Leadership Shuffle in Chinese Provinces

A wave of hi-level leadership shuffles in 10 Chinese Communist Party (CCP) provincial and city committees occurred at the level of deputy provincial party secretary, provincial party standing committee, deputy provincial governor and other upper echelons of the party, many young officials were also promoted in the wake of these new appointments (China Times, June 16).

According to a report on Ta Kung Pao, a Hong Kong based newspaper with close ties to Beijing, these appointments follow the precedent set by arrangements made at the second plenum of the 17th National People’s Congress, and fill many of the vacancies left after the second plenum (Ta Kung Pao, June 16)

This wave of personnel changes involved provincial level party officials in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Shangxi, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Guangxi, Shaanxi, Jiangxi, Gangsu, and at the same time affected the National Public Safety Department, CCP Central Committee of Political and Legislative Affair, and Supreme People’s Procuratorate of the People’s Republic of China.

A couple of notable changes that occurred at the central and local level included the promotion of Yang Huannin, a Heilongjiang Standing Provincial Committee Member and the Committee for Political and Legislative Affairs Party Secretary to vice minister for the Ministry of Public Security (Sina.com.cn, June 12). Wang Qijiang, a Hebei Standing Provincial Committee Member and the Committee for Political and Legislative Affair Party Secretary, was elevated to deputy party secretary in the CCP Central Committee for Political and Legislative Affair (People’s Daily, June 11).

According to an analyst cited by China Times, the decision to bring these two officials from the provinces to Beijing was made to bolster the party’s commitment to security for the August Olympics. Yang is a renowned counter-terrorism expert, and Wang has a lot of experience in handling public security and safety details neighboring Hebei province.

These appointments and others point to the rising academic credentials and professionalism of Chinese officials, Yang Hunnian received his Ph.D. at Beijing University Law School, and Liang Bin, a Hebei Standing Provincial Committee Member is an assistant professor at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and received his graduate degree from its school of management.

In related news, Lee Xiaohung, the chairman of China Huaneng Group and son of China’s fourth Premier Li Peng, became a Shaanxi Standing Provincial Committee Member and deputy provincial governor. Lee’s appointment represents the many inroads that big businesses are making in party’s local governments. Other similar appointments in the recent past include the appointment of Ai Baojun, the CEO of Baogan Steel, as the deputy mayor of Shanghai, and Zhu Yanfong, the CEO of China Faw Group Corporation, who became the deputy provincial governor of Jiling province. All three companies are state owned enterprises (China Times, June 16).