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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair speaks at the Sanya Forum held in Sanya Cheap All White Air Force 1 Flyknit Low UK , Hainan Province on December 14, 2013. Photo: CFP
When heads of state and government end their tenures, some choose to become speakers, consultants or lobbyists, cashing in notable incomes that are sometimes much more than their previous salaries.
And China has become one of their major destinations.
In December, former British prime minister Tony Blair traveled across China giving speeches and meeting officials and business tycoons.
As part of this tour, he appeared in Beijing along with Andrew Liveris Cheap Air Force 1 Low Leather White Black UK , chairman, president and CEO of the US Dow Chemical Company, and visited Science and Technology Minister Wan Gang, China Petroleum and Chemical Corp chairman Fu Chengyu and China National Petroleum Corporation chairman Zhou Jiping, and discussed cooperation on clean energy.
It's unclear whether the Dow visit was entirely a coincidence. A 2012 report by the Financial Times alleged that Dow had paid Blair, or Tony Blair Associates (TBA), his private consulting company Cheap Men's Air Force 1 Deconstruct PRM Medium Grey UK , for consultancy work.
These were just some of his appearances in China after he left Downing Street in June 2007. And he is not the only official to be involved in paid lectures and activities after their government life.
On November 18, former US president Bill Clinton made a keynote speech at the Caijing Annual Conference 2014 in Beijing, calling for more charity engagement of non-governmental organizations and for inequality to be reduced.
A day before on November 17, he appeared at an enterprise leaders summit in Guangzhou. A staff member from the public relations department of Caijing magazine said they paid Clinton for his presence but declined to reveal how much. An ifeng report said payments for Clinton's two speeches totaled at least $1 million.
Since leaving the White House in 2001, Clinton has made more than 500 speeches across the world and raked in as much as $106 million in speaking fees, said a May CNN report.
Clinton was reportedly paid $750,000 by the telecom giant Ericsson to address its employees in Hong Kong in November 2011. In the same month Cheap Air Force 1 Mid 07 Black UK , he earned $550,000 from a speech given to Huatuo CEO Forum, a business conference in Shanghai.
Yu Mingyang, a professor of brand marketing at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, said opening up and globalization has led to some Chinese enterprises favoring foreign speakers, especially retired leaders.
"Some big enterprises expect to obtain some useful guiding messages concerning government policy from these retired officials, who are believed to have access to relevant reliable sources Cheap Men's Air Force 1 Low All Black UK ," Yu told the Global Times.
However, these speeches are not always warmly welcomed.
A speech entitled "From Great to Excellent" given by Blair at a VIP banquet on November 6, 2007 in Dongguan, South China's Guangdong Province, was widely criticized as being "empty" and "money-sucking" by domestic media. The host, a leading property developer in Dongguan, was found to have paid Blair $300 Cheap Air Force 1 Mid 07 White Black UK ,000 for the three-hour visit to the city, which was equivalent to nearly his annual salary as prime minister.
Yu attributes this to organizers' vanity.
"I have studied most of the remarks or speeches made by these people and found that they are tactful but rarely have new stuff," Yu said, noting that the organizers or sponsors care much more about inviting influential celebrities than seeking valuable information.
But the appearance of retired foreign leaders in various conferences or negotiations still seems to be on the rise.
Former German chancellor Gerhard Schr?der is noted for his promotion of German companies in China.
Under his mediation, Herrenknecht, a German manufacturer of tunnel boring machines, managed to get their products used in subway construction in Wuhan and Chengdu Cheap Men's Air Force 1 Low 07 LE Deep Burgundy Gum UK , according to China News Weekly.
In 2011, Schr?der focused his deal-making efforts in Chongqing. In May of that year, a leading German chemical company announced that the municipality had approved its MDI (Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) project in the city, the largest of its kind in the world, with an investment of 8 billion yuan ($1.32 billion).
China is rising as a major power and able to afford high appearance fees, said John Ross, a former director of economic and business policy (or a vice mayor) in the city of London.
"There has also existed Cheap Air Force 1 High PRM 07 Sneakers Mica UK , in the past, an exaggerated respect for things which are foreign in China, which helps speakers gain such fees," Ross, now a senior fellow of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China, told Global Times via e-mail.
Compared to the extremely high fees paid on the Western "speaker circuits Cheap Men's Air Force 1 07 Low Metallic Gold White UK ," China is still a marginal player in terms of paying for retired foreign officials' appearances, he noted.
After leaving his position at the Mayor's Office in London in 2008, Ross became a visiting professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University from 2009. In June last year, he joined the Chongyang Institute.
Though occasionally approached by businesspeople for mediation or lobbyist work, he said he has declined all such proposals.
In Ross's opinion, deals between former politicians and private companies easily leave room for corruption.
"It is a similar effect as when former politicians or civil servants pass from their previous positions to private companies but with less rules regulating such transfers, as the latter are known to create significant risks for corruption Cheap Supreme Air Force 1 Low UK ," he said.
When commenting on the article, Ralph Benko, a former junior official in the Reagan administration, recalled the actions of former US president Harry S. Truman.
"I turned down all of those offers [of corporate positions at large salaries]. I knew that they were not interested in hiring Harry
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