A Chinese national flag flutters outside the headquarters of the People's Bank of China in Beijing

China names ex-IMF official as new central bank deputy governor

China’s cabinet has named Zhang Tao as a new deputy central bank governor, a step that is expected to pave the way for his appointment as a deputy managing director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Zhang, who had previously worked as an executive director for China at the IMF, will be the sixth deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).

Zhang, who speaks fluent English, is likely to replace Zhu Min as the IMF’s deputy managing director given his past working experience, said a source at the central bank.

Some media reports have said Chen Yulu, former president of Renmin University who was named a vice central bank head in 2015, would replace Zhu as he is due to finish his five-year term at the IMF this year.

Zhang, who also had stints at the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, has headed the PBOC’s department of treaty and law since the beginning of last year.

The IMF admitted China’s yuan into its benchmark currency basket in November last year, a victory for Beijing’s campaign for recognition as a global economic power.

The State Council gave no other details in a statement on its website on Friday.

Zhang holds a Ph.D. in International Economics from the University of California, and was previously an executive director for China at the International Monetary Fund. He has also worked for the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

His appointment follows recent personnel changes at the central bank and regulatory bodies after a turbulent period where stock market turmoil and a devaluation of the renminbi triggered global investor concerns over the government’s ability to manage the country’s financial markets and currency.

Separately, the cabinet said on Friday that Zhou Mubing will be removed from the post of vice chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC). It did not identify his replacement.

Zhou, born in 1957, had served in the position since December 2010, according to his biography on the CBRC website.

The cabinet did not provide a reason for his departure, however senior officials frequently stand down from their posts in adherence with age limits set by the government. Officials at vice-ministerial level or below are typically required to retire at 60.

Prior to joining the CBRC, Zhou was vice mayor of the southwestern city of Chongqing and worked at Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd (601398.SS).

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