Wu Jinglian (吴敬琏; born January 24, 1930) is one of the preeminent economists of PR China, primarily specializing in economic policy as it applies to China’s ongoing series of economic reforms.
Renowned for his resolute conviction that socialism is compatible with a market system, he is affectionately referred to in the media as Wu Market.
Wu graduated from Fudan University with a degree in economics in 1954. He later attended the Institute of Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Through his long career, he has, in addition to his professorships at Chinese universities, been visiting researcher and professor at a number of international universities, including Yale, MIT, Duke, Stanford, and Oxford.
In the 1980s and ’90s, he was an adviser to China’s leaders, including Deng Xiaoping.
For more than thirty years, Wu Jinglian has been widely regarded as China’s most celebrated and influential economist. In the late 1970s, Wu (b. 1930) was one of a small group of economic thinkers who broke with Marxist concepts and learned the principles of a market economy. Since then he has been at the center of economic reform in China, moving seamlessly as an “insider outsider” between academic and policy roles.
Wu pointed out that “old-style Maoists” have been gaining influence in the government since 2004. These groups, he said, are pressing for a return to central planning and placing blame for corruption and social inequality on the very market reforms he championed.
Wu also pointed out that corrupt bureaucrats are pushing for the state to take a larger economic role so they can cash in on their positions through payoffs and bribes, as well as by steering business to allies.
Wu Jinglian once compared Chinese stock markets to the casinos, even worse. He said that at least the casinos have stronger rules, and don’t have price manipulation.