The removal of Chen Liangyu has formally ushered in a period of intense jockeying for power ahead of the 17th party congress next year, with President Hu Jintao openly sweeping political rivals to the sidelines. While Mr Chen's fall marked a political triumph for Mr Hu, analysts said they believed the new political lineup would be a result of negotiation and compromise. 'It is another step to clean up [former president] Jiang Zemin's political influence. It is a takeover of the political stronghold of Jiang Zemin, just like Mr Jiang taking over the stronghold in Beijing in the past,' mainland political scientist Liu Junning said. Although Mr Hu undoubtedly has an upper hand in shaping the new political landscape, he would have to make many compromises with other power brokers, even with the appointment of Mr Chen's successor, according to Hong Kong-based political commentator Johnny Lau Yui-siu. 'The announcement is certainly related to the 17th party congress as major reshuffles are usually made before the party congress,' Mr Lau said. 'However, we cannot say if it is certain that [Shanghai mayor] Han Zheng will eventually be removed, as the new political lineups are more a result of power distribution than clashes between factions.' Mr Lau said Mr Hu would be eager to present an image of stability and would avoid giving the impression of leadership infighting. 'There will be many compromises internally regarding the new appointments in Shanghai,' he said, adding that he believed Mr Hu would not uproot the entire 'Shanghai Gang' in one go. 'It is more than internal struggles between factions and it is difficult to label officials with a faction,' Mr Lau said. 'For example, many think Han Zheng belongs to the Youth League faction and [Vice-President] Zeng Qinghong is of the Shanghai clique. Such simple categorisation is no longer sufficient.' Analysts said the removal of Mr Chen did not come as a surprise. 'It is kind of expected. The party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection has sent so many inspectors to Shanghai and we all expected something big would happen,' said a mainland scholar. But Mr Lau said the crackdown on corrupt officials could hardly prove that Beijing had succeeded in cracking down on corruption because Mr Chen, former Beijing party secretary Chen Xitong and former National People's Congress vice-chairman Cheng Kejie were only sacked after their political mentors stepped down from power.