Hu Chunhua

Reshuffle sticks to the script in provinces

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 February, 2012, 12:00am


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Local people's congresses and political consultative conferences have concluded with few surprise personnel moves ahead of the upcoming national-level twin sessions.

As expected, seven acting governors were confirmed to full office at legislative sessions in provinces and municipalities. Their attendance - along with that of other new provincial and Communist Party officials - will nonetheless provide a major discussion topic at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference this weekend and the National People's Congress next week.

Provincial reshuffles, including appointments to local party and government posts, represent a key step in the generational leadership change the party will undergo later this year and subsequent shake-up of top government positions next year.

Analysts expected the newly elevated provincial leaders would be subject to close scrutiny at the twin sessions, as many of the cadres are considered rising stars and contenders for future leadership posts.

'The reshuffle we have seen so far has been quite a smooth one, and part of routine personnel changes before the party congress,' Renmin University political scientist Mao Shoulong said.

Professor Zhu Lijia of the Chinese Academy of Governance noted new line-ups at local levels have featured younger and better educated cadres than in the past.

Fujian Governor Su Shulin and Hebei Governor Zhang Qingwei - both born in the 1960s - are among the mainland's youngest provincial leaders.

Su, 49, a former head of the state-owned Sinopec conglomerate, and 50-year-old Zhang, the former chairman of the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, have joined a group of younger contenders for the future top leadership, along with Hunan party boss Zhou Qiang, 51, and Inner Mongolia party chief Hu Chunhua, 48.

New Hebei party chief Zhang Qingli and Yunnan party boss Qin Guangrong, both 61, are among the oldest provincial leaders. Others include Hainan Governor Jiang Dingzhi, Zhejiang Governor Xia Baolong, Guangdong Governor Zhu Xiaodan, Jiangxi Governor Lu Xinshe and Anhui Governor Li Bin.