Educated Yi Gang becomes head of China's central bank

Educated Yi Gang becomes head of China's central bank

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.

Unlike Zhou, who as the son of a former government minister is known as a "princeling", Yi comes from a humble background, enrolling at the elite Peking University after spending several years in the countryside during China's "Cultural Revolution".

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

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

Bai Hexiang, head of the PBOC's Xi'an branch, called Yi "easy going". He is credited with a long list of financial reforms and introducing new tools to manage monetary policy.

Liu, who won a top Chinese economics study award in 2015 for his research on the global financial crisis, is widely seen as masterminding Xi's supply-side reforms which are cutting excess factory capacity and pivoting the economy away from low-value industries.

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"He is an important symbol of monetary policy continuity", Yu said.

The PBOC and other regulators are trying to rein in risks from an increasingly complex financial system and a rapid build-up in debt without jolting markets or hurting economic growth. It will continue President Xi's campaign against corruption, with a far more wide-reaching mandate. "A crackdown promises to be a source of significant market risk in the form of increased financial volatility and possible policy mistakes".

The National People's Congress also selected four new vice premiers.

Yi's long years outside China - those who return from overseas are colloquially known as "sea turtles" - make him an anomaly in a leadership cadre that consists nearly exclusively of domestically groomed officials. Liu Kun, director in charge of budget matters for the NPC, will be the new finance minister. "We must bear in mind not just the interests of our own people, but also the well-being of the world".

Unlike its western counterparts, the Peoples Bank of China is not independent.

He Lifeng and Zhong Shan will keep their positions as chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission and minister of commerce respectively.

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