Election results from provincial-level Party congresses confirm the Communist
Party of China is eliminating deputy Party chief posts in an ongoing effort to
An average of three such posts have been cut in China's Liaoning, Henan,
Anhui, Shanxi provinces, and in Xinjiang Uygur and Tibet autonomous regions.
There will now be only two deputy Party head posts in these provinces, one of
whom will be the provincial governor. The other deputy Party head post will be
responsible for Party affairs or discipline supervision.
Officials serving as Party secretaries will no longer occupy posts in fields
like the economy, health or education, because these posts overlapped with vice
"It's hard for me to decide who to listen to when there are two leaders,"
said Wu Xuguang, a construction official in Xiuning County of Anhui Province, in
an interview with a Beijing-based newspaper.
The thinning of Party secretaries will streamline decision-making procedures
and enhance governance efficiency, said Wu Zhongmin, a sociology director with
the Party School of CPC Central Committee.
Prior to the downsizing, secretaries occupied many posts in the local Party
standing committee, which is the provincial policy-making body. In the new
set-up, secretary posts will be cut and more non-secretary officials will be
brought into the standing committee.
"This will curb the dominance of secretaries in the committee - it is another
step taken by the Party to realize group governance and democracy," said Liu
Suhua, a scholar with the Party School.
Even before the provincial-level reshuffling, reelections at lower levels had
already eliminated thousands of Party posts.
In central China's Hunan Province alone, over 5,600 deputy Party chief posts
at the township level were slashed, an average of 2.6 fewer such posts per town,
local government sources said.
Nationwide, an average of 200 county level and 40 city level Party posts have
been eliminated, according to a report in the latest issue of Southern Weekly.
With China determined to deepen political reforms in the first phase of the
11th five-year plan period (2006-2010), the latest provincial Party congresses
have witnessed a wave of personnel changes.
The People's Daily said the the leadership downsizing was a "significant