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Beijing has tiptoed around the question of Chinese President Xi Jinping visiting U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in late March. (Nikkei montage/Getty Images)
China up close

China's central bank chief takes blame for economy to protect Xi

Yi Gang's public self-criticism designed to help top leaders

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

TOKYO -- Yi Gang, the powerful governor of the People's Bank of China, began a high-profile press conference last Sunday in an unusual way: with a somber analysis of the country's economy that implied serious self-criticism.

Recent economic policies had caused a "credit crunch" in China, making borrowing more difficult and more expensive for small- and medium-sized companies and hurting the economy, he said in front of international reporters and TV cameras.

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