Fujian Communist Party Secretary Jia Qinglin has emerged as the front-runner to replace Beijing Mayor Li Qiyan , sources said yesterday. Pending a final decision by the central leadership, the 56-year-old party secretary will soon travel to the nation's capital to take up his new job. Sources said Fujian Governor Chen Mingyi would fill the vacancy left by Mr Jia's promotion and a vice-minister from the Ministry of Chemical Industry would become governor. Mr Li is tipped to be transferred to the Ministry of Labour to act as a vice-minister and party secretary. Mr Jia studied hydrodynamics and ship-building at the Shanghai Communications University in the 1960s. He became a professor at the same university after he graduated in 1966. Eight years later, he joined the Xiamen University in Fujian, first as a faculty head and later vice-president. He spent one year in Norway conducting academic research during his 10-year tenure at the university. Mr Jia began his political career in 1984 as a vice-director of technology and science of Fujian province. A year later he was named a vice-governor and promoted to the governorship in 1994. Analysts said the reshuffle was one of the most important personnel changes before the Communist Party calls its 15th Party Congress next year.