On 11 October 2019, it was announced by Hunan CCP Committee that former Tianjin Vice Mayor Yao Laiying (姚来英) has been appointed Hunan CCP Standing Committee (CCPSC) member and Hunan State-owned Asset Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) Party Secretary. Before this latest appointment, Yao was the youngest vice mayor in the northern port city. He spent his entire career until now in Tianjin, in the city’s finance system all the way up to reach the position of Tianjin Bureau of Finance Director-General in 2013. He was appointed Tianjin Vice Mayor in January 2018 during the first round of vice-provincial appointments across China right after the 19th Party Congress. Yao is the second “southward” Tianjin official in the past year. In November 2018, former Tianjin Vice Mayor Zhao Haishan (赵海山) was appointed Hubei Vice Governor.
Following former Nanjing Mayor Lan Shaomin (蓝绍敏)’s promotion to Jiangsu CCP Standing Committee (CCPSC) and appointment as Suzhou Party Secretary, the province has appointed Taizhou Party Secretary Han Liming (韩立明) as Lan’s successor in Nanjing on 8 October 2019. Han was former Changzhou Party Secretary (1984-1994) Chen Yuying (陈玉英)’s secretary in Chen’s last three years in Changzhou. Changzhou was a model for small- and median-sized cities across China back in the 1980s, for its unique, innovative path of development in light industry, electronics, chemical industry, pharmaceuticals, and construction materials. As a result, Chen Yuying became the first and only prefectural party secretary introduced into CCP Central Committee without taking any concurrent vice-provincial or provincial job. Chen was member of 13th and 14th Central Committees, which gave Han a head-start in her political career. Han became Taizhou Party Secretary in April 2018, and Taizhou is her first prefectural party secretary post. After the latest promotion to Nanjing, Han also became the second female provincial capital mayor across China—the other being incumbent Hefei Mayor Ling Yun (凌云), who was appointed in 2016. Yet, Nanjing is of vice-provincial ranking and Hefei is only of prefectural ranking—Han is therefore the only female. vice-provincial mayor in China now.
On 28 September 2019, former Everbright Bank Governor Ge Haijiao (葛海蛟) was appointed Hebei Vice Governor. Ge spent a major portion of his career in Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), and was only confirmed as Everbright Bank Governor by CBIRC in January 2019. Hebei has been lacking a vice governor since former vice governor Li Qian (李谦) was ousted in August 2019.
On 26 September 2019, former Sichuan Development Holding Company Chairman Wang Fengchao (王凤朝) was appointed Sichuan Vice Governor, filling the vacancy left by ousted former Sichuan Vice Governor Peng Yuxing (彭宇行). Sichuan’s provincial leadership has been short of one vice governor since April 2019, when former Sichuan Vice Governor Peng Yuxing was investigated by Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). Wang Fengchao spent his entire career in Sichuan, initially at Sichuan Changhong Electric Company, China’s second-largest television manufacturer. Wang was critical in making the company a leading brand of consumer electronics in China. Wang was appointed Neijiang Vice Mayor in 2005, and then transferred to become Sichuan State Asset Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) Vice Chairman in two years. He was appointed Sichuan Airlines General Manager in 2010 and then became chairman of the airline. Wang was appointed Sichuan Development Holding Company Chairman in July 2015, leading the provincial state-owned asset management company. In 2018, Sichuan Development Holding Company became Sichuan’s first SOE with over CNY one trillion total assets, under Wang’s watch. Wang has also been taking a concurrent appointment as Sichuan Financial Holding Company’s Chairman since February 2017. The company is Sichuan’s first financial holding platform. In April 2019, a Sichuan SOE reform ETF was listed on Shenzhen Stock Exchange, with Sichuan Financial Holding Company taking the leading role. It is the first SOE reform ETF in Midwest China.
On 26 September 2019, Hubei government appointed former Hubei Organization Department Deputy Head Xiao Juhua (肖菊华) as Hubei Vice Governor, succeeding Chen Anli (陈安丽), who was appointed Hubei CCPSC member and Organization Department Head in May. A female official is required at every level of government in China as a demonstration of gender equality. With Chen Anli’s departure from Hubei government, the province has been lacking a female vice governor for four months, primarily because it is hard to find a competent female official—although it is required for all levels of government to have female officials, female officials are still systematically discriminated in China’s cadre promotion.
On 26 September 2019, Inner Mongolia CCPSC member, Tongliao Party Secretary Li Jiexiang (李杰翔) was transferred to Qinghai as Vice Governor. Qinghai has had a vacant seat for an executive vice governor since May 2019, when former Qinghai CCPSC member and Executive Vice Governor Wang Yubo (王予波) was appointed Yunnan Vice Party Secretary. Having the Inner Mongolia CCPSC ranking, Li Jiexiang is most likely the successor of Wang Yubo.
On 17 September 2019, former All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese Vice Chairman Li Bo (李波) went to Chongqing Securities Regulatory Bureau for an inspection tour as Chongqing municipal government CCP committee member, indicating that he has been appointed as Chongqing Vice Mayor. His appointment was later confirmed on 26 September 2019. Li Bo has an extraordinary background, for that he was a “returned” official who went to the United States and earned a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University and a J.D. from Harvard University. At Stanford, Li studied under Nobel Laureate Kenneth Arrow. Li started his career as a lawyer in New York, before returning to China in 2004 to the PBOC—China’s central bank—as Department of Treaty and Law Deputy Director. He was appointed Department of Treaty and Law Director in 2008 at age 36, becoming one of the youngest full-departmental officials at the time. In that role, Li was key to the legislation of anti-money laundering and foreign exchange management, as well as to the reform of state-owned commercial banks. Li was also a key official in RMB internationalization, during his tenure at PBOC’s Department of Monetary Policy II. Chongqing has been lacking a vice mayor since former vice mayor Li Dianxun (李殿勋) was appointed Hunan CCPSC member in May 2019.
On 16 September 2019, former Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Vice Governor Tan Jiong (谭炯) appeared publicly in a Guizhou CCPSC meeting, confirming the earlier rumor that he has been appointed to the local government. His appointment as Guizhou Vice Governor was later confirmed on 27 September 2019. Guizhou has been lacking a vice governor since former vice governor Pu Bo (蒲波) was ousted in May 2018.
On 4 September 2019, it was made public that former Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST) President and Shanghai Aerospace Industry Company (SAIC) Chairman Dai Shoulun (代守仑) has been appointed Harbin Vice Party Secretary. Defense technocrats with aerospace background and experience in China’s defense R&D coordinator State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) and its predecessor Commission of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND) have been systematically favored in Xi’s China. Currently, 11 full-ministerial officials come from defense industry background, including eight Central Committee full members and two Central Committee alternate member. Eight of them are provincial party secretaries or governors.
On 30 August 2019, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) Chairman Hu Wenming (胡问鸣) and State Development and Investment Corporation (SDIC) Chairman Wang Huisheng (王会生) both retired due to approaching and reaching age limit set for central SOE managers. The retirement of Hu and Wang opens the new wave of SOE personnel reshuffle—there are almost a dozen central SOE leaders—those managed by State Asset Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC)—reaching the required age limit of 63 within this year and next year. We expect most of them to retire on or before their 63rd birthday.