China forms new Cabinet, including 5 'super ministers'
Updated: 2008-03-17 23:15
BEIJING -- China's parliament on Monday approved Premier Wen Jiabao's nomination of a new Cabinet, including five "super ministers" who are put on the frontline of a major government reshuffle.
The "super ministers" include minister of industry and information Li Yizhong, minister of transport Li Shenglin, minister of human resources and social security Yin Weimin, minister of environmental protection Zhou Shengxian and minister of housing and urban-rural construction Jiang Weixin.
"From this lineup, we can see the new requirements on the Cabinet ministers, set by the current social and economic development: capacities in strategic thinking and policy-making, administration and overall coordination," said Chi Fulin, executive president of the China Institute for Reform and Development.
Li Yizhong is widely known as former head of State Administration of Work Safety and a seasoned professional in petrochemical industries and state assets management. Li Shenglin has worked in factories and served as Mayor of Tianjin before he became vice-minister in charge of the former State Economic and Trade Commission and later, vice-minister in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
New minister of environmental protection Zhou Shengxian used to work in China's northwest, a region of adverse environmental and natural conditions. He served as director of the State Forestry Administration and the State Environmental Protection Administration respectively before Monday's nomination.
The new minister of human resources and social security Yin Weimin is a master of economics, and Jiang Weixin worked in the real estate sector and served as vice-minister in charge of the NDRC.
The current government reshuffle is expected to address focal issues in China's economic and social development, and to seek all-round, coordinated and sustainable development, said Prof. Li Junpeng of the National School of Administration. "The 'super ministers' therefore need to be enterprising and innovative."
Observers say the reshuffle is more an exploration of China's overall administrative reform, rather than a simple downsizing. The performance of the new government is also crucial to China's future development.