The People's Liberation Army's Jinan Military Command has seen a new round of reshuffling, with the appointments of four generals to top-brass positions in the military region responsible for Shandong and Henan provinces.
Major-General Chen Zhaohai, formerly the head of military training for the PLA's Headquarters of General Staff, was named the deputy commander for the Jinan command, succeeding retiring Lieutenant-General Feng Shaoju , according to Century Weekly magazine's online news portal.
The Jinan Military Command has been seen as a stepping stone for rising stars since the Communist Party's 18th national congress in November, when its former commander General Fan Changlong was promoted to vice-chairman of the PLA's top decision-making body, the Central Military Commission.
Chen's ascension followed the appointments of Major General Wang Xixin and Major General Liu Zhigang to deputy commander positions in the Shenyang and Beijing military commands, respectively, over the last few weeks.
Aside from Chen, Lieutenant General Zhang Lieying, former director of the political department of the Jinan Military Command, was made deputy political commissar for the region.
Zhang, 61, is generally viewed as a protégé of General Xu Caihou, the former vice-chairman of the party's Central Military Commission.
He spent more than four decades in the Shenyang command, Xu's powerbase, before his 2010 promotion to the political position in Jinan.
Meanwhile, Major General Ma Yiming , the former commander of the 26th Army Corps based in Weifang , Shandong, was promoted to be the region's chief of staff, Century Weekly said.
Major General Zhang Gongxian, former secretary general of the Jinan command's political department, has been appointed to lead the department.
Ma is regarded as being in pole position for further promotion after securing his new position. Several incumbent commanders of the PLA's seven military regions began their rise with appointments as chief of staff.
Such commanders include Lieutenant General Zhao Zongqi , head of the Jinan command; Lieutenant General Liu Yuejun, head of the Lanzhou command; and Lieutenant General Xu Fenlin, head of the Guangzhou Military Command.
Meanwhile, Major General Jiang Moxiang , 59, the head of PLA's 1st Army Corps based in Huzhou , Zhejiang province, under the Nanjing Military Command, was tipped for promotion to be deputy commander of the Nanjing Military Command, said sources.