Beijing is poised to reassert control over Guangdong by appointing heavyweight 'northerners' to senior positions. And more cadres in the provincial administration are being posted to top jobs in cities including the provincial capital Guangzhou and the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. Beijing sources said premier-designate Zhu Rongji went over personnel issues when he made an undisclosed trip to the province last week. One contemplated measure is replacing Guangdong party secretary Xie Fei, who has headed the province for seven years. One candidate shortlisted is the fast-rising party secretary of Henan, Li Changchun, 53, who was elected to the Politburo in September. Born in Liaoning and close to the so-called 'northern industrial establishment', Mr Li has recently declared his allegiance to the leadership of President Jiang Zemin. Under this scenario, Mr Xie, 65, who has retained his Politburo membership, would be transferred to Beijing as either head of the trade union or a vice-chairman of the National People's Congress. However, a Guangdong source said it was still possible for Mr Xie, who had resisted his own transfer many times, to hang on for one to two more years. 'Xie is aggressively lobbying Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji to stay in his present post,' the source said. Guangdong's second-in-charge, Lu Ruihua, is expected to remain in his position as Governor for the foreseeable future. However, Mr Lu, a Guangdong native, will have to share more power with newly appointed Executive Vice-Governor in Charge of the Economy Wang Qishan, a protege of Mr Zhu. A former banker, Mr Wang, a native of Shanxi, is a son-in-law of party elder Yao Yilin. Diplomatic sources said at this stage Mr Wang lacked the seniority to gain a further promotion soon. Meanwhile, Executive Vice-Governor of Guangdong Zhang Gaoli is taking over from Li Youwei as the party secretary of Shenzhen. A native of Fujian, Mr Zhang, 51, worked in the oil industry before joining the Guangdong bureaucracy. Mr Li Youwei is tipped to become the head of a powerful committee at the NPC or to gain a senior post at the provincial people's congress.