Heilongjiang governor Lu Hao heads 'next generation' of leadership
Achievements of Heilongjiang governor Lu Hao trumpeted in move seen by analysts as start of propaganda campaign for the next leadership
The overseas edition of People's Daily ran a prominent profile of rising political star Lu Hao yesterday, with analysts saying it was part of a propaganda campaign ahead of his elevation to the next generation of party leadership.
They said the article extolling the talents and capabilities of the 46-year-old Heilongjiang governor - the youngest provincial governor - signalled the beginning of the nurturing of a new generation of leaders.
It comes just months after the installation of the fifth-generation leadership at the party's 18th congress in November.
Lu was elected to the party's 205-member decision-making Central Committee at the congress and was appointed Heilongjiang's governor in March.
He is one of the young leaders, born in the 1960s, who are seen as likely to make up the core of the party's sixth-generation leadership, which will succeed the fifth-generation led by President Xi Jinping in less than 10 years.
Chen Ziming , a Beijing-based political affairs analyst, said it was part of a propaganda campaign "designed to promote the young leader in preparation for elevating him to the core at the next party congress" in 2017.
Professor Zhang Ming , a political scientist at Renmin University, agreed and said it was part of the ongoing, orderly and institutionalised power succession process. Chen and Zhang said Lu was likely to become a member of the party's Politburo at its 19th congress and then make it into the Politburo Standing Committee at the 20th party congress in 2022.
The article said Lu had broken several records during his career, becoming the youngest person to hold various posts.
He was made head of a state-owned factory in Beijing in 1995 at the age of 28, making him the youngest person to hold such a post in the capital, and turned it around into a profit-making concern. Eight years later he became Beijing's youngest deputy mayor.
In June 2008 he became the youngest ministerial-level official when he was named first secretary of the secretariat of the Communist Youth League central committee.
The article also said Lu had successfully managed the Zhongguangcun industrial park, known as China's Silicon Valley, between 1999 and 2003.
Born in 1967, Lu rose through the party ranks while completing a bachelor's degree in economics and then a master's at Peking University under Professor Li Yining , one of the pioneers of market reform and also the teacher of Premier Li Keqiang and Vice-President Li Yuanchao .
Lu is a member of the party's youth league faction, or tuanpai, the power base of former party chief Hu Jintao .