A Talk With China's Top Banker: The Year Of Living Carefully

Central bank chief Dai Xianlong on the severe challenges ahead in 1999

Give the Chinese credit: In a year when other Asian economies have crumbled, the country's policymakers have staved off contagion. A three-year, $1.2 trillion public-works program has kept the economy growing. And a record level of foreign reserves has made it unnecessary to devalue the currency--the doomsday event that terrifies finance ministries throughout the region.

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