Born in 1963, agricultural expert Sun Zhengcai was one of China's youngest government ministers when he was appointed Minister of Agriculture in 2006. He moved to head up the Communist Party Committee in the Northeastern province of Jilin in 2009, and became Party chief in Chongqing after the 18th Communist Party Congress in November 2012. He was widely regarded as a rising star in the Party's top ranks until his downfall.
Fujian party secretary Sun Chunlan is the only female provincial party chief. She is tipped to be party boss for Tianjin , one of the five national cities, in this round of reshuffles. One of the few senior women cadres, 62-year-old Sun spent most of her career in trade unions and women's federations. Starting as a worker at Anshan Clock and Watch Factory in Liaoning in 1974, she then rose from director of the Anshan Women's Federation to become the director of Liaoning Provincial Women's Federation and the province's trade union in the late 1980s and the 1990s.
Hu Chunhua and Sun Zhengcai, both three years younger than the 52-year-old Zhou, have now eclipsed him on the political stage after joining the 25-member Politburo, and are in pole position to become the core of the party's sixth-generation leadership.