In China, a Rivalry for Economic Stewardship – NYTimes.com
A broad consensus exists at senior levels of the Chinese government in favor of shifting the economy toward a more sustainable trajectory. That trajectory could rely more on domestic demand than exports, more on consumption than investment spending, more on small and medium-size private companies than state-owned enterprises and more on creditworthiness than political connections to allocate loans from the state-owned banking system.
But practically every specific policy change required to carry out that broad objective is blocked by a different interest group, often including the “princelings” — children of current and former senior Chinese officials.
Indeed, Mr. Wen, the departing prime minister, has spent a lot of time talking about the need for economic changes, but has had little success in pushing difficult decisions through the bureaucracies of the Communist Party and the government.
Mr. Wang had been considered until recent days to be a strong candidate to become executive vice prime minister, an influential position with the main responsibility for putting in place policies on practically all nonmilitary issues. But while that cannot be entirely ruled out, opinion in elite circles seems to be moving quickly against him, said another admirer of Mr. Wang with high-level access in the Communist Party.
Party insiders with access to ministers and more senior officials said that Mr. Wang now appeared most likely to be made the chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference — a figurehead position at the head of a national advisory body. He also has an outside chance of becoming the chairman of the National People’s Congress, which has important responsibilities for legal changes but a lesser role on economic policy.