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Average age drops as leaders reshuffle

By An Baijie | China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-15 08:00
Most provincial officials received graduate degrees

A reshuffling of the leaders of China's 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions has been completed, with the average age dropping from 58 years and 6 weeks a decade ago to 57 years and 26 weeks today.

Du Jiahao, 57, was appointed acting governor of Hunan province on Thursday. He has previously held high-ranking posts in Shanghai and Heilongjiang province.

The nomination of Du symbolizes the completion of the reshuffling of Party secretaries and governors, which started after the Party's 18th National Congress in November.

During the congress in November, Xi Jinping was elected general-secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

The reshuffling continued at this year's session of the National People's Congress in March, during which leaders of the central government and its departments were elected.

Of the 62 provincial Party secretaries and governors, 41 were transferred from other posts after 2012, according to the central government. Fifteen of the officials from 10 provinces were newly appointed after the NPC session, which ended on March 17.

About 85.8 percent of the 62 officials were born in the 1950s, and nearly 60 percent were born between 1953 and 1957.

Lu Hao, 45, who became acting governor of Heilongjiang province on March 25, became the youngest provincial governor. Lu had served as first secretary of the Secretariat of the 16th Communist Youth League Central Committee since June 2008.

Sun Zhengcai, Party chief of Southwest China's Chongqing municipality, and Hu Chunhua, Party chief of South China's Guangdong province, are the youngest provincial Party secretaries. Both are 49.

Among the 62 senior officials, there are only two female leaders - 53-year-old Liu Hui, acting chairwoman of Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region, and 62-year-old Sun Chunlan, Party secretary of Tianjin municipality.

Many senior provincial leaders used to be high-level managers of State-owned enterprises.

Li Xiaopeng, governor of Shanxi province, was general manager of China Huaneng Group from December 2002 to May 2008, and Su Shulin, governor of Fujian province, was general manager of China Petroleum and Chemical Corp.

Nearly 90 percent of the 62 provincial officials have postgraduate degrees, up from about 50 percent five years ago, People's Daily reported.

Ten officials hold PhDs including Sun Zhengcai in Chongqing.

Eighteen of the provincial officials got their academic degrees from the Party School of the CPC Central Committee. The other education agencies that have the largest number of graduates of senior provincial officials are Jilin University, with four, and Peking University and Nankai University, with three each.

About 58 percent of senior provincial officials have economic and administrative academic backgrounds.

Lu Hao, acting governor of Heilongjiang, graduated from the Peking University's School of Economics, and You Quan, Fujian Party chief, graduated from Renmin University of China's School of Economics.

Wang Yukai, a professor of administrative research at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said that officials with politics and economic majors are expected to better handle the problems in social management.

"At the beginning of the reform and opening-up period (in 1978), officials with engineering and technological backgrounds were more likely to get promoted," he said. "But the number of leaders with political and economic backgrounds is becoming larger, which is to meet the demand of social management."

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