Published: Mon, March 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

China appoints US-trained economist head of central bank

China appoints US-trained economist head of central bank

In another development, Foreign Minister Wang Yi was chosen as a State Councilor, while retaining his ministerial post.

ZHOU'S PROTEGE U.S. -educated Yi Gang, 60, has been vice PBOC governor since 2008.

Policy insiders said Yi's appointment on Monday can be seen as a victory for Zhou.

Some analysts have questioned China's commitment to market reforms, with Xi poised to rule indefinitely after parliament this month ditched presidential term limits, and as the ruling Communist Party tightens its control, including a more centralized financial regulatory oversight structure.

His predecessor, Zhou, has been central bank governor for 15 years and is the most prominent Chinese figure in global financial circles.

Zhou leaves behind "three major challenges", wrote Chen Long, China economist at research company Gavekal Dragonomics, in a client note last week: "Completing interest and exchange rate reform, managing financial risk and adapting to a bigger global role".

It's possible that the pro-free market approach of Governor Yi and Vice Premier Liu could see the end of China's strict regulation of cryptocurrency as it becomes the obvious choice for worldwide financing.

"The main task right now is to implement prudent monetary policy, push forward financial sector reform and opening up, and keep the financial sector stable", Yi told reporters on the sidelines of Monday's parliament session at the Great Hall of the People.

Londoner crowned world's best teacher for learning 35 languages her pupils speak
An art and textiles teacher from an inner-city school has won a million-dollar prize at a lavish ceremony in Dubai. There were more than 30,000 nominations for the award from 173 countries.

Yi, by comparison, is only an alternate member of the Communist Party's central committee, the largest of the party's elite decision-making bodies, comprising 204 full members and about 170 alternate members.

He will oversee the government's economic and financial policies at a time when the threat of a trade war with the United States looms large.

Mr Yi has a degree in economics from Beijing University, together with a master's degree and PhD in economics from the University of IL in the US.

With Yi's background and his reputation of being pro-reform, his nomination would be good news for foreign investors, Xie also said.

Zhu held both the posts of vice premier and central bank governor simultaneously from 1993 to 1995, and went on to become China's premier in 1998-2003. Liu Kun, director in charge of budget matters for the NPC, will be the new finance minister.

Liu was formerly a vice finance minister.

The head of a newly merged banking and insurance regulator is also expected to be announced soon.

Like this: