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May 11, 2017

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China no wonderland for speculators

AS Chinese authorities increase safeguards on financial security, some grumble about ripples from the tightened regulations. But it’s time for speculators to stop dreaming of a wonderland in China.

The ongoing tightening campaign addresses longer-term challenges rather than immediate needs of China’s economy. Investors should adapt to these circumstances and prepare for long-term interests.

Worldwide, supervision and regulation are at the center of financial market stability. Supervision of systemically important institutions and infrastructure is vital to rational and effective risk prevention and control.

After years of reforms, China has become a well established global financial power at a difficult time for a world economy beset by risks and challenges.

If the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the 2008 international financial crisis are anything to go by, the next cataclysm will come as a result of inadequate risk prevention, swiftly followed by a universal economic collapse and social woes.

Along with rapid growth in recent years, China’s financial sector has been exposed to various risks — such as piling debts and illegal fundraising — that imperil financial market stability and could hinder economic transformation and structural upgrading.

Having anticipated potential threats, the Chinese leadership pinpointed financial security as vital to national security and a key foundation for stable and healthy development.

With a strong supervisory storm sweeping the country’s financial sector, regulators have shown their resolve to control chaos and prevent risks as well as give the real economy excellent financial support.

The campaign has started to show results. Official data showed that the debt-to-asset ratio of enterprises with annual turnover of over 20 million yuan (US$2.9 million) fell 0.6 percentage points year on year at the end of February.

Thanks to an improving interplay between finance and the real economy, China’s economic restructuring — driven by supply-side reforms, innovation and entrepreneurship — is beginning to bear fruit.

Consumption and service sectors have become new benchmarks of the Chinese economy. The service sector leaves agriculture and the secondary industry far behind in terms of growth.

A healthier Chinese economy will never be reduced to a wonderland for speculators. Investors need a broad vision and long-term view to share prosperity arising from China’s growth.


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