PRESIDENT Mr Jiang Zemin has promoted some former Shanghai associates to Beijing in a bold bid for power. But as some of the cadres are conservatives, it has raised doubts about the reformist orientation of Mr Jiang, a former Shanghai mayor who heads the party and the military. Shanghai officials promoted to Beijing include the Vice-Chief of Propaganda, Mr Gong Xinhan; a top researcher at the Shanghai Branch of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Mr Li Junru; and the party secretary and deputy chief editor of Liberation Daily, Mr Zhou Ruijin. Mr Gong, who had occupied the No 2 position in the Shanghai propaganda bureau for at least a decade, has been promoted a Vice-Chief of the Propaganda Department of the party's Central Committee. Chinese sources said Mr Gong would soon replace the Executive Vice-Chief of Propaganda, Mr Xu Weicheng, a noted Maoist who has already been ''compensated'' with a position on the Standing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. But the sources said even though Mr Gong had worked under such notable liberals as the former heads of Shanghai propaganda, Mr Wang Yuanhua and Mr Pan Weiming, he was an ''undisputed hardliner''. An expert on the life and thoughts of chairman Mao Zedong, Mr Li is tipped for the directorship of the Theoretical Bureau of the Propaganda Department. After the June 4, 1989 crackdown, Mr Li has been active criticising the ''bourgeois-liberal tendencies'' of intellectuals. Mr Zhou, part-author of the famous Huang Puping commentaries extolling the reform ideas of patriarch Mr Deng Xiaoping, is the only liberal among the cadres transferred to Beijing. Sources in Shanghai said Mr Zhou, would in July be made a vice-chief editor of the People's Daily, China's most influential news media. The sources said Mr Zhou would soon replace the First Vice-Chief Editor, Mr Zhang Yunsheng, and later, the Chief Editor, Mr Shao Huaze. They said Mr Zhou owed his promotion not so much to Mr Jiang as to the former vice-party chief of Shanghai, Mr Zeng Qinghong, now the Head of the General Office of the party's Central Committee. Political sources in Beijing said the one Jiang protege who had made the most headway in the party hierarchy was Mr Zeng, who is also head of the Jiang Zemin Office. The sources said Mr Zeng gained the additional post of Political Secretary of the Politburo, a position formerly held by Mr Bao Tong, the right-hand man of ousted party chief Mr Zhao Ziyang. Other Shanghai officials tipped for senior post in the capital include the Vice-Party Chief of Shanghai, Ms Chen Zili, and the Head of Shanghai's Bureau for Restructuring the Economy, Mr Liu Ji.