The Wall Street Journal reports that China has scaled back its presence at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, which begins this week, given the conflict with the Lunar New Year holiday:
Based on a list from the World Economic Forum dated Tuesday, attendees from mainland China-based agencies, companies and organization this year will total 63, down from the record 66 who attended in 2011. Its top political leaders, regulators and business executives also are expected to skip the forum.
The top political official in attendance will be Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s economic planning body. Another influential figure at Davos will be Li Daokui, director of a Beijing think tank and an adviser to the People’s Bank of China, China’s central bank.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attended in 2009, while Li Keqiang—who is expected to succeed Mr. Wen in a once-a-decade political changeover that begins late this year—attended in 2010.
Last year, major political figures largely skipped the Davos forum, but leaders from some of China’s top state-owned enterprises attended. By contrast, none of the senior executives from China’s state-controlled bank and energy giants are scheduled attend this week’s forum, according to the forum’s list. Top business attendees are expected to include Sun Yafang, chairwoman of telecommunications equipment provider Huawei Technologies Co., and Chen Feng, chairman of HNA Group Co., one of China’s largest private-sector and most acquisitive conglomerates.
China approached event organizers in early 2011 to propose moving this year’s forum to an earlier date, according to The Financial Times, in order to avoid breaking with a 30-year tradition of sending high-level representatives:
Since 1979, when China formally joined the World Economic Forum at the dawn of Deng’s open-door reform, it has been represented by vice-premier ranking officials, and even
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