China / Government

Environment ministry Party chief named

By XU WEI (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-29 07:40

Tsinghua University President Chen Jining was appointed Party chief of the Ministry of Environmental Protection on Wednesday, the ministry announced on its website.

The appointment was announced by the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

Environment ministry Party chief named
Chen Jining. File photo
Chen, 50, replaces Zhou Shengxian, 65, who remains minister of environmental protection for now, though he is expected to be replaced. Ministry-level officials generally retire at age 65.

Zhou was appointed in December 2005 as minister of what was then the General Administration of Environmental Protection.

On Tuesday, a number of news outlets, including China Business News, identified Chen as the prospective replacement for Zhou as the country's new minister for environmental protection.

Chen is a professor at the School of Environment at Tsinghua as well as the university's president.

Ministers of central government departments generally double as Party chiefs at the ministries they serve. However, there are exceptions.

Under Chinese law, ministers in the central government can only be appointed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, which convenes bimonthly. That means the formal appointment of Chen as environmental minister will likely take place in late February.

An owner of more than a dozen patents and registered environmental software products, Chen has served as a member of the National Environmental Advisory Commission and as deputy chairman of the Science and Technology Committee of the environmental ministry.

He earned a PhD from Imperial College London in 1993 and later served as an assistant researcher at the college. He joined the Tsinghua faculty in 1998 as vice-dean of the Department of Environmental Engineering.

Chen has published more than 200 papers and has been the author or co-editor of a number of books.

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