A military doctor, a linguist and an economist have been made vice-presidents of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Zhang Quanjing, head of the Communist Party's Organisation Department, announced the changes last week, the semi-official China News Service reported yesterday.
Four incumbent vice-presidents - Ru Xin, Teng Teng, Liu Ji and Long Yongshu - stepped down because of old age.
Their positions were filled by Li Shenming, Jiang Nansheng and Chen Jiagui.
Dr Li, 49, is the youngest and is a former vice-commandant of the PLA Academy of Military Medical Sciences. The only woman, Ms Jiang, 55, was formerly director of the academy's Institute of Linguistics. Mr Chen, 54, was director of its Industrial Economics Institute.
Mr Zhang said the reshuffle followed 'extensive consultation' within the academy. The three were chosen 'democratically' by 170 members.
The news agency said the four former vice-presidents had asked to step down for many years, although they would continue research at the academy. Since the mid-1980s, the academy has established itself as China's most important research institute and think-tank.
Academy president and party secretary Li Tieying streamlined its political organisation by turning the Communist Party committee into a party group. Hardline ideologue Wang Renzhi and vice-president Wang Luolin remained deputy secretaries.