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China Chase and Rockefeller

China Chase and Rockefeller

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Published by: jofortruth on Dec 13, 2009
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03/06/2014

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254 •
Memoirs
The implementation of even
this
modest arrangement was neither easy
nor
quick.
AcorresDondenLreiationship
normally
requires
thejoreign
banktoopenanaccountin
New
York
bymakingadollar
deggsitlnthis
case such
a
seemingly
jnnocuous
deposit
^rau^Jh^reJhrtggejred_^alOTUtous_con^-
quences;
there
was an
estimated
$250
million
in
claims against
the
PRC
for.
_
assets
seized
from
Americans
after
the revolution, and the
U.Sj^yernment
had frozen^?
Sjnillion
in
Chinese
assets
jn_theJJnited
States
in
retaliation.
Had
the Bank of China deposited money with us
before
an agreement wasreached on these blocked balances, the
PRC's
funds
would have been seized
by
the U.S. government. As a temporary expedient, therefore, we adopted
thejumsual
course
of
making
a dollar deposit with the
Bank
of China toenable
themtp
ldOTito
business
0
enable
themtp
^^ejm__
they
proposed conducting with us. While many criticized Chase for doingbusinesswithyet another Communist country. I
was^pexsuadeitESEelSras".-
great potential
in
being
the
first
American
bank
in
China)—
 even though
it
mightbesome time beforetherelationshipwasprofitable.I
felt
our newconnection was supportive of broader
Anierigarunterests
as well. The diplo-matic opening achieved
by^Nixpn
aa^issinger
h^d
enormous
significance,
but if the
full
fruits
of
rapprochement
were~tx>
be
realized,
contact
with
the
PRC
at the private as well as at the government level would be necessary. Tobring about a fundamental change in China's closed and suspicious society
would
be a slow and arduous process.
This
could only be accomplished bypersonal contact and through a gradual process of
building
closer
relation^
ships.
It
gave
me
satisfaction
to
have played
a
part
in
that
process.
ZHOU
ENLAI
W
hen our
last
day in
Beijing
rolled around with no word on whetherZhou
Enlai
would receive us, we became concerned
that
it might nothappenatall. That afternoon, however,wewere toldnot toleavethehotel
for
dinner
and to
wait
for
instructions. There
was no
further
explanation
of
what
might
be in
store
for us.
Sometime
after
9:00
P.M.,
one of the
officials fromPIFA
walked into
my
room and told us the Premier would receive us at precisely 10:45 in the
Great
Hall of the People. It was a hot, muggy
night,
and
after
a hectic day
and a
copious Chinese meal,
we had
largely given
up
hope
of
meeting Zhou
and
were thinking instead
of
sleep
and our
departure
the
next day.
His
words quickly revivedus.
 
C.-(/'«-i"vJ-
if
Penetrating
the
BambooCurtain
\259,
^_Chase
benefited immediately from the
agreement)
With the "blocked as-sets" issue resolved, we established a
full
correspondent relationship with
theJBanki)f_£hina,
which finally opened a substantial dollar
accouHt-attmrhome
office
in New York. In addition, the Ministry of Finance authorized a
Chase
representative
office
in
Beijing,
and
soon
afterjvejmdej>urjlrst_
loan—to the
ChjnesjJ^mistry^ojnWinjn^ajig^.Mrta]lurgy^_The
Chase World
Information
Corporation,
our
information
services subsidiary created
in
1972, begantointroduce American businessmento
investment
opportuni-ties
in
China^
__
tf^~\R
many
ways
Chase .served
asChina's pointofentry intotheUnited
^
ystajes
J
._We
hosted
a
business luncheon
in New
York
for
theirminister
of fi-
nance
in 1979, and in June of the
following
year organized a China
forum
attended by senior representatives of more
than
two hundred Americancompanies.
In the
fall
of
that same year
I
hosted
a
small private luncheon
inPocantico
for
Vice
Premier
Bo
Yibo.
who was
accompanied
by
Rong
Yiren,
the chairman of the China International Trust and Investment Corporation
(CITIC).
This gave me the opportunity to meet the man who would do more
to
implement
his
country's
opening
to the
West
than
any
other.
Rong
was the
scion
of an old
Shanghai banking
andmanufacturing
fam-
ily
that
had
extensive investments
in
China, Hong
Kong,
and the
United
States
before
the
revolution.
After
Mao
took power, Rong remained
as a fa-vored
"national capitalist," continuing
to run his
family's
many enterprises
with
only nominal supervision
from
the
government.
Eventually,
however,
the Red
Guards caught
up
with
Rong,
confiscated
his
property,
and
submit-ted
him to
torture.
Only
the
intervention
of his
protector,
Deng Xiaoping,hadsavedhim
from
along termof"reeducation"on arural commune.
After
Deng consolidated his hold on power in the late
1970s,
he ap-
pointed
Rong
to
head
CITIG^Deng
knew that
China
desperately
needed for-
eign
capital
to
finance
its
development^nd turned
to
Rong
as one of the fewChinese
with the requisite knowledge and contacts in the Western world.
Rong
was an
able
and
farsighted
businessman
who
quickly became
the
focal
point
for all
foreign
investment
in
China.
Over
time,
he and I
became good
friends.
The door to China had
swung_open,
and_Chase
was waiting on the
other
side
asAmerican companies beganto
walk
throughit.
I
next visited China
in May
19
81.
shortly
after
I
retired
from
the
Chase,
and
found
more evidence
of
change. Deng Xiaoping's moderate
faction
of thePolitburo
had wrested control
from
the hard-line Maoists and had begun to
+>

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