World Bank Group gives ‘number two’ job to Chinese official Yang Shaolin
Managing director role for Yang Shaolin signals body’s interest in Chinese development strategies
The World Bank has appointed China’s Ministry of Finance official Yang Shaolin as its chief administrative officer and managing director.
It said the posts were new positions created to improve organisational strategy, information technology, budgeting and planning, and that Yang’s appointment would be effective from February 29.
China hoped the appointment would boost the representation of developing countries in international finance, said foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei.
Yang is currently the director general of the ministry’s department of international economic and financial cooperation, Xinhua reported.
In this position Yang had played a critical role in the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the BRICS’ New Development Bank.
“We’re very pleased to welcome Shaolin back to the World Bank Group in this critical new role for the institution,” said World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim.
“In addition to his strong knowledge of our organisation, Shaolin brings a deep background and expertise of driving economic and financial cooperation. He is a very experienced leader, and across all of his positions over the years, Shaolin has excelled at collaboration and consensus building.” Kim said.
Yang served as the executive director for China at the World Bank Group from September 2009 to November 2013.
China is the group’s third-largest shareholder.
Sun Lijian, professor in economics at Fudan University , said the appointment meant Yang was the “number 2” at the World Bank and that China had been fully involved in the organisation.
He said previous Chinese nationals appointed to executive positions at the World Bank, such as Zhang Shengman, Lin Yifu and Cai Jinyong, had all been Western educated, because the US wanted to be able to communicate with them.
The appointment also demonstrated the bank’s recognition of China’s AIIB and “One Belt, One Road” development initiatives and signalled its intention to get involved, said Sun.