VICE-PRESIDENT Hu Jintao is trying to build up his power base by seconding proteges to important positions. Mr Hu, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, heads the so-called clique or faction of the Communist Youth League. He led the league itself in the mid-1980s. Diplomatic sources in Beijing said yesterday that Liu Peng , a former executive vice-secretary of the league, had recently been made a vice-head of the party Central Committee's Propaganda Department. League secretary Li Keqiang is tipped to take another senior post. A third close associate of Mr Hu, Personnel Minister Song Defu, is also believed to be in line for promotion. Sources said Mr Song was one of a few candidates who could succeed Zhang Quanjing as head of the party's Organisation Department. It is understood Mr Zhang will soon leave the post due to his failure to be elected to the Central Committee at last September's 15th Party Congress. Once headed by late party chief Hu Yaobang, the Communist Youth League faction remains a major power bloc in the party and the Government. Several members of premier Zhu Rongji's Cabinet also worked in the league early in their careers.