China replaces finance minister amid debt, stimulus efforts

China's government has replaced Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, one of its most prominent figures in global financial circles, as Beijing pursues plans to rein in surging debt and stimulate its slowing economy.

The national legislature announced Monday that Lou would be succeeded by Xiao Jie, one of his deputies. Lou is 65, an age at which Cabinet ministers traditionally have retired. There was no word on whether he would take another post.

It was unclear if the handover would lead to a change in policy, which is made by the ruling Communist Party. But it comes as regulators are trying to rein in surging corporate debt while keeping economic growth on track.

Lou became minister in 2013 after serving as chairman of China's sovereign wealth fund, the China Investment Corp.