China’s annual meeting of the National People’s Congress, as expected, has avoided controversial issues in public, but informal debate can be heard in aisles of the Great Hall. One of the hot topics, reported the Financial Times, is capital controls. Chairman of Macrolink, Fu Jun, said that capital controls are the “biggest bottleneck” facing businesses in China, while head of one of China’s leading investment groups, Zhang Yichen, said official claims that capital controls have not had an impact on legitimate overseas interests are “a lie.” Bloomberg noted today that capital controls have effectively stemmed the tide of overseas acquisitions, seeing a decline this year to date of 74% from a year prior.
Premier Li Keqiang gave details of ongoing reforms to the state-owned enterprise sector in his opening speech to NPC on Sunday. Photo: Reuters
Capital controls on China’s mind
Despite official silence on the issue during China’s NPC meetings, businesses and officials are talking about capital controls.