Chinese students get friendly with Paulson

TEXT OF STORY

BOB MOON: Getting to know you, getting to know all about you. That's one approach to tearing down the financial fences between the U.S. and China. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson paid a call on one of China's top universities and amid serious talk about bilateral relations, Jocelyn Ford reports, some students got personal.


JOCELYN FORD: The students had obviously done a background check on the Treasury Secretary or at least a Google search.
STUDENT 1:"You have been a reliable husband, a respectful father . . ."

HENRY PAULSON:"Thank you"

Paulson apparently isn't used to free flattery.

STUDENT:". . . . and a powerful football player in your college football team"

PAULSON (laughing):"What do you all want!"

In response to the dozen plus questioners, he had some tough love messages.

PAULSON:"One of the most important fundamental things this country could do would be to move quickly to develop very strong capital markets, and the right way to do that is to open up to competition."

He also had a message for the audience back in Washington. He said one of his biggest challenges is to make a case for free trade at a time of creeping protectionism in the U.S. and around the world.

In Beijing, I'm Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.

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