Bo Xilai

Bo's top aide left out of leadership

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 June, 2012, 12:00am


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A top aide of Chongqing's disgraced former party boss Bo Xilai was left out of the municipality's new leadership line-up yesterday. But others who were not close to Bo retained their seats in the top decision-making body.

Xu Ming, 54, the top official overseeing the southwestern municipality's emerging Liangjiang New Area hi-tech development zone, failed to retain his membership of the Communist Party's standing committee of Chongqing.

The announcement was made at the close of Chongqing's fourth party congress yesterday,, a news portal affiliated with the official Chongqing Daily, reported.

Zhang Dejiang, Bo's successor as party secretary, was reconfirmed, as was his deputy, Huang Qifan, who is also Chongqing's mayor. This year's five-yearly municipal party congress had been delayed, purportedly because of a power struggle among different factions after Bo's downfall in March.

The 13 members of Chongqing's standing committee will run the municipality, home to 33 million people, for the next five years.

Along with Huang, who was in charge of the economy, and Wang Lijun , Chongqing's former police chief, Xu was regarded as one of Bo's three top allies in Chongqing.

Foreign media reports suggest that Xu was Bo's top adviser when he was commerce minister before becoming the top party official in Chongqing in late 2007.

Xu was transferred to Chongqing to become deputy secretary general of the municipal party committee in April in 2008.

Xu had led the sweeping revolutionary 'red song' drive, among the most visible Bo-inspired campaigns, which Bo used to rally the grass roots and left-leaning intellectuals until his abrupt removal following Wang's defection attempt at the American consulate in Chengdu , Sichuan , in early February.

One of Bo's most reliable allies, Xu was named secretary general of the municipal party committee in June 2010 and a member of its standing committee seven months later.

Apart from Xu, Chongqing's propaganda chief He Shizhong, another Bo ally, also failed to retain his seat on the standing committee.

A media professional in Chongqing said that He, 60, had appeared confident that he would be promoted to director of Chongqing's Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference when he paid a visit to the Chongqing Daily Group last year.

'But it seems he's missed out on the chance to head the political advisory body because of his close ties with Bo,' the person said.

Meanwhile, Fan Zhaobing , the head of the municipal united front work department, and Liu Guanglei , the top official overseeing law enforcement, who were both on the outer with Bo, kept their seats on the standing committee, an official in Chongqing said.

Bo had teased Fan for being stout and plain-looking, while Liu, a protege of President Hu Jintao , was reportedly taped by Bo's intelligence operatives during a phone conversation with Hu.

With Liu staying as Chongqing's top law enforcement official, He Ting , Chongqing's newly appointed police chief, has missed out on promotion to Liu's position and a seat on the standing committee.