Yu Zhengsheng

New Shanghai party chief named

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 October, 2007, 12:00am


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For the second time in under a year, an outsider with a privileged background will run the mainland's commercial capital, with the appointment of 62-year-old Yu Zhengsheng as Shanghai's Communist Party Secretary.

Xinhua announced the appointment yesterday, quoting a statement from the party's Central Committee.

Mr Yu, previously the party chief of Hubei province, replaces Xi Jinping, who spent only seven months as Shanghai's top leader before joining the powerful Politburo Standing Committee after the party's recently concluded 17th National Congress. Mr Xi had replaced Chen Liangyu, the corrupt party boss who was ousted last year for embezzling from the city's pension fund.

Mr Yu, from Shaoxing in neighbouring Zhejiang province , declined to confirm his appointment during the congress, but had praise for Shanghai nonetheless.

'I think Shanghai is great. It's where our Communist Party was founded, it's where economic opening really took off,' Mr Yu told delegates and reporters.

Asked to comment on his performance in Hubei, he noted the fast pace of development in rural counties and its main city, Wuhan .

'There have been big changes in the Hubei economy and I feel that the development has gone well,' he said. 'Of course, there are some problems, for instance, the environment.'

Hubei governor Luo Qingquan will succeed Mr Yu as the province's party chief.