It's not clear whether it's the power of money that attracts John Key to Beijing or the power of power.

But both are in plentiful supply here during the Apec summit.

China's hybrid economy, part command, part market, has been leaning towards the command side this week.

GDP might be down with the edict that factories shut down temporarily, the motorways are reserved for VIPS and journalists, and that public servants and schools take a six-day holiday, but the skies are blue in Beijing, Apec blue, they are calling it.


And as John Key told New Zealand reporters yesterday, the fact that they care about pollution is a sign of their growing wealth. Only wealthy countries are in a position to address their pollution and China will get around to it.

He then effused about China to a group of New Zealand business delegates, sounding almost Lange-esque when he said: "Every time I come here, you can kind of smell the economic activity. It's an invigorating environment to be in.

"They do everything well. The grandeur and scale of things is beyond belief I always think in China. It's just an amazing place."

This is John Key's sixth Apec (he had to skip the Honolulu one because of the 2011 election) and his fifth trip to China.

And while New Zealand is a very small country, Key's connections elevate his stature.
Just ask him. As he was telling the CEOs, from what President Barack Obama told him publicly and privately, he really cares about TPP.

And from what China's president Xi JinPing told him at dinner in Beijing this year, he wants to take China from an economy dominated by manufacturing to one where intellectual property is created - not stolen through cyber crime. Actually Key didn't say the stolen bit, although his audience may well have been thinking it.

That would have burst the beautiful Beijing bubble that Key is floating in at present.