Xu Lin, a protégé of President Xi Jinping , has taken over as head of the National Radio and Television Administration, which oversees state broadcasting in China. The 59-year-old attended an event at the NRTA in Beijing on Wednesday as its director and Communist Party branch secretary, according to a post on the agency’s website. It said Xu spoke about creating television shows that focus on ordinary people’s stories for the ruling party’s national congress later this year. It was the first confirmation that Xu has been appointed to the top job at the NRTA and comes ahead of a twice-a-decade political reshuffle at the party congress , to be held in autumn. While China is likely to see a new leadership line-up unveiled at the event, Xi is expected to secure a third term as the party’s top leader. The new boss of state radio and television began his political career in Shanghai, where he was born and raised. Xu became a member of the Standing Committee of the Municipal People’s Congress – his first position at a deputy ministerial level – in 2007, two months after Xi was appointed party secretary of Shanghai. The NRTA will be the third propaganda-related department that Xu has led, and it is also his third ministerial-level job since 2016. From 2016 to 2018 he was director of the country’s internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China. Since 2018 he had been director of the State Council Information Office, which handles the release of important official information and national policies. Reshaping of Communist Youth League gives insight into party resilience Xu gave a speech at a media forum in 2020 as head of the cabinet’s Information Office, saying China must “resolutely guard against digitalisation diluting the party’s leadership, resolutely prevent the risk of capital manipulating public opinion”. He said the key value for media was to “adhere to the correct political direction, public opinion orientation and values”. His new role includes overseeing mandatory guidelines for film, radio and television. Xu’s predecessor at the NRTA, Nie Chenxi, turns 65 in July this year – the official retirement age for ministerial-level officials. Separately, Cui Maohu has been appointed the new director of the National Religious Affairs Administration, a regulatory body that oversees religious groups. Cui, who is from Yunnan province, is new to religious affairs – he has worked in the provincial government and the party’s local Organisation Department, which is in charge of personnel. Cui had also been secretary general of the party’s Yunnan Provincial Committee since November. His predecessor, Wang Zuoan, had been at the religious affairs bureau since 1987 and its director since 2009. Wang is now 64 and a new role has not been announced.