Wednesday, October 15, 2003

On why Dalian and Shenyang are on the list of possible cities to be elevated to the provincial level:

Bill Hurst: Interesting. I am actually surprised that Guangzhou is not on the list - if I
were Hu it definitely would be. Also surpirses from my angle are Shenyang and Wuhan. All the others make sense.

Matt Rudolph: i'm with bill on this. why both shenyang and dalian? this list reminds me
a bit of the first list for PBOC branches.

Me: The Shenyang/ Dalian issue is interesting. I think much of it hinges on how Bo Xilai (governor of Liaoning, where both of these cities are located) wants to play it. I suspect that he will push for elevating Dalian. First, Dalian is basically the PR of Bo, so an elevation would give many of his followers a promotion. Also, it is economically doing pretty well, so it would be a nice offering to the center in anticipation of his promotion to the central government, which I don't doubt is his ultimate aim. The appearance of Shenyang on the list might be just that, for the sake of appearance. That is, if everyone expects Bo to push for Dalian, he might have proposed Shenyang to give an appearance of fairness.

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