Reshuffle at China’s Top Regulatory Positions

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Nov. 1 – Beijing has announced the first of what will be a wide-ranging series of changes at the very pinnacle of the Chinese Communist Party Government. As it moves towards the replacement of Party Chairman Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and other key senior figures early next year, it has announced key changes at the banking and securities regulatory sector.

Securities Regulator Shang Fulin has been named Chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, replacing Liu Minkang, who has retired aged 65. China Construction Bank Chairman Guo Shiqing has taken up the position of Chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, while Agricultural Bank of China Chairman Xiang Junbo has been promoted to the Chairmanship of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission. All three positions are considered ministerial level and are based in Beijing’s Financial District.

Liu Minkang in particular may be remembered by China Briefing readers for the allegedly false quotes attributed to him by this web site in early February 2009. Comments published here by Chris Devonshire-Ellis concerning the potential movement of the US$-RMB position resulted in a massive shift in RMB overnight, with RMB currency futures moving by several billion dollars. The CBRC subsequently published a denial of Liu having made such comments, referring to them as “fabricated.” China Briefing subsequently removed the article and apologized for a “breach of etiquette.”

Chris Devonshire-Ellis with Liu Minkang

“What is important is to survive and it is necessary to make apologies when things go wrong,” says Devonshire-Ellis. “I wish Liu Minkang a happy and peaceful retirement.”

Chris’ account of what happened can be found on his personal blog here.

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