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China's 'Mr. Yuan' winds down after 15 eventful years

PBOC Gov. Zhou's successor may not revive hopes for more liberalization

People's Bank of China Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan, right, seemed in good spirits at a meeting of finance officials Oct. 19.

SHANGHAI -- China's central bank Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan has led China's monetary policy for nearly 15 years. Though it remains uncertain when he will step down, rumors suggest that he could do so in December, around the 15th anniversary of his appointment, or in January, when he turns 70. The governor is unlikely to stay on past the National People's Congress in March.

Zhou, one of the world's most prominent central bankers, seemed to have a weight lifted off his shoulders in a recent appearance during the Communist Party's national congress. On Oct. 19, while Chinese President Xi Jinping was consolidating power at the twice-a-decade event, the People's Bank of China governor attended a conference of finance officials on the sidelines.

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