Gao Xiqing in Esquire

By Brett Keller

Esquire magazine has listed Gao Xiqing as one of its 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century.

This is how China has changed. In the late 1980s, when he was in his mid-30s, Gao Xiqing returned to China determined to help modernize his country. He had spent the previous five years in the United States, getting a law degree at Duke and then practicing law in New York. Upon his return, his big project was to help create China’s first stock exchange. “Building the economy is the best way to change China,” he used to say. “It’s the most effective way to create a more democratic nation.”….As it turns out, Gao was right to believe that building the economy would change China. But it didn’t bring democracy. It brought pure power.

How correct is their analysis?

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