The mainland's Ministry of Information Industry (MII) chief has been appointed to head the telecommunications law drafting committee, raising hopes that progress on the long-delayed bill could be accelerated. Minister Wang Xudong's new appointment comes just two months after he was named the director of the State Council Informatization Office, a post previously held by Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan. Market watchers interpreted Mr Wang's new assignment as a signal of the central government's determination to accelerate the drafting of the telecommunications law, which has dragged on for 23 years. The two positions would give Mr Wang more power in cross-ministry issues. The informatization office sets policies and directions for the information technology industry and telecommunications and broadcasting networks. The MII has been thwarted in drafting the law because of unresolved issues in the convergence of telecommunications networks, cable television networks and the Internet. It has clashed with the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television on who should regulate telecommunications services via cable TV networks.