Thursday, Apr. 30, 2009

Wang Qishan

Wang Qishan recognizes that China has a vital role not only as a beneficiary of the global economy but also as a driver of that economy's success. He is the man China's leaders look to for an understanding of the markets and the global economy. As a result, China has been supportive of U.S. actions to stabilize our capital markets and has not given in to those who advocate reversing economic reform to insulate China from the world.

I know Vice Premier Wang, 60, to be decisive and inquisitive. He is an avid historian, enjoys philosophical debates and has a wicked sense of humor. He is a Chinese patriot, but he understands the U.S. and knows that each of our two countries benefits from the other's economic success. And he is bold — he takes on challenges, does things that have never been done before and succeeds. Wang managed the largest bankruptcy restructuring in China's history in 1998 and thereby prevented a banking crisis that could have crippled the country's growth.

Wang was my partner in leading the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue. Together we moved the U.S.-China relationship to a new level of stability. We made progress on vital economic issues: appreciation of the Chinese currency, more air flights between our nations, greater food- and product-safety coordination. Then we launched cooperation on one of the most important issues of our lifetime: climate change. Wang Qishan thinks globally — and because of that, China and the world are better off.

Paulson was until January the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury