Lin Shusen has become Acting Mayor of Guangzhou. Xinhua (the New China News Agency) said the appointment was approved unanimously by the Standing Committee of the Guangzhou Party Committee yesterday. It is understood Mr Lin, former provincial planning chief, will be confirmed as mayor and replace Li Ziliu in March. Mr Lin, 51, from Shantou, was appointed a vice-party secretary in July, paving the way for him to take over the helm of the municipal Government. His new appointment indicates the local authorities have succeeded in foiling Beijing's bid to strengthen its control over Guangzhou, whose leaders have long been criticised for being dominated by local people and for straying from central edicts. There have been rumours that Beijing has tried hard in the past year to man senior positions in the city with cadres from northern provinces. Before Mr Lin's appointment was agreed by the committee, it accepted the resignation of Mayor Li, who is stepping down after a six-year tenure due to ill health. It is believed that Mr Li will remain an adviser to the municipal government, partly due to his overseas contacts. Speaking after the committee meeting yesterday, Mr Lin said the construction of Guangzhou's subway was the most difficult job he faced, but it would also give him the greatest satisfaction.