Huang Shuxian, the deputy head of the Communist Party's internal anti-graft commission, has been named the new supervision minister to lead the clean-up of government at a time when top leaders see corruption as the major threat to the party's legitimacy.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) is a party body responsible for internal discipline. It approves the punishment or expulsion of members for corruption and misconduct. The Ministry of Supervision that Huang now heads is its parallel state body.
The Ministry of Supervision has worked in tandem with the CCDI since 1993, and it has been the party's practice to appoint a CCDI deputy chief as the minister. The country's top legislature yesterday approved Huang, 58, as the new Minister of Supervision, replacing Ma Wen, 64. Huang received 2,945 of the 2,952 effective ballots cast in the uncontested election.
Ma was the first woman to be supervision minister. Analysts considered her a close ally of former premier Wen Jiabao . She was seen as a rising political star but failed to be re-elected to the CCDI during the 18th national party congress in November. She also failed to become a National People's Congress vice-chairwoman last week.
Huang graduated from the department of literature, history and philosophy at Nanjing University in 1977. After serving as a junior cultural official and party secretary in Yangzhong county, Jiangsu province, he became the provincial secretary of the Chinese Communist Youth League in 1985.
The job made Huang a member of the tuanpai - officials who came up through the Youth League. He is a protégé of the new premier, Li Keqiang . Li became a Youth League leader in the 1980s and was its first secretary from 1993 to 1998.
Huang became the Standing Committee member of the CCDI in 2002, when he was also vice-minister of supervision. He was a strong contender for the minister's job in 2007 following the death of Li Zhilun , but eventually lost out to Ma.
Huang is likely to have other duties in addition to being supervision minister but they have not yet been announced.
It is most likely that, like Ma, he will serve as director of the National Bureau of Corruption Prevention and the Correcting Industrial Illegitimate Practice Office of the State Council.
Gu Su , a law professor at Nanjing University, described Huang, his schoolmate, as someone who would keep a low profile while carrying out the instructions of top leaders like CCDI chief Wang Qishan, who has projected an image of being tough and outspoken.
"Under Wang's leadership, Huang won't have to think too much about his task. He'll just follow the plan," said Gu.
In a 2009 article in party mouthpiece Qiushi magazine, Huang said party members, regardless of position, would be held responsible for violating party discipline and laws.