MPs have hit back at claims from HSBC’s chief executive that China’s communist government has “served its people really well.”
John Flint, chief executive of the international bank, yesterday said the economic success of the Far East powerhouse should make Western democracies reassess their opposition to centrally-planned socialist economies.
Flint was reported as saying that China’s economic success “gives Western liberal democracies pause for thought, because here is a deeply socialist system that’s served its people really well.”
Speaking at the Bloomberg Emerging and Frontier Forum, he said: “It’s been a very convenient narrative, I think certainly in the West for too long to be able to point to socialist systems that fail their people and here’s one that’s delivered an extraordinary economic transformation.”
His comments raised eyebrows among leading MPs, with Bob Seely, the Conservative MP for the Isle of Wight, describing Flint’s analysis as “depressingly amoral”.
Seely, who is a member of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, told City A.M.: “China is socialist in the sense of a one-party state above the law, but it is not a socialist system in terms of economics.
“[Flint] probably needs to get his terminology right”
Fellow Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns said: “China has a one-party capitalist system: it is its highly imperfect capitalistic model that is making people better off, not socialism.”
HSBC declined to comment.