Former US Academic Yi Gang Reappointed Chinese Central Bank Governor by Two Sessions

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China’s Two Sessions congressional event for 2023 has announced the reappointment of Yi Gang (易纲) to the position of governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), which is the Chinese central bank.

State-owned media announced the reappointment of Yi Gang to the position of PBOC governor on 12 March, following a vote by China’s National People’s Congress (NPC).

In addition to being a veteran of China’s central banking system, Yi has also amassed extensive academic experience in the United States during the 1980’s and the early 1990’s.

Yi was first appointed to the position of PBOC governor in March 2018, at which time he also assumed the role of PBOC’s deputy party-secretary.

His appointment to the position of central bank governor arrived after more than two decades as an official with PBOC, having first joined the monetary authority in 1997 as deputy-chief secretary of PBOC’s monetary policy committee. In 2002 he was appointed chief secretary of PBOC’s monetary policy committee, before becoming head of the committee in October 2003.

In July 2004 Yi was appointed a member of PBOC’s party committee, and in December 2007 he became deputy-governor of PBOC. Yi also previously headed the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), following his appointment as its head and party secretary in July 2009.

64-year old Yi is a native of Beijing, and obtained a bachelor’s degree in economics from Peking University in 1980.

He has extensive academic experience abroad, having subsequently majored in business administration at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Yi obtained his Ph.D. economics from the University of Illinois, and from 1986 to 1994, successively served as assistant professor and associate professor at the Department of Economics of Indiana University, where he was awarded a tenured post in 1992.

He returned to China in 1994, where he took part in the establishment of the China Economic Research Centre at Peking University, serving as professor, deputy-chair and Ph.D. advisor.