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Xi’s central bank shakeup prioritizes continuity over big change

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s elevation of a long-serving technocrat as the central bank’s top Communist Party official signals policy makers will avoid any drastic shifts for now as the world’s second-biggest economy struggles to regain momentum.

Pan Gongsheng’s appointment Saturday as party chief of the People’s Bank of China indicates the bank will stay the course, consistent with its recent approach of only modestly cutting interest rates and encouraging banks to lend more to targeted areas. The government has faced calls for greater stimulus in recent weeks as data continues to show the economy losing steam.

“It’s abundantly clear that the leadership is opting for continuity with this particular pick,” said Christopher Beddor, deputy China research director at Gavekal Dragonomics. “The leadership and PBOC are very well aware that Pan is a known quantity and well-regarded by both domestic and global investors, and they have occasionally taken advantage of that fact.”