China’s central bank gets a new party secretary


Pan Gongsheng was named party secretary of the People’s Bank of China on July 1, 2023.

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BEIJING — The People’s Bank of China announced Saturday that Pan Gongsheng, head of the country’s foreign exchange regulator, would become the central bank’s party secretary.

In a country ruled by the Communist Party of China, the party secretary of an institution typically holds the most sway.

Pan’s appointment to the role comes as Beijing continues to unfurl leadership changes. The Party’s twice-a-decade congress in October and an annual parliamentary meeting in March gave President Xi Jinping an unprecedented third term.

The PBOC’s previous party secretary, Guo Shuqing, headed the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.

That institution was absorbed into the National Financial Regulatory Administration in a financial regulatory overhaul announced in March and is set to take effect this year. The administration’s party secretary and director is Li Yunze, a rare minister-level appointee of the younger 1970s generation.

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PBOC Governor Yi Gang was removed from the role of deputy party secretary, according to Saturday’s announcement. The central bank did not say whether Yi would also leave his governor position.

Pan’s appointment comes as China’s economic growth has slowed and the yuan has weakened against the U.S. dollar. The central bank in June cut major interest rates for the first time in months.

Meanwhile, Beijing has increased its focus on addressing financial risks. The Chinese government this year dedicated an entire section of its annual work report to preventing and defusing major risks — especially in real estate and local government debt.

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