From The Wall Street Journal, via Victor Shih’s blog:
China confirmed the appointment of a senior Finance Ministry official as deputy secretary-general of the State Council yesterday, to lead preparations for a new agency that will more actively manage the country’s foreign-exchange reserves.
Lou Jiwei, 56 years old, formerly a vice minister of finance, has been promoted to the ministry-level post, the State Council said on its Web site.
A person familiar with the situation said in February that Mr. Lou would be appointed to the position. Yesterday’s government statement didn’t mention his role in the agency, which is expected to manage a portion of the country’s $1.07 trillion in reserves.
Victor Shih, an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University specializing in Chinese politics. posted following comments on his Elite Chinese Politics and Political Economy blog:
Lou Jiwei, a close protege of former Premier Zhu Rongji, has been promoted to the deputy secretary general of the State Council yesterday. This means that he and the investment organ he leads, will not be a puppet of the MOF or the PBOC, but will have the same rank as the two agencies. Also, as deputy secretary general, you are literally suppose to serve as the secretary for the premier or a vice premier, so is Lou’s appointment in name only to give him the administrative cloute, or will he report to the next Vice Premier in charge of finance? Issues to work out: who will sit on the board (will there be a board?); how large will it be? How much asset will it invest itself, and how much will it farm out? I see a bright future for Lou, but then I said that about Qiu Xiaohua earlier…….. [Full Text]