Xiao Gang visits Taiwan in 2010. (File photo/Hung Hsi-lung)
Xiao Gang, chairman of Bank of China, is likely to replace Zhou Xiaochuan as governor of China's central bank, the People's Bank of China, as Zhou is 64 and has been left out of the 18th CPC Central Committee announced on Wednesday.
Xiao, born in 1958, graduated from Hunan Finance and Economics College before moving on to Renmin University of China in Beijing to pursue a master's degree in law. In 1981, he joined the planning and statistics division of the People's Bank of China. Moving up the ladder, he served as director of the policy research office of the People's Bank of China and general manager of the China Foreign Exchange Trading Center.
He became the youngest bureau-level cadre of the People's Bank of China at the age of 36; in 1998, he was promoted to vice governor and member of the central bank's monetary policy committee. In 2003, he was transferred to Bank of China to serve as chairman and governor.
At that time, Bank of China was trying to transition from a state-owned bank to commercial bank. Facing pressure from both inside and outside, Xiao immediately set out to improve the bank's capital adequacy ratio and resolve a great deal of bad debt, reducing the rate of non-performing loans. Due to his measures, Bank of China easily passed the bank asset threshold set by the China Banking Regulatory Commission.
During his more than 20 years experience at People's Bank of China, Xiao has shown himself to be an adept economic operator in both the public and private sectors and looks to be the most eligible successor to Zhou Xiaochuan.
Zhou Xiaochuan 周小川
Xiao Gang 肖鋼