Zhang Yi has been promoted to the position of chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (Sasac), according to Xinhua’s online database of human resources.
Although the official website of Sasac hasn’t yet updated its leadership page to include Zhang, many state-owned enterprises – including the China Silk Corporation and the China National Cotton Reserves Corporation – have given the 63-year-old the title ‘chairman’ in their company archives and press releases.
The website of China Business Executives Academy in Dalian, where Zhang is listed as president, has also been updated include chairman of Sasac in its profile of him.
Sources close to the Sasac confirmed that the appointment was announced confidentially on December 5, according to reports on the mainland news website ifeng.com.
Today, financial news website yicai.com, owned by Shanghai Media Group, also reported on its homepage that Zhang has become the fourth chairman, and at the same time, he remains the Secretary of the Party Committee of Sasac.
Although the media relations department of Sasac told the South China Morning Post they haven’t been authorised to announce the new leadership, staff who answered the phone didn’t deny the news.
With this appointment, Zhang has now become only the third person in the Sasac to preside over both the Council and the Party Committee of the council. These two positions are rarely occupied by one person to avoid concentrating too much power in one individual .
Zhang’s predecessor Jiang Jiemin was arrested in September as part of President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive. Jiang is believed to be a trusted ally of Zhou Yongkang, the former member of the Politburo Standing Committee in charge of the oil industry and the domestic security apparatus, who is now facing a corruption inquiry authorised directly by Xi. Previously, Jiang was General Manager of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC),
Zhang began to manage the general work of Sasac after Jiang’s ouster. He immediately hosted several meetings with executives of enterprises in the petroleum industry in order to convey the importance of continuing the anti-corruption movement.
Born in Beian, Heilongjiang Province in northeast China, Zhang graduated from Northeast Forestry College with a senior degree. He started his career in Heilongjiang Province as the Secretary of Prefectural Party Committee of Greater Khingan Mountains. He was soon promoted to the post of Deputy Secretary of Helongjiang Provincial Discipline Inspection Commission. From then on, his work has been heavily focused on discipline inspection, or anti-corruption.