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Jin Liqun

President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Jīn Lìqún (金立群) prefers to talk about literature over politics: “Ever since I was a child, my dream was to become a professor. I loved to deal with books and was not good at dealing with people.” Like most intellectuals of his generation – Jin was born in 1949 – his time in an agricultural work unit, where he spent ten years as a young man, shaped him. There he learned a lot about the concerns and aspirations of rural people, but his real interest was English literature. He spent nights in front of the radio, listening to the BBC and reading English classics. When Chinese universities reopened after the Cultural Revolution, Jin went straight to the Beijing Foreign Language University and studied English literature. Even today he likes to quote William Faulkner, Jane Austen, and T.S. Eliot – in fluent English, of course.

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