Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Chinese protest

Protest Disrupts World Bank News Conference in Beijing


A press conference held by the World Bank in Beijing was interrupted when a protester jumped at the podium, seizing the opportunity to speak out against the multilateral lender. The protest comes after a World Bank report on China's economy was released this week.

A protester disrupted a World Bank news conference in Beijing on Tuesday. He claims the multilateral lender's new report on China's economic future was "poison" and it would not bring benefits to the country.

Du Jianguo, describing himself as a self-taught independent researcher, jumped up to the podium during Tuesday's news conference... declaring his views seconds after World Bank chief Robert Zoellick began speaking. 

[Du Jianguo, Protester]: 

"They (World Bank) nevertheless sell the plan to China, suggesting Chinese banks learn from the US and learn from Wall Street. Do they want Chinese banks to become cheaters and parasites just like those American banks? Chinese state-owned enterprises are now very powerful and therefore become competitors of the Western countries. You (World Bank) suggest dividing the state-owned enterprises, this is in fact helping the American and other Western enterprises ruin their competitors."

In face of Du's criticism, Zoellick insisted in the World Bank's stance upon the launch of the report on China's financial future.

[Robert Zoellick, World Bank President]:

"I think many experts have the view that state-owned enterprises have benefited from very inexpensive financing, preferred positions in the market. And they've gained very large retained earnings that have led to China savings but have not necessarily benefited all the Chinese people."

He argued that the changes put forward in the newly released report have the interests of the Chinese people at heart.

[Robert Zoellick, World Bank President]: 

"So to reduce China's global savings rate and also benefit the Chinese people, if a lot of those dividends are sent back to provide social benefits for China's people, you'll have structural change and help support some of the social security systems." 

The protest came as the World Bank released a report that examines the country's strategic choices, the risks and opportunities in the next two decades, and makes a series of recommendations for the country's growth model.

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