Zhang Gaoli

More reshuffles in the provinces

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 March, 2007, 12:00am


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China's local party leadership reshuffle continued yesterday with two more provincial party chiefs installed in a further sign that President Hu Jintao is consolidating his grip on power ahead of October's 17th party congress.

In the latest round of personnel changes, Li Jianguo was officially named party secretary of the eastern province of Shandong and Qiang Wei was appointed party secretary of the northwestern province of Qinghai, according to a statement from the party's central committee released by Xinhua yesterday.

Mr Qiang, 54, replaces Zhao Leji, who took the job of party boss for Shaanxi province .

Mr Qiang once worked as the Beijing city party chief of the Communist Youth League, Mr Hu's key power base. He has spent most of his political career overseeing the capital city's legal and public security affairs.

Before being promoted to the position of Qinghai party chief, he was deputy party secretary of Beijing, in charge of the judiciary, and he also spent a short spell as the city's public security chief.

The Xinhua report did not say who would fill Mr Qiang's vacancy in Beijing.

Mr Li, 61, replaced Zhang Gaoli , who was named on Sunday to the top party job in the booming northern port city of Tianjin .

The reshuffles are meant to lay the ground for when Mr Hu, who is also the Communist Party general secretary, is expected to cement his power by installing his supporters in key positions in the powerful Politburo during the party congress in October.

The Communist Party has been conducting provincial reshuffles since July. Saturday and Sunday saw a raft of changes in party leadership in the main cities and provinces, with Zhao Hongzhu , a former personnel official, being promoted to become party secretary of the affluent east coast province of Zhejiang .

Zhao Hongzhu filled the vacancy left by Xi Jinping, a rising political star, who was named party secretary of Shanghai in the most high-profile of the recent appointments.

Mr Xi succeeded Chen Liangyu , who was ousted in September last year in a politically charged corruption scandal linked to abuse of the city's pension fund.

The removal of Mr Chen, an ally of former president Jiang Zemin , was considered to be a significant victory for Mr Hu.

Mr Xi's appointment to the top position in Shanghai was first reported in the South China Morning Post on Saturday.