China’s Voice Maintained at IMF With Pick of PBOC Official

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Zhang Tao.

Photographer: Horacio Villalobos/Corbis via Getty Images
  • Zhang Tao to succeed Zhu Min as IMF deputy managing director
  • Move reinforces China’s place after position created in 2011

China’s influence within the senior ranks of the International Monetary Fund is being cemented with the nomination of central banker Zhang Tao to be deputy managing director at the crisis lender.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Friday announced the proposed appointment of Zhang, a People’s Bank of China deputy governor, to succeed Zhu Min, another ex-PBOC deputy governor who steps down later this month. The Washington-based fund’s executive board must approve the move.

In appointing Zhu in 2011, Lagarde created a fourth deputy managing director position, raising China’s profile at the fund, which was conceived during World War II to oversee the global monetary system. The IMF last year approved adding the yuan to its benchmark basket of reserve currencies, and the nation’s voting share expanded this year under reforms to the institution’s governance.

Before becoming deputy governor at the PBOC, Zhang served as China’s executive director, or chief representative, at the IMF from 2011 to 2015. Previously, he headed the legal-affairs department at the central bank and served as director general of its financial survey and statistics department.

Zhang has also worked at the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. He holds a doctorate in international economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and degrees in electrical engineering and finance from China’s Tsinghua University, according to the IMF.

“Mr. Zhang brings a strong combination of international economic expertise, public sector policy making and diplomatic skills,” Lagarde said in a statement.

A Japanese and a Brazilian-Italian dual national hold the other two deputy managing director posts. David Lipton, an American, serves as first deputy managing director, or Lagarde’s No. 2 official.

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