China turns to financial experts to manage and rebuild economy

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China turns to financial experts to manage and rebuild economy

China’s government has embarked on a new strategy of placing financial experts in provinces to manage risks and rebuild regional economies as the country struggles to deal with its slowdown.

Since 2018, President Xi Jinping has placed 12 former executives either in state-run financial institutions or as regulators in top positions across China’s 31 provinces, regions, and municipality.

Before, only 2 top provincial officials had such financial background before the last big leadership reshuffle in 2012. Among the financial experts recently promoted are Beijing’s vice mayor Yin Yong, a former deputy central bank governor, and Shadong’s deputy provincial governor Liu Qiang, who rose through the country’s biggest commercial banks including the Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China.

Another newly promoted official is Chongqing’s vice mayor Li Bo, who had led the central bank's monetary policy department until this year.

The appointments would appear to put those officials in the fast lane as China prepares a personnel reshuffle in 2022, when about half of the 25 members of the Politburo could be replaced, including Liu He, a vice-premier who is leading economic reform while doubling as chief negotiator in the U.S. trade talks.

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