The chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Yu Zhengsheng, has been put in charge of ethnic and religious issues in the troubled Xinjiang and Tibet autonomous regions, giving him more clout than his predecessors.
Born in 1945, Zhejiang native Yu Zhengsheng graduated from Harbin's Military Engineering Institute specializing in the design of automated missiles. Yu was mayor of Qingdao and Yantai in his early political career. His brother Yu Qiangsheng defected to the US in 1985, dealing a heavy blow to Yu's political career. Yu became Minister of Construction in 1998, became a Politburo member in 2002, and Shanghai party chief in 2007. He was promoted to the Communist Party's top body, the 7-member Politburo Standing Commitee, during the 18th Party Congress in November 2012.