Here's Who Has To Pick Up The Pieces If China Lands Hard

chinese politiciansLeft to right: Cheng Siwei, Chairman, International Finance Forum, Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Zhang Ping, Chairman, National Development and Reform Commission, and Xie Xuren, Minister of Finance, Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China

Photo: flickr: world economic forum

Its not always easy to tell how the Chinese government will react in a given situation. That’s partly because China’s colossal political structure can be mysterious and confusing.Aside from Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, who else do you actually know in Chinese politics? Especially with economic power.

But now that some fear a hard landing for China, it’s time to break it all down and figure out who we need to be watching to monitor the economic decision making process.

If China does land hard, these are the people who will have to clean up the mess— potentially seriously useful information in the coming months.

Ministry of Finance

What it does: Sets economic finance policy, handles external and domestic government debt and all taxation, sets the Central People's Budget, distributes revenue for everything from social security to development, conducts economic research.

Leadership: The Finance Ministry's leadership consists of a Minister, Xie Xuren, a number of Vice, Deputy and Assistant Ministers, and a General Inspector.

Xie is China's 'senior economist' has served in this post since 2007 and before that held leadership positions in the trade and accounting and taxation commissions. He's not super controversial, his goals are to slow down the economy without bringing it a halt, and to narrow the income gap. He made news most recently for trying to filter corruptions out of China's budget.

People's Bank of China (Central Bank)

What it does: Like any central bank, the Peoples Bank of China (PBC) governs monetary policy and regulates financial institutions.

Leadership: The bank's leadership is comprised of a head governor, since 2002 that's Zhou Xiaochuan, and 8 deputy governors. Forbes named Zhou the 11th most powerful person in the world and Foreign Policy Magazine named him the 4th in their Top 100 Global Thinkers report in 2010.

He's the man who's taken the most heat from American politicians about his policies-- but he's slammed Bernanke before too.

National Development and Reform Commission

What it does: This is the state's major economic planning body, all major economic decisions come through here for approval.

Leadership: Chairman Zhang Ping, he's held the position since 2008. It's interesting to note, given China's non-performing loan problem, that graduated from the Anhui School of Banking with a concentration in credit and loans in 1966. He's also known for his tough stance on China's trade policies.

State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission

What it is: This agency governs everything that has to do with Chinese private enterprises (i.e. most of China's big companies). That includes appointing top executives, approving sales of stocks and assets, mergers, and drafting relevant legislation.

Leadership: The Chairman of the SASAC Wang Yong, who Forbes Magazine named the world's 62nd most powerful person in 2010.

The Ministry of Commerce

What it does: Pretty self explanatory, The Ministry of Commerce regulates foreign trade from consumer protection to foreign direct investment, and negotiates trade agreements and policy.

Leadership: This ministry is run by a head minister with a collection of subordinate vice and administrative ministers. The executive position is held by Chen Deming, and last week he chaired a forum celebrating China's cooperation with the World Trade organisation called 'Openness, Cooperation & Win-Win.'

The title prompted some scepticism.

Vice-President Xi Jinping

What he does: He's the Vice-Chair of Military Affairs

Why is he important: Jinping is poised to take over the Chinese Presidency in 2013. That means, regardless of his title, his opinion on economic matters is incredibly important. Jinping wouldn't be in his position if he weren't towing the party line, but his public statements indicate that he is most dedicated to making China's economy more consumer driven.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi

What he does: Runs the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and sets policy on diplomatic relations.

Why is he important: Naturally, if the world is upset over a hard landing, this is the man who will have the task of cooling relations. Recently, he met with Secretary of State Clinton, and afterward one of her aids said that:

'The trading floor is increasingly replacing the battlefield as the forum for state contacts...This is coming from a sense that we are seeing the lines between national security and economic security blur as emerging powers are doing more to advance their economic power, and fitting their national security strategy more around economic interest.'

Yang is also a friend of the Bush family (they call him 'Tiger Yang'). He hosted George Bush Senior when he visited China in the '70s, and then worked in the U.S. embassy for several years.

Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo

What he does: Runs the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and sets policy on diplomatic relations.

Why is he important: Obviously, his position is important in general, but Dai is most known for his diplomacy to Russia. He is said to have been instrumental in the normalization of relations between China and Russia after things went cold. He is also director of general office of National Security Leadership Group of the CPC Central Committee, in which he serves in the capacity as a national security advisor to the President.

Chair of the National People's Congress, Wu Bangguo

What he does: Heads the Chinese legislature.

Why is he important: He's number two in China behind President Hu Jintao and ahead of Premier Wen Jiabao. In 2009, Wu told Nancy Pelosi in Beijing that Taiwan and Tibet were the two most sensitive issues in US-China relations. He's also reminded Hong Kong that they remain autonomous at the pleasure of mainland China (yikes). Lastly, its worth nothing that his son in law is big in Chinese private equity, and has worked for Merrill Lynch.

And here's why these people may have to go into emergency mode

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.