Former Hong Kong liaison chief Peng Qinghua to be party boss in Guangxi

Peng Qinghua becomes party secretary, with You Quan a surprise choice for role in Fujian

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 December, 2012, 5:12am

Guo Shengkun is set to become public security minister after yesterday's announcement that the former head of the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong, Peng Qinghua, has been appointed party boss of Guangxi Autonomous Region, replacing Guo.

Prior to his shift to politics in 2004, Guo was general manager and secretary of party leadership at the Group of Aluminum Corporation of China. He has held various posts at the group since 2000 and spent decades in the non-ferrous metal industry.

Peng maintains the same official rank following the appointment, but it could signal further political advancement for the 55-year-old, seen by some as a rising star after his re-election as a full member of the party's Central Committee last month.

His new job in Guangxi will equip him with experience of local government, usually seen as a prerequisite for a party official to rise higher in the hierarchy. He spent nine years in Hong Kong.

You Quan, deputy secretary-general of the State Council since 2001, will succeed Sun Chunlan as Fujian party chief.

His appointment is believed to have surprised local officials. Earlier reports had tipped You, 58, to become head of the National Development and Reform Commission, due to his close ties with Vice-Premier Li Keqiang , who is expected to succeed Premier Wen Jiabao in March.

"We had expected that our governor Su Shulin would replace Sun as our new party chief," a senior provincial government official said, requesting anonymity.

"Many of our cadres were surprised when notified [on Tuesday night] that You would lead us."

He said most local officials had never heard of You before his appointment was announced.

Meanwhile, Xinhua reported that Bayanqolu has been appointed acting governor and vice-governor of Jilin, replacing Wang Rulin, who has been promoted to the province's party boss. Bayanqolu, a 57-year-old ethnic Mongolian, has been the chairman of the Jilin provincial committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference since February 2011.