New head for SASAC
Zhang Yi, vice- chairman of the State- owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, was promoted to chairman of the main State-owned enterprises’ administrative and managing body on Tuesday.
He fills the vacancy left by Jiang Jiemin, former head of the commission, who was sacked in September for “severe violations of discipline”.
The official website of the commission changed Zhang’s title from vice-chairman to chairman quietly on Christmas Eve and confirmed his title change to the media on Wednesday.
Both Zhang and Jiang were transferred to work at the commission as vice-chairman and chairman, respectively, in March 2013, from their former posts as Party chiefs of Ningxia Hui autonomous region and China National Petroleum Corp. Zhang has actually been carrying out the sub-chairman’s duties since Jiang’s dismissal.
Born in 1950 in Heilongjiang province and majoring in forestry at college, Zhang’s recorded career started as a prefectural Party secretary of the Greater Khingan Mountains in Heilongjiang. He quickly worked his way up to provincial leader in Heilongjiang, Hebei and Ningxia and then to vice-Party secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee’s Discipline Inspection Commission.
Zhang is the fourth head of the commission since its establishment in 2003. It is responsible to investors and supervises and manages 113 large State-owned enterprises as well as many of their branch businesses.
Strong in Party work, Zhang does not have as dazzling a career record in economics, finance and management as his three predecessors.
The retirement age for ministerial officials is 65 in China. The remaining two years for Zhang, if he works in his new post until his retirement, will not be easy for him because the commission is in charge of sketching out and implementing a series of pressing Stateowned enterprises reforms, according to the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.
The reform plan indicates that by 2020, 30 percent of State-owned enterprises’ profits should be handed over to the government to improve the livelihood of the general public. Currently, the ratio is lower for general State-owned enterprises, SOE resources and energy giants and for military SOEs.
Low- key and efficient, Zhang’s six months of work in the commission has won wide support from his colleagues. His work experience in vastly different regions proves his ability at coordination and seeing the big picture, which is desperately needed for Stateowned enterprise reform that involves the interests of various parties and is of strategic importance for national development.
State- owned enterprise reform entails changes in the activities of the commission in the first place. The primary task for Zhang, unprecedented for his predecessors, is to redefine the commission’s duties from an almighty administrator of human affairs, management issues and assets of State- owned enterprises into a more professional supervisor of their assets only, Peng Jian’guo, a researcher with the commission, pointed out.
Huang Shuhe, vice-chairman of the commission, said at a recent news conference that SASAC is considering whether to set up some Stateowned capital investment and management companies and support qualified SOEs to reorganize themselves as State- owned capital investment corporations.
“The State- owned assets supervisors at various levels will not interfere with individual enterprises’ autonomy in management and the enterprises’ legal persons’ property rights,” added Huang.
Analysts believe the commission’s internal department and labor distribution will change accordingly.
Second, according to the reform plan drawn up by the CPC, the commission urgently needs to promote the development of a mixed- ownership economy in State-owned enterprise reforms by actively supporting the participation of private capital in the SOE shareholding adjustments.
Huang said: “We are debating whether to classify SOEs into different categories according to their fields and performances and make different shareholding reform plans and policies for different enterprises” to avoid the loss of State-owned assets.
Zhang Yi, chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission