Bankers Trust chief confident on mainland

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 January, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 January, 1996, 12:00am

CHINA'S economic policies will not change as a result of the death of paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, Bankers Trust managing director William Overholt says.

Mr Overholt, a China-watcher and writer on politics and emerging economies, said the succession of leadership would get public attention but did not count for that much, as was seen in the former Soviet Union.

He said the opening of China to the world since 1979 had forged a 'consensus' that economic development was for the people's benefit.

This consensus would form the base of future leadership in China, he said.

Leadership after Mr Deng would be more collective, and Hong Kong, the propellant for economic reform in China.

He said China would become a bigger economy than that of Japan, given time. In adopting a balance between debt and equity, China's approach was laudable and even more flexible than that of Japan and South Korea, he said.

Mr Overholt said he did not fully grasp details of Tuesday's announcement by the State Council about controls on economic news coverage by foreign media. Mr Overholt said China had ordered the plug on satellite television to be pulled but this had proven difficult to carry out.

He warned against jumping to the conclusion that a media crackdown would be followed by a reversing of economic policy.