A senior officer running the PLA's southern China operations is expected to head the army's controversial garrison stationed in Macau. Defence analysts welcomed the appointment of Major-General Liu Yuejun, 48, describing him as a member of the younger generation of military leaders with a professional outlook. They said General Liu would face a tough assignment involving questions of whether the PLA should take a role in ensuring law and order and fighting corruption in Macau. The promotion from his post as chief of general staff of the Guangzhou military region's 41st Group Army is expected to be announced 50 days before the December 19 handover from Portugal to China. General Liu's name suggests his family has a military background, with Yuejun translating as 'Cantonese army'. He is reported to be a native of Hunan province. 'He is a young-generation general,' said defence expert Andrew Yang Nien-dzu, secretary-general of the Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies in Taiwan. He was promoted to general about two years ago and had served in several posts in the Guangzhou military region, he said. Another source said: 'He is regarded as a professional.' The general was believed to have been hand-picked for the job because of his unblemished background, the source said. Major-General He Xianshu, 50, a former political department director of the Hong Kong garrison, is expected to become political commissar of the Macau force. The decision to station troops in Macau - probably on Taipa Island - has aroused controversy, because Beijing had indicated previously there was no need for a military presence. The wave of violence and gangland killings sweeping Macau is viewed by most observers as the reason for the mainland's turnaround. General Liu served previously as commander of an army unit in Guangxi province.