State finishes revamp of academic institute

Chris Yeung

CHINA'S leading official academic institute has completed a major reshuffle, its fourth since its establishment 14 years ago, to take it into the next century, according to a report.

The China News Service quoted an official from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences as saying that the latest shake-up, started in June, has been completed recently.

Of the 150 heads of institutes and bureaus, 43 are new faces.

The communist leadership has revamped the powerful academic body since the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations.

Liberal academics involved in the student-led protests and close to the disgraced Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang had been removed, the report said.

The academy's personnel bureau chief, Shan Tianlun said the criteria for the selection of new leading cadres included their ''revolutionary spirit'', age, knowledge and professional expertise.

He indicated the degree of loyalty of cadres towards socialism had been considered.

According to the news service despatch, the ''emancipation of thought and widening of perspectives'' by cadres had been given special significance in picking the future leaders.

The leaders of the academy had laid down strict requirements for grooming a younger team of cadres.

At least one or two deputy heads of institutes under the academy should be below the age of 45, the report said. More than a third of the officials who ranked as heads of bureaus or institutes were aged below 50.

Five scholars below the age of 40 had been given senior posts. The youngest bureau head was aged 37.

Mr Shan maintained that the recent reshuffle had been a product of democratic consultation within the 4,000-strong academic body.

More than 70 per cent of the academy's staff had given their views on the revamp of the leadership.

The news service said about 30 of the 150 senior staff had been educated abroad.