China names Pan Gongsheng to lead central bank, succeeding Yi Gang
Pan Gongsheng was named China’s central bank governor Tuesday in the widely anticipated final major appointment of the ruling Communist Party’s once-a-decade change of power.
Mr. Pan, a deputy central bank governor and veteran of China’s state-owned banking industry, succeeds Yi Gang, an American-trained economist who held the post for five years. The endorsement of Mr. Pan’s promotion by the ceremonial legislature, the National People’s Congress, follows other Cabinet-level appointments announced in March.
The governor of the People’s Bank of China is the most prominent Chinese figure in finance circles but the post’s powers are limited. The bank is controlled by the ruling Communist Party.
Mr. Pan, who turns 60 this month, met with visiting U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on July 8, indicating he was being promoted. He was widely assumed to be in line for the job after he was named Communist Party secretary for the central bank.
In 2015, Pan was appointed head of China’s foreign exchange regulator, usually a stepping stone to the top central bank job. Earlier, he was a vice president of the Agricultural Bank of China Ltd., one of the country’s four major commercial lenders.
Mr. Pan earned a Ph.D. in Economics from Renmin University in Beijing and did research at Cambridge and Harvard Universities.
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