Hu Jintao

Hu ally gets top provincial post

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2008, 12:00am

A protege of President Hu Jintao and former chief media censor has been appointed the top official of the northeastern province of Heilongjiang .

Ji Bingxuan will replace Qian Yunlu as Communist Party secretary, said a statement by the party's decision-making Central Committee, posted on the central government's website yesterday.

Mr Qian was elected a vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on March 13, the statement said. The CPPCC is the government's top advisory body, many appointees are retired officials and other elites.

The promotion of Mr Ji, former executive vice-director of the party's publicity department, is further evidence that officials with a background in the Communist Youth League - a power base of Mr Hu - are in the ascendancy.

They have dominated reshuffles of senior central and regional party and government posts since last year.

A native of Henan province, Mr Ji, 56, began his political career with the league after serving in rural grass-roots government. He became deputy secretary of the Youth League in Henan in 1987 and its secretary in 1993. He headed the publicity department of Jilin province from 1995 until he was transferred to Beijing in 1998.

Mr Ji became deputy head of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television. He was made a vice-director of the publicity department in 2001 and executive vice-director in charge of propaganda and media affairs in 2003.

Party sources said Mr Ji had been Mr Hu's right-hand man in propaganda matters.

Mr Ji had been directly in charge of several controversial cases, such as the shutdown of the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Herald in 2003, the arrest of two former editors and a former general manager at the Southern Metropolis News in 2004 and the crackdown on China Youth Daily's outspoken weekly Bingdian supplement in 2006.