Historic First

In July 1993, the ascension of Zhu Rongji to the governorship of the People's Bank of China signaled the government's commitment to restructuring China's banking system. As legislators drew up blueprints for the new market economy, the National Committee recognized that officials making the policy decisions were debating the relative merits of differing regimes and offered to send a delegation of banking experts to China to speak on modern banking functions and regulatory institutions. Thus, in May 1994, a seven-member delegation assembled by the National Committee set off on a multi-city workshop tour.

The topics covered by the delegation included bank supervision, commercial banking strategy and planning, consumer and small business banking, investment banking, and non-banking financial institutions. Day-and-a-half workshops given in the cities of Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai provided contained opportunities for the Chinese to converse with the Americans on topics of interest, both at the formal sessions and the informal meals and breaks.

In addition to the workshops, the Americans briefed officials at the State Planning Commission, Ministry of Finance, Shanghai Securities Exchange, and Shanghai Foreign Exchange Swap Center, giving the delegation members several opportunities to speak with very senior officials from the People's Bank of China.