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WB Names China's Lin as Top Economist

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said on Monday the bank had appointed leading Chinese academic, Justin Yifu Lin, as its chief economist, which would help further strengthen ties with China.

Lin is one of China's top economists and heads a think-tank at Peking University and is an adviser to the central government.

"Having Justin Lin as someone who is very experienced in the field of rural development will both bring us his expertise but also it will probably strengthen our ability to work with China," Zoellick said at the end of a four-nation tour of Africa that took him to Mauritania, Liberia, Ethiopia and Mozambique.

Lin succeeds Frenchman Francois Bourguignon.

Since taking the helm of the institution in July last year, Zoellick has gone to lengths to strengthen the bank's ties with China, which is actively sourcing oil and minerals and lending to African countries.

Lin, 56, established his career researching the fundamentals of economic development in China, focusing on agricultural economics and the redistribution of wealth. He studied economics in China and later earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago in the United States.

He is a founder of the China Center for Economic Research think tank at Peking University. He is also an adviser to the central government on development issues.

(China Daily February 5, 2008)

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