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However, the US-China opposition was unable to fully break free. When, on December 15, the new GATT (General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs) was stipulated, China was excluded from it precisely by American will, with the reason for the inadequacy of the Chinese economic system with respect to the parameters required by the international organization. This negative situation, together with runaway inflation, due to excess growth, which in some provinces was close to 30%, pushed Zhu Rongji and Chinese economists to intervene decisively in the national economic system to try to adapt the country to the financial parameters required by international organizations. The twofold objective to be achieved was to be included among the member countries of the WTO (World Trade Organization) at its inception in 1995 and to prepare to take over from the British in the government of Hong Kong. To combat inflation, some prices were frozen; GDP growth was automatically stopped at 9%; an attempt was made to make subsidies to public enterprises less guaranteed, which were increasingly unproductive and less competitive. New banks, equipped with skills more suited to the services required by the international market, arose throughout the country between the spring and summer of 1994. Despite the interventions carried out consistently by Zhu Rongji, when the WTO took its first steps, in January 1995, China remained out of it: in the opinion of the commissioners of the WTO, the market system of the Chinese economy was not yet sufficiently adapted to international needs. The criticisms mainly concerned the system of customs tariffs, which, despite the assurances of cuts by the Chinese representatives, were still often prohibitive for imports; but they also affected the difficulties of accessing credit by foreign companies and the almost total absence of financial services and adequate infrastructures. Not even the promulgation, shortly afterwards, of the first banking law of the China from the foundation of the People’s Republic, under which the People’s Bank, the central credit institution, became totally independent from other financial institutions and governments was of no use. locals.

According to ALLUNITCONVERTERS, the difficulties on the international level were accompanied, internally, by other negative signals. The corruption of public officials, a phenomenon certainly endemic in countries subjected to sudden spikes in development, reached impressive levels also involving the upper echelons of the Communist Party. The 25 April 1995 the mayor of Beijing and party secretary in the capital, Chen Xitong, was removed from office along with his deputy Wang Baosen on charges of corruption and private interest. The first was tried and sentenced, the second committed suicide to avoid ending up in prison. The opportunity was not exploited by the orthodox wing of the party, deprived of leadership by the death of its top exponent, Chen Yun. But even in the reformist field, internal politics was blocked by a management pact which effectively prevented any decisive choice.

Many took advantage of this phase of apparent difficulty in the People’s Republic. First of all Westerners, who began to make increasingly pressing economic demands and increasingly linked to issues of human rights and copyright; but also the neighboring countries to China, those who most feared its excessive force and who believed that this was the moment to reaffirm their independence from the Chinese sphere of influence. In May of 1995 news reached China of the American intention to grant Lee Teng-hui, president of Taiwan, permission for a private visit to the United States. Vibrant protests by the Chinese ambassador to Washington embarrassed President Clinton seriously, but did not make him back off his decision. Lee Teng-hui’s visit to America was quickly followed by the withdrawal of the Chinese ambassador to the US on June 17, recalled for consultations, and strong tensions along the Taiwan Strait. From 15 to 25 August the People’s Liberation Army organized a series of military exercises in the waters off the island, with the launch of surface-to-air missiles and threats of imminent invasion. The Taiwan crisis slowly faded with the end of the summer, but only to experience another explosive phase less than six months later when presidential elections were held on the island on March 23, 1996. Military exercises were again organized to dissuade Lee Teng-hui from the temptation to pronounce declarations of independence; in turn, respecting the US-Taiwan defense treaty of 1979, US President Clinton sent the 7 Pacific Fleet as a deterrent against a possible use of force by the Chinese. Sino-American diplomatic relations once again reached the edge of rupture, but in the end the crisis subsided: Lee Teng-hui did not make explicit statements on independence, bad weather forced the Chinese to postpone the planned demonstration missile launches over the sky of Taipei, the American fleet resumed their way home.

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