Top leaders are discussing the replacement of Zhou Xiaochuan, China’s central bank chief and global face of the country’s economy, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed party officials. The talks come amid disagreements over the direction of financial policy, the officials said, as Mr. Zhou’s continued press for market changes – including liberalizing interest rates – clash with leaders’ concerns that such overhauls will overburden China’s economy and threaten a target of 7.5% annual GDP growth. Zhou acquired greater influence following Xi Jinping’s ascent, with allies given prominent roles in major economic-policy making bodies. As the economy has lost momentum, the PBOC has come under increasing pressure to broaden its hitherto narrowly aimed stimulus.
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