Wang Qishan

Glowing transformation

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 April, 2008, 12:00am

Vice-Premier Wang Qishan greeted his long-time acquaintance Henry Paulson with his trademark humour yesterday.

In his first meeting with the US Treasury secretary in his new capacity as a vice-premier, Mr Wang said he was a little worried by what he had seen on television the night before. 'I saw you in the news footage and I was a bit concerned because you looked a bit worn out on the TV,' he said. 'But you look glowing today, so I feel really happy and relieved.'

The pair have known each other since Mr Paulson was a senior banker with Goldman Sachs and Mr Wang worked for China Construction Bank.

Mr Paulson congratulated Mr Wang on his new appointment, saying: 'It's great for me to address you as vice-premier now. I am looking forward to working closely with you as we prepare for the next Strategic Economic Dialogue session.'

Mr Wang is being seen as a replacement for Wu Yi as a troubleshooter on international trade affairs. Ms Wu stepped down as a vice-premier last month.