Two municipalities get new leaders

Updated: 2012-11-20 22:51

(China Daily)

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The reshuffling of key positions within the Communist Party of China continued on Tuesday with the announcement of two new Party chiefs in two municipalities.

Sun Zhengcai, the youngest of the 25 newly elected members of the Political Bureau of the 18th CPC Central Committee and Party chief of Northeast China's Jilin province, was appointed Party secretary of Chongqing in Southwest China, according to a decision by the CPC Central Committee announced on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Han Zheng, another new member of the Political Bureau, was named Party chief of Shanghai after being mayor of the eastern metropolis for nine years.

Tuesday's appointments followed two on Monday. Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu was named chief of the Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs of the CPC Central Committee, and Party chief of Northwest China's Shaanxi province Zhao Leji took over as head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee.

Analysts said more reshuffling of personnel in key Party positions is expected, as the 18th Party Congress, which ended on Wednesday, had elected a new 205-member CPC Central Committee. The new CPC Central Committee elected its Political Bureau at its first plenary meeting on Thursday.

Sun, born in September 1963, was one of the only two newly elected Political Bureau members younger than 50. The other, Party chief of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Hu Chunhua, is five months older than him.

Sun took over the post of Party chief of Chongqing from Zhang Dejiang, currently a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, and vice-premier of the State Council.

As the top official of sprawling Chongqing, Sun will have to deal with the aftermath of the city's former Party chief, Bo Xilai, who was sacked in March for severe disciplinary violations. Vice-Premier Zhang ran the city in the interim.

Bo was accused of taking advantage of his position to seek profit for others and receiving huge bribes. Investigations also revealed that he bore responsibility in an international homicide case involving his wife, Bogu Kailai.

While responding to a question from media about anti-corruption during a group discussion at the 18th Party Congress last week, Sun said the Party is faced with a "severe" problem of corruption, and the fight against it would be an enduring task.

A native of East China's Shandong province and a PhD graduate of China Agricultural University, Sun is an expert in agriculture and spent much of his early professional life in agricultural academies and a suburban district of Beijing. He served as agriculture minister between 2006 and 2009, before being named Party chief of Jilin.

The other major personnel announcement was Han, who took over the post of Shanghai Party chief from Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the newly elected Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

Han, a native from East China's Zhejiang province, has spent his entire professional life in Shanghai. Han, now 58, was the youngest mayor of Shanghai in half a century when he took office in 2003.

During his term, he witnessed the downfall of Chen Liangyu, former Party chief of Shanghai and then a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Chen was arrested in 2006 and sentenced to 18 years in jail for taking bribes and for abuse of power in 2008.