Position: Minister of Finance, People's Republic of China
Incumbent: Xie Xuren, 63
Term: Appointed in August 2007, Xie will have served a full
five-year term if he retires at the age of 65, as is usual
practice for a Chinese minister.
-- Xie wields less clout than many of his foreign
counterparts since the Ministry of Finance does not have the
final say on fiscal policy. All major decisions in China, be
they economic or social, are made by the State Council, or
-- The finance minister's main responsibility is to strictly
implement the cabinet's fiscal decisions, which occasionally
bring him into conflict with spending ministries.
-- Xie keeps a very low public profile, seldom giving media
interviews or speaking at public forums.
-- Before he replaced Jin Renqing, who was sacked in the
middle of his term, Xie had headed China's tax administration
since 2003, overseeing a rapid increase in fiscal revenues.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard, Langi Chiang and Aileen Wang;
Editing by Daniel Magnowski)