New Party chief named for Shanghai

(China Daily/Agencies)
Updated: 2007-03-26 06:52

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) yesterday announced the latest reshuffle of provincial leadership as the Party gears up for its all-important national congress in October.

Xi Jinping was appointed secretary of the CPC Shanghai municipal committee on Saturday. He was Party secretary of East China's Zhejiang Province prior to the appointment.

Xi, 53, replaced Han Zheng, the Shanghai mayor who was also acting Party secretary after the fall of former Party chief Chen Liangyu.

Chen was sacked last September for his alleged involvement in a multi-billion-yuan social security fund scandal.

He Guoqiang, a member of the Political Bureau and head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, said on Saturday that Xi "is experienced in both Party management and economic reform".
Xi Jinping profile

Xi Jinping, a native of Fuping, Shaanxi Province, was born in June 1953 in Beijing. He was a graduate of Tsinghua University and joined the CPC in January 1974.

After his father Xi Zhongxun, a former CPC leader, was purged during the "cultural revolution" (1966-76), Xi went to Shaanxi in 1968 where he worked in a farm before becoming the Party secretary of a village. Xi described this experience as unforgettable as he had learned a lot about people and society during his stint.

He later served as Party secretary of Zhengding County, Hebei Province, and then went to Fujian Province, where he stayed 17 years, the longest of his political career. He was vice-mayor of Xiamen, a member of the CPC Xiamen Municipal Committee, secretary of the Ningde Prefectural Committee, secretary of the CPC Fuzhou Municipal Committee and chairman of the Standing Committee of the Fuzhou People's Congress. He was named governor of Fujian Province in January, 2000.

Xi became the Party secretary of Zhejiang Province in 2002. He is said to have contributed significantly to the development of the area's privately-owned enterprises and is also well-known for his tough stance on corruption. He was appointed Shanghai Party chief on Saturday.

Xi graduated from Tsinghua University and holds a doctorate degree in law. He was appointed secretary of the CPC Zhejiang provincial committee in November 2002 and is a member of the 16th CPC Central Committee.

Xi was named to the Shanghai position in part because he has experience on the front lines of economic reform, has good Communist Party connections and is an outsider in Shanghai, said He Hushang, professor of Communist Party history at People's University in Beijing, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"This is a good move," He said. "It promises to stabilize the Shanghai situation and resolve the overhang in advance of the 17th Party Congress" in October, a key date in China's political calendar.

Xi, 53, built his reputation as an economic reformer over several postings. Before serving as party boss in Zhejiang, Xi was governor of Fujian province near Hong Kong, where he was credited with attracting investment from Taiwan despite the political differences between the island and the mainland.

In Zhejiang, Xi stressed building regional links with Shanghai and the broader Yangtze River delta and spurred local industries to become more competitive, said Yang Jianwen, vice director of the Institute of National Economy at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

"Xi has a good strategic sense, sees the region as a whole and has good connections, all of which should benefit Shanghai in the next round of development," Yang said.

The party has been grooming Xi. In addition to a succession of high-profile posts, he headed a party delegation to North Korea in 2005 during one of Beijing's efforts to restart nuclear disarmament talks. But there was no indication he was involved in nuclear diplomacy.

Xi also knows U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. from Paulson's former role as chief executive of investment bank Goldman Sachs. Paulson started his trip to China in September by dining with Xi.

In other decisions by the CPC Central Committee yesterday:

Zhao Hongzhu replaced Xi as Party chief of Zhejiang. He was earlier the deputy head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee.

Zhao, 60, has served as vice-minister of supervision.

Zhang Gaoli was appointed secretary of the CPC Tianjin municipal committee, replacing 68-year-old Zhang Lichang. He was earlier Party secretary of East China's Shandong Province.

Zhang Gaoli, 61, a native of Jinjiang, East China's Fujian Province, graduated from the Economics Department of Xiamen University.

He spent most of his time in Guangdong Province, serving as director of the provincial economic commission, deputy governor, Party secretary of Shenzhen, and deputy Party secretary of Guangdong Province before he was appointed Shandong Party chief in 2002.

Zhao Leji replaced Li Jianguo as the secretary of the CPC Shaanxi Provincial Committee. He was earlier Party secretary of Northwest China's Qinghai Province.

Zhao, 50, is a native of Xining, Qinghai Province, and graduated from Peking University in 1980.

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours