China to Shake Up Financial System as Xi Jinping Installs Key Associates

Chinese leader Xi Jinping is preparing to shake up the leadership of the country’s financial system, installing key associates to run the central bank and reviving a Communist Party body to tighten political control over financial affairs, the Wall Street Journal reported. The moves are a continuation of efforts by Mr. Xi to reshape the world’s second-largest economy. In recent years, the central bank and other financial regulators have continued to lose their already fading independent status amid Mr. Xi’s broader effort to strengthen the party’s rule. Zhu Hexin, chairman of the Chinese financial conglomerate Citic Group Corp., is the leading candidate to succeed U.S.-educated economist Yi Gang as governor of the People’s Bank of China. They cautioned that the decision isn’t final, with senior government appointments only made formal at China’s annual legislative session in early March. Zhu isn’t likely to take a concurrent role as the People’s Bank of China’s Communist Party secretary, the most powerful post in the central bank. This would largely accord with existing leadership arrangements at the bank, where the incumbent governor, Mr. Yi, is deputy party chief, technically the No. 2 at the bank. It couldn’t be learned what party position Zhu would take. Read more. (Subscription required.)