For China's Free Marketeers, A String Of Small Victories

Two years after the Tiananmen crisis, hardliners and liberals in Beijing continue to clash over control of the Communist Party apparatus and government policies. But while the heavies in Beijing do battle, China's army of technocrats and managers is engaged in a quieter struggle. Driven by China's vast need to raise capital and to overhaul clunky state companies, they are pushing ahead with piecemeal economic reforms. Their ad hoc measures fall short of the broad, pro-market vision of Zhao Ziyang, the reformist Prime Minister and Communist Party chief who was deposed after Tiananmen. Still, "their cumulative effect is toward a more market-oriented economy," says Diane Yowell, research director at HongkongBank China Services Ltd. in Hong Kong.

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