China secures first top post at IMF

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – China secured its first top  management post in the International Monetary Fund yesterday,  in a move aimed at recognizing Beijing’s growing clout in the  global economy.

New IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde named Chinese  economist Min Zhu, 58, a former deputy governor of the People’s  Bank of China and a special adviser to the fund, to a  newly-created deputy managing director post.

She also said White House adviser David Lipton, 57, will  succeed John Lipsky as first deputy managing director. Lipsky  steps down at the end of his term on Aug. 31 but will stay on  as a special adviser to Lagarde until the end of November.

Lipton’s appointment continues a tradition of the No. 2  position in the IMF going to an American, while the head of the  global lender has always been a European.

China and other emerging economies have vigorously pressed  to end the long-standing practice, arguing that the selection  of top officials should be based on qualifications, not  nationality.

Both the United States and China supported Lagarde in her  campaign to become the next IMF managing director. Since taking  the helm of the IMF, Lagarde has vowed to give emerging market  economies a greater say in the fund.

“As deputy managing director, (Zhu) will play an important  role in working with me and the rest of my management team in  meeting the challenges facing our global membership in the  period ahead, and in strengthening the Fund’s understanding of  Asia and emerging markets more generally,” Lagarde said in a  statement.

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