China

Guangdong’s “Mr. Happy”, possible future leader

This article in Foreign Policy’s current China issue, sorry, I meant Cities issue, presents a strikingly cheerful profile of Guangdong party boss Wang Yang. Wang, as some might know, is considered to be a rising star in the party and a leading advocate of political liberalization, which put him at odds with the now infamous Bo Xilai. The article shows that Wang has been doing some crazy things- calling on local gov’ts to be more accountable, toughening environmental laws, supporting wage increases and being sympathetic to striking workers. It was under Wang’s watch that the Wukan protests occurred last year and it was his rather restrained response that was praised. It remains to be seen if Wang will continue to be as progressive as he advances into the top ranks.

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