BEIJING'S legislature has formally endorsed the nomination of a former senior State Council official as a new vice-mayor. Jin Renqing, formerly a deputy secretary-general of the State Council, was confirmed yesterday by the Beijing Municipal People's Congress Standing Committee as a new vice-mayor. Mr Jin, who was a vice-minister of finance for four years before he was transferred to the State Council in May, is a member of the Beijing Communist Party Standing Committee. According to the China News Service, Mr Jin is a graduate of the Central Financial Institute and has many years of experience working in the border province of Yunnan. He is believed to be on good terms with Vice-Premier Zhu Rongji as well as premier Li Peng. Although official reports did not specify his portfolio, it is believed that Mr Jin, 51, will soon take over from the Executive Vice-Mayor Zhang Baifa and be put in charge of finance and economic matters of the capital. Mr Zhang, the once flamboyant vice-mayor, is expected to step down early next year. His former boss, Chen Xitong, was stripped of his Politburo membership for his role in covering up the crimes of his right-hand-man vice-mayor Wang Baosen, who killed himself in April while being investigated for corruption. The confirmation of Mr Jin came after the Communist Party chief Jiang Zemin paid a three-day 'imperial visit' to the capital urging its cadres to learn a 'sombre lesson' from Chen's mistakes. The Beijing press yesterday was saturated with reports of Mr Jiang's visit and all highlighted a speech given by the General-Secretary in a meeting with leading cadres. Analysts said the central authorities might have decided to scale down its investigation into the Beijing leadership since the confirmation of Mr Jin yesterday was not accompanied by other personnel changes. They also said Mr Jiang's speech seemed to emphasise that the earlier scandal primarily involved Chen and Wang and no other senior officials would be blamed. 'The Beijing authorities must be breathing a collective sigh of relief,' a Western diplomat said. 'It looks like Jiang is giving them what is pretty close to a clean bill of health.' In a speech to welcome Mr Jin, Beijing Mayor Li Qiyan praised the new vice-mayor as an 'enterprising' financial expert with rich grassroots experience. Without mentioning his predecessors, Mr Jin pledged his commitment and vowed to accept 'supervision' in his new job. Meanwhile, the Beijing city government lost a senior member last week. A vice-mayor, Li Runwu, died of a heart attack while chairing a meeting. His death is understood to have prompted the leadership to speed up the confirmation of Mr Jin.