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Wall Street Journal: An Update on Banking China's 'Three Nong'

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China's top leadership has deemphasized rural economic policy, halting the spread of foreign banks.
Photo credit: 
The Wall Street Journal / James T. Areddy

The Wall Street Journal quotes REAP's director Scott Rozelle, on the differences between President Hu and President Xi's approach to China's rural economy. To read the orignial article, click here.

 

After Mr. Hu retired in late 2012, and China deemphasized his push for a “harmonious society,” less happened with the foreign run rural banks. 

Citigroup Inc. says its network of Citi Credit outlets remains at four – including two in Hubei province – the same it reported in 2011. Spokesmen for both Standard Chartered Plc and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. each say their push into village banking stopped at one outlet.

The “three nong” issues remain important to Xi Jinping’s administration, according to the conclusion of a seminar on the subject held last September and covered in state-run media. (Mr. Xi didn’t attend the event.)

Not everyone agrees. The former Chinese leaders, Mr. Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao, “for all their indecisiveness in other parts of the economy did a tremendous amount for rural policy,” said Scott Rozelle, an expert on the sector at Stanford University. Mr. Rozelle added that during Mr. Xi’s administration “there’s been almost no effort and even some backtracking on the rural economy.”