China Eyes PBOC’s Zhang as Next IMF Deputy, Caixin Reports

  • Zhang Tao just named as PBOC deputy, same rank as Zhu Min
  • He would replace Zhu Min at IMF in July, Caixin reports

Zhang Tao.

Photographer: Imaginechina

China plans to nominate Zhang Tao, a central bank veteran with years of experience at multilateral development banks, to replace International Monetary Fund Deputy Managing Director Zhu Min, Caixin magazine reported.

Zhang would succeed Zhu when Zhu’s term at the IMF is up in July, according to Caixin, which didn’t say where it got the information. The Washington-based lender has three deputy managing directors, along with a first deputy managing director -- typically held by an American -- and by tradition a European managing director, currently Christine Lagarde.

China’s hold on one of the deputy slots reflects the nation’s growing economic might and comes as its policy makers push for increased global use of the fund’s unit of account in the global financial system.

Zhang was just promoted to deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, a role that Zhu had before he moved to the IMF job. China’s State Council unveiled the promotion in a statement posted on its website that included other personnel changes in different arms of the government.

Development Banks

Zhang worked at the World Bank from 1995-1997 and the Asian Development Bank from 1997-2004, and has held various positions within the PBOC, according to a profile on the IMF’s website dated in 2012. 

Zhu has been deputy managing director of the IMF since the additional role was created in July 2011. A Japanese and a Brazilian-Italian dual national hold the other two deputy managing director posts.

With his PBOC appointment, Zhang became the fifth of the central bank’s current six deputy governors to have a PhD, having earned his doctorate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Their boss, Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, is the longest-serving central banker among major economies and has long advocated financial reforms, valuing staff with international experience. The central bank boasts more people in its senior ranks with overseas education and experience than other government agencies, reflecting an increasingly global outlook.

The IMF will communicate the next steps for Zhu’s replacement in due course, an IMF spokesperson said by email. The PBOC didn’t immediately reply to a fax seeking comment.

— With assistance by Zheng Wu

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