Regulators Opposed Shanghai Trade Zone Plans
Sources tell George Chen of the South China Morning Post that Chinese premier Li Keqiang faced open opposition from financial regulators as he pushed through recent approval to designate a new free trade zone in Shanghai:
Financial industry regulators, including the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), openly disagreed with Li’s plan to open Shanghai’s financial services sector to foreign investors.
Three sources with first-hand knowledge of high-level government meetings told the South China Morning Post that Li lost his temper at one closed-door cabinet session. When told of the continuing opposition to his plans, he slammed his fist on the table in frustration.
[…] The sources, who reviewed internal cabinet meeting minutes, said disagreements over new policies were not uncommon among ministries. But it was rare for regulators to team up and fight a premier – China’s second most powerful man after the president.
“He has had to fight a lot on this,” said one of the sources. “You know Chinese officials. Rule number one: they don’t want to lose face. So Li Keqiang is now definitely very keen to make the Shanghai plan a major achievement for his follow-up economic reforms. He will gain political capital for doing this.” [Source]