Shenzhen's ambitious mayor, Yu Youjun, will step down to take up a more senior position in Hunan. Mr Yu, 50, has been a strong advocate of integration with Hong Kong, and during his two-year tenure pushed a successful reform programme that made Shenzhen a model city on the mainland. Sources say he is expected to be transferred to Hunan as deputy governor and deputy party secretary, thus becoming a strong candidate to assume the governor's position. It was unclear who would replace Mr Yu, but sources said Li Decheng, Shenzhen's executive vice-mayor, was a possible choice. Officials from the city's information department declined to comment on Mr Yu's plans. His tenure in Shenzhen was questioned recently when President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao reportedly criticised the city's handling of an incident in which a dance troupe breached a ban on public performances. When several members of the troupe developed Sars symptoms, it raised fears of an outbreak in Shenzhen. Several were later diagnosed as having flu, not Sars. Mr Yu became mayor of Shenzhen in 2000, a time when the city was facing a painful transition - from a special economic zone to a modern city. Mr Yu championed integration with Hong Kong, especially in the areas of border crossings and transport and logistics. His outspoken style has annoyed the Hong Kong government, particularly when he complained about what he saw as the special administrative region's slow response to Shenzhen's integration plans.