GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
In recent weeks China has surprised the West by its approval of major new US business initiatives by Black Rock, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan to increase their participation in China’s expanding investment industry. Add also the French Asset Manager, Amundi. This column has highlighted the big divide between Washington and Wall Street in their respective attitudes to China. Washington Wants Less. Wall Street Wants More.
But there is another focus that is often overlooked – China, its attitudes, its changes, its policies, and its preparation. Consider what is involved in the path undertaken by China as it has moved, since the end of the Cultural Revolution, through Reform, Opening Up, Investing Overseas, Encouraging Investment in China, Belt and Road, Billionaires, Prosperity. The policy change emanating from Deng Hsiaoping in 1976 is considerable and all the changes require discussion, consideration, trial and error, education and political change.
These things do not happen overnight. They need time, more time and then even more time. For China to allow foreign companies to own 100% of their subsidiaries in China, it has been necessary to prepare change in ideology, cultural preparation and world view. The outcome is the far-reaching Goldman/Morgan/Black Rock initiatives of today. The process of change in China continues to be much under-appreciated by observers of China.
It is all a far cry from days when the slogans from Beijing were “The Working Class Must Exercise Leadership In Everything”, “Bombard the Headquarters of the Revisionist Line” “Power Grows Out of the Barrel of a Gun”.
Western Business has travelled a long way to today’s headlines. China, too, has had an equally long journey. There is a process at work – but is it really understood by the West?