MAJOR factions in the leadership are manoeuvring to install their proteges in the Beijing municipal party committee and Government, which are expected to witness major reshuffles later this year. Chinese sources said yesterday the positions of Beijing party boss Chen Xitong and Mayor Li Qiyan had been rendered difficult after a spate of arrests of local cadres on alleged economic crimes. They said, however, that as the political forces were about 'evenly matched', a new party boss or mayor is unlikely to be named soon. Beijing diplomats had circulated two candidates for chief of the Beijing committee, a position with Politburo ranking - Shanghai Party Secretary Huang Ju, President Jiang Zemin's protege, and State Council Secretary-General Luo Gan, Premier Li Peng's confidant. But a source said it was also possible that a politician from the 12-member Beijing committee be picked to succeed Mr Chen. 'While both Huang and Luo have good backing, their move to Beijing might alienate powerful vested interests in the municipality,' the source said. 'In spite of the flak he has received, Chen is putting up vigorous resistance against calls for his resignation.' While Mr Chen has also been linked to the Tiananmen Square crackdown, he enjoys the support of politicians close to two powerful members of the so-called Beijing Faction, former National People's Congress chairmen Peng Zhen and Wan Li. The source added that to deflect criticism that he was promoting a Shanghai Faction member, Mr Jiang might settle for relatively neutral technocrats already serving on the Beijing committee. Since late last year, Mr Jiang has tried to boost his powers by consolidating his ties to the Army, in particular the crucial Beijing Military Region. Failure to oust Mr Chen, a long-time foe, might be interpreted as evidence that Mr Jiang's hold on national politics is weaker than thought. Meanwhile, influential party elder and former Politburo member in charge of organisation, Song Ping, is also trying to influence the outcome of the reshuffle. Analysts said while Mr Song's handpicked successor as organisation chief, Hu Jintao, had largely co-operated with Mr Jiang, he had his own agenda. Xinhua (the New China News Agency) last night quoted Mr Hu as giving instructions on personnel issues while touring rural central counties last week. 'Training superior young people and inducting them into the party is a matter of significance and high urgency,' he said. 'We must have a strategic outlook on this.' Mr Hu, generally considered more liberal than Mr Jiang, toured the revolutionary base of Shanxi province in an apparent bid to win the backing of conservative party elders.