Bo Xilai

Wang Lijun's successor rises through ranks

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 March, 2012, 12:00am


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Chongqing confirmed yesterday that the interim Communist Party chief of the city's police force will take up a new job in the latest reshuffle following the removal of city party boss Bo Xilai.

Guan Haixiang, who succeeded Bo's right-hand man Wang Lijun in February as the party secretary of Chongqing's police force, has been named executive deputy head of the city's United Front Work Department, whose main function is to manage relations with the non-Communist Party elite, the government-affiliated news portal reported yesterday.

'The standing committee of the municipal Communist Party decided the appointment on March 23,' the report said, citing the Chongqing government's press office. 'The standing committee has full political trust in comrade Guan and fully approves his work performance.'

At the same time, 56-year-old Xu Songnan, who only joined the city's party standing committee a few days ago, was named chief of the party's organisation department in the southwestern municipality, the online version of People's Daily reported yesterday.

Hours before the official confirmation, a news portal affiliated with the Beijing-based Economic Daily reported that Guan attended a meeting on Wednesday with the Chongqing branch of the China Jiu San (September 3) Society, one of eight so-called non-Communist parties on the mainland, in his new capacity, triggering speculation that he had left the police post.

A rising political star from the Communist Youth League, Guan, 43, has been tipped to eventually head the United Front Work Department in Chongqing, with speculation rife that its current chief, Fan Zhaobing , 54, will soon replace He Shizhong as head of the city's propaganda department.

Guan assumed the post of police party chief in mid-February. Wang reportedly tried to defect at the US consulate in Chengdu , Sichuan , in early February.

A source in Chongqing said yesterday that if Guan became head of the department he would secure a seat on the party's municipal standing committee.

He Ting, the new party boss of Chongqing's police force, pledged at a meeting of senior officers on Tuesday that he would deal swiftly with incidents that might affect political stability, public order or the integrity of the force.

An experienced policeman for nearly three decades, He, 50, was appointed vice-mayor and director of Chongqing's public security bureau in the past fortnight.

In a separate development, Chongqing Municipal People's Congress deputy Zhang Mingyu , who vowed during the annual session of the National People's Congress early this month to reveal proof of Wang's misdeeds but disappeared soon after, confirmed yesterday that he had been taken from his Beijing apartment back to Chongqing and held in a guesthouse with no contact with family until the afternoon of March 15, the day Bo was dismissed as Chongqing party chief.

'As far as I learned, a top-ranking Chongqing official ordered my arrest. That official could have been Bo.'