Promotion in sight for Guangzhou commander Xu Fenlin
Xu Fenlin tipped to become only full general among regional commanders
Lieutenant General Xu Fenlin, commander of the Guangzhou Military Region, could become the only full general among the commanders of the People's Liberation Army's seven military regions within days, sources say.
Xu, along with Lieutenant General Liu Fulian , the political commissar of Beijing Military Region, are tipped to be among a round of full-general promotions endorsed by President Xi Jinping in his other roles as party general secretary and chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission before the 86th anniversary of the founding of the PLA on August 1.
Xu and Liu, both 60, failed to be elevated last July, although both were hotly tipped to step up a rung.
Xu was made lieutenant general in July 2008 and commander of the Guangzhou Military Region in December 2009.
His counterpart commanders - lieutenant generals Zhang Shibo of Beijing, Zhao Zongqi of Jinan , Wang Jiaocheng of Shenyang , Liu Yuejun of Lanzhou , Cai Yingting of Nanjing and Li Zuocheng of Chengdu - were only promoted to region commanders within the past year.
According to PLA convention, only those who have been lieutenant generals for four years and at a level equal to a commander of a greater military region for two years are qualified to be promoted to full general.
Cai is a possible exception because he assumed the post of deputy chief of general staff in June 2011.
But according to sources, Cai is also unlikely to be promoted this year.
Apart from Xu and Liu Fulian, lieutenant generals Chu Yimin , 60, the political commissar of Shenyang Military Region, and Sun Sijing , 61, political commissar of the Academy of Military Science, were both considered strong contenders to be full generals this year.
Meanwhile, other lieutenant generals including Wang Hongyao , 61, political commissar of the General Armaments Department, Wu Changde , 61, a deputy director of the General Political Department, and Qi Jianguo , 60, a deputy chief of general staff, also stand a chance of promotion to full general this year.