Acting governor appointed for Hunan

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 June, 2010, 12:00am

Gansu governor Xu Shousheng was appointed acting Hunan governor yesterday, filling the seat left vacant by Zhou Qiang, who was promoted to the province's party secretary in late April.

Xu's appointment is the latest in a series of reshuffles of top provincial posts. His appointment also ended speculation that Beijing may appoint Shanxi vice-governor Li Xiaopeng, son of former premier Li Peng , as Hunan governor.

Zhou, a political ally of President Hu Jintao , was elevated to the top party post in the province after his predecessor, Zhang Chunxian, was appointed Xinjiang party boss in what is widely seen as Beijing's attempt to adopt a more tactful approach in ruling the restive region. Many analysts have said the iron-fisted rule of former Xinjiang party boss Wang Lequan has worsened ethnic tensions.

Xu, 57, climbed the political ladder in Jiangsu province. He was appointed party secretary of Lianyungang city, Jiangsu, in 1996, became Gansu deputy party boss in 2006 and Gansu governor in 2008.