China’s leadership is reportedly set to appoint Pan Gongsheng, a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), as the new head of the central bank, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Pan’s Appointment and Background
Pan is expected to first be appointed as the bank’s Communist Party chief before assuming the role of governor, The Wall Street Journal reports. With a long career in China’s financial sector, Pan joined the PBOC in 2012 as deputy governor and became the head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange in 2015. He also heads the Leading Group of Internet Financial Risks Remediation, which regulates financial-technology companies and cryptocurrency use in China.
Implications for China’s Economy
China’s economy, currently facing slowing growth, high debt levels, and an aging population, is at a critical juncture. Pan’s appointment, given his extensive experience, suggests a cautious approach from Beijing as it focuses on stabilizing the economy after years of COVID-19 restrictions.
Broader Reshuffling in the Financial System
The change in the central bank’s leadership is part of a larger reshuffling in the financial system as Chinese President Xi Jinping forms an economic team primarily consisting of trusted allies. The creation of the Central Financial Commission, a financial watchdog run by the Communist Party, indicates the government’s growing concern over financial instability and its determination to prevent another financial crisis.