Saturday, 25 May, 2019

Can China's New Central Banker Restart Reforms?

Can China's New Central Banker Restart Reforms? Can China's New Central Banker Restart Reforms?
Patty Aguilar | 19 March, 2018, 16:57

It was also announced that a newly formed banking and insurance super regulator, formed out of a merger between the Banking Regulatory Commission and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, would oversee all of China's banking and insurance sector - and would effectively report into the PBOC.

However, unlike the United States and other large democracies, China's central bank does not operate independently of the government, and so Mr Yi will ultimately report into President Xi Jinping.

"China's ministries are giant, nationwide silos and fiefdoms that never talk to one another", Cliff Tan, east Asian head of global markets research at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, said in a note.

Last October, Liu, 66, was elected into the 25-member Politburo, the second-highest tier in Beijing's political power structure after the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee. Liu had been the head of the General Office of the ruling Communist Party's Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs and a vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) - China's top economic planning body. He is seen as instrumental in steering monetary and currency policy, including the landmark devaluation of the yuan in 2015.

The US-trained economist, Yi Gang, has been appointed to lead the People's Bank of China following an approval from China's ceremonial legislature of finance and economic officials.

Earlier this year, Yi wrote an op-ed in local business weekly Caixin pushing for the further reform of China's renminbi, which has always been allowed to fluctuate within a set range.

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An economic reformer, Yi studied in the U.S. and earned a tenured position at Indiana University before returning to China to take a position at Peking University.

He was also the head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) from 2009 to 2016.

At a press conference earlier in the annual parliamentary session, Yi said the central bank would work to push through reforms that will bring about "equal treatment for domestic and foreign investors".

He has served as deputy to Zhou Xiaochuan, who held the post for 15 years.

In addition to promoting Liu, the rubber-stamp parliament on Saturday elevated Wang Qishan, a Xi confidant and former trade negotiator, to the vice presidency, giving him another experienced ally to deal with Washington.

Zhong Shan was re-elected as the commerce minister.

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