Xi Jinping

Beijing municipal leaders re-elected

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 May, 2007, 12:00am

Beijing's municipal leaders ended their all-important five-yearly meeting yesterday without any major change in leadership.

Party boss Liu Qi and Mayor Wang Qishan were re-elected party secretary and deputy secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party, according to a report on the People's Daily website.

The re-elections of both top officials suggest they are likely to continue to lead the city despite earlier reports indicating they might leave their posts in a nationwide reshuffle. Analysts also had speculated before the announcement that both officials could stay on at least until Beijing's 2008 Olympic Games because both of them are charged with responsibility for organising China's most important international event.

Rumours had been rife that Mr Wang, a former executive vice-governor of Guangdong , would be elevated to party chief of the southern province, a position usually accompanied by a seat on the Politburo.

Mr Liu, a Politburo member, is also president of the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympics (Bocog).

The ongoing regional party congresses across the country are believed to be preparing the way for a major national leadership reshuffle to be finalised at the party's 17th national congress in October. President Hu Jintao is expected to consolidate his power base by appointing more of his political proteges to fill top positions.

In some cases, preliminary personnel arrangements were implemented in the lead-up to local party congresses. In a barrage of leadership reshuffles this year, former Zhejiang provincial party secretary Xi Jinping was appointed the new party boss of Shanghai, and former Shandong province party secretary Zhang Gaoli was made party chief of Tianjin .

Wang Anshun , former deputy party secretary of Shanghai, who was appointed deputy party secretary of Beijing last month, was also re-elected becoming one of only two deputies to Mr Liu. This apparently paves the way for him to succeed either the mayor or municipal party chief in the future if any further reshuffle of local leadership occurs in the run-up to the 17th party congress or after the Games.

Du Deyin , the head of Beijing's municipal legislature and former deputy secretary, was not re-elected, apparently due to a new party personnel policy that aims to streamline the leadership structure. Under the new system, each local party branch will have only two deputy heads. One is usually the head of the local government and other is in charge of party affairs.