Heads have rolled in the Beijing municipal Government with both its finance and tourism directors sacked for being 'politically incompetent'.
Xinhua (the New China News Agency) announced last night that the Beijing Municipal People's Congress had approved the removal of Sun Jiaqi and Dong Chunsheng as the city's finance and tourism directors.
Mr Sun was replaced by Qu Hongxiang , currently the auditor general of the municipal Government, while Mr Dong was succeeded by Wu Tonghui , president of the Beijing United Tourism College. Like his predecessor, Mr Qu also doubles as the taxation chief for the municipal Government.
Political incompetence, failure to discipline their own staff and low popularity among the public were the three reasons given by Xinhua for Mr Sun's removal.
In addition, a reprimand was issued by more than 30 Beijing Municipal People's Congress members demanding his removal.
It added, however, that Mr Sun had helped with the probe of his former bosses - party secretary Chen Xitong and vice-mayor Wang Baosen - and Mr Sun had not been involved in the Chen-Wang scandal.
Chen, also a former member of the Communist Party's Politburo, was still under investigation although he had been held for more than a year.
He was taken into custody after his protege Wang committed suicide for fear of being investigated for embezzling billions of yuan in public money.
Xinhua said Mr Dong was not only politically incompetent but he still faced 'investigation', indicating he could be charged at a later stage.
Meanwhile, Yang Anjiang was relieved of his duty as the head of the Beijing Economic Commission. Xinhua said the change was made because Mr Yang was recently made a vice-mayor. Li Yanling , former chairman of the Beijing Chemical Corporation, had taken over as the new economic chief.
Mr Yang, who has a doctorate from Shanghai's Tongji University, is said to be close to Communist Party General Secretary Jiang Zemin .
According to Xinhua, the tenure for the new appointments is until February 1998, indicating the latest reshuffle was meant to be long-term.
Analysts believe the reshuffle indicates the leadership is prepared to wrap up the investigation over the Chen-Wang scandal as the top echelon gets ready for a crucial party plenum late next month or in September.