Top leadership expected to discuss high-level vacancies

Updated: 2015-10-21 06:59

By CAO YIN(China Daily)

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Top leadership expected to discuss high-level vacancies

Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd L, back), also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, speaks during a meeting on the 13th five-year plan period (2016-2020) with leading officials from seven regions in east China: Shanghai, Anhui, Fujian, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shandong and Zhejiang in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, May 27, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]

China's top leadership is expected to discuss how to fill the high-level vacancies left as a result of the nation's anti-graft campaign, according to political scientists and commentators.

They said that apart from discussion of the nation's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), the vacancies and personnel transfers will most likely be on the agenda at next week's leadership meeting.

Former high-profile officials or officers including Zhou Yongkang, Ling Jihua, Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou have faced or are under corruption charges or disciplinary investigation.

Some individuals who used to seek favors and protection from them have also been removed from their positions and charged with corruption.

The fifth plenary session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee will be held from Oct 26 to 29 in Beijing.

The high-level vacancies include a deputy secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, who serves as an assistant to Wang Qishan, the commission chief and the country's top graft-buster.

A director of the State Council Research Office-the most prominent policy advisory group to the central government-is also being sought.

Jiang Ming'an, a law professor at Peking University, said the investigation of suspected corrupt officials shows that the country's resolve to fight corruption remains strong. The campaign will continue following the downfall of some high-level officials, Jiang said.

Key vacancies and personnel transfers will be a high-light of the upcoming plenary session, Jiang added.

There are also vacancies for the Party chief of Tianjin, due to an earlier personnel transfer, and the governorship of Fujian province, after former governor Su Shulin was placed under investigation for suspected serious disciplinary offenses earlier this month.

Sun Zhigang, who served as vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, was appointed deputy and acting governor of Guizhou province on Oct 16.

Before Sun's appointment, Zhao Kezhi, his predecessor, had been named as the Party chief of Hebei province after Zhou Benshun, the former Party chief in Hebei, was placed under investigation for alleged serious disciplinary offenses.

Zhou has since been expelled from the Party and dismissed from public office for offenses including graft.

He is widely believed to be an ally of Zhou Yongkang, 72, one of the highest-ranking officials exposed in the anti-corruption campaign, who has been imprisoned for life.

Yang Huanning, former vice-minister of public security, was named head of the State Administration of Work Safety on Oct 14 after its former director Yang Dongliang was removed following corruption allegations.

Wang Yukai, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said that a Party chief or governor represents a regional image, so it is understandable that it can take time to fill such vacancies.

Wang suggested the central government take more time to select candidates and inspect their backgrounds more carefully.