Liu steps out of Davos shadows to fuel speculation about Chinese succession

Speculation that  the Harvard – educated economist Liu He is being groomed as successor to Chinese President Xi  grew  last week as when the leader of China’s delegation to the 2018 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos became the only policymaker this year below state leader level  to  speak at one of 10 sessions hosted by WEF executive chairman Klaus Schwab.
Having been given the same status as the likes of Donald Trump, Angela Merkel and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi,  Liu told delegates that China  was working to open its domestic markets wider and that this year’s reform measures could “exceed the international community’s expectations”.
In one of the best-attended session’s of this year’s forum Liu –  whom Reuters is predicting is about to be appointed Vice Premier with responsibility for his country’s economy and financial sector –  told an audience of the great and the good that China had stood firm against all forms of protectionism and had worked to strengthen the protection of property rights and promote fair competition.
“Just as important, we have broadened access to our financial markets and taken the initiative to increase imports. With efforts to advance the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),  we are moving economic globalisation forward with concrete actions. The initiative originated in China, but it is an idea that will deliver opportunities and benefits to the whole world.”
While  it was the rock star treatment handed out to Donald Trump that grabbed most of the media limelight in Switzerland last week, the 2018 forum may come to be seen as the moment that BRI won the international support  it  needs to acquire critical mass. 
The BRI “is going to be the new WTO – like it or not,” Siemens’ chief executive Joe Kaeser predicted.

Source: nytimes