized China’s exchange rate policy, which Zhou oversees. In a September 23 statement, the G7 said: “We welcome the recent decision by the Chinese authorities to pursue greater flexibility in their exchange rate regime. We expect the development of this more market-oriented system to improve the functioning and stability of the global economy and the international monetary system.”

For Zhou this is vindication of a policy that was first set in motion two years ago and that was finally executed when China was ready, not when the rest of the world dictated it should be. It is, he says, just one of a series of measures designed to strengthen the People’s Republic’s socialist market economic system.

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