China Said to Appoint Key Posts Ahead of Reshuffle, WSJ Reports

  • Guo Shuqing said to be top candidate to head banking regulator
  • Zhong Shan tipped to succeed Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng

China is planning to appoint new heads to some key economic and financial regulatory bodies ahead of a twice-a-decade leadership reshuffle by the ruling Communist Party, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Guo Shuqing, the governor of Shandong province and a financial sector expert, is the top candidate to become the new head of the nation’s banking regulator to replace Shang Fulin, who has reached the retirement age for senior government officials of 65, the WSJ reported.

Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), speaks to an audience at the Lujiazui Forum in Shanghai, China, on Friday, June 29, 2012. The Lujiazui Forum is co-hosted by the Shanghai Municipal Government, the People's Bank of China, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC). Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Guo Shuqing
Guo Shuqing.
Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

He Lifeng, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, is slated to replace the commission’s chairman Xu Shaoshi when he retires, the report said. Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng is also set to step down, with his deputy Zhong Shan, who is also China’s top trade representative, tipped to succeed him, according to the WSJ.

The reported remaking of the economic team comes as China grapples with risks of a trade clash with the U.S. and financial headaches at home. The Communist Party is preparing for a major meeting in the fall to decide on a power structure for the coming years.

Calls to the commerce ministry’s press office went unanswered. A spokesman for the NDRC declined to comment. The CBRC didn’t immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.