Notably, Mao Weiming, Zhang Yuzhuo, and Dai Houliang are all Central Committee alternate members. While SOE managers are no longer included in the 205-member Central Committee as full members, those who are among the 171 alternate members are certainly of a higher political status than their peers not in the Central Committee. Mao’s appointment to the State Grid, as well as Zhang’s appointment to Sinopec and Dai’s appointment to CNPC therefore indicate that these three SOEs are of higher political importance than others.
On 4 December 2019, Bengbu city of Anhui province appointed Zhou Weixin (周伟新), former Bank of China Anhui Branch vice president, as vice mayor. Zhou is the third financial vice mayor appointed in Anhui in the past two weeks. On 28 November 2019, Huangshan city of Anhui province appointed He Yi (何毅), former PICC Operation Department deputy general manager, as vice mayor. One day before on 27 November 2019, Ma’anshan city of Anhui province appointed Zheng Xiuxu (郑琇煦), former ICBC Private Banking Department deputy general manager, as vice mayor. The role of these financial vice mayors will likely focus on driving financial development in Anhui, a financially-backward inland province that now needs to catch up with Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang—China’s most financially-advanced provinces—because of Anhui’s inclusion into the Yangtze River Delta integration initiative.
On 30 November 2019, incumbent Shanxi party secretary Luo Huining (骆惠宁, b.1954) officially retired due to age limit, and has been succeeded by Shanxi governor Lou Yangsheng (楼阳生). Lou was a close confidante of President Xi, with whom Lou worked closely in Zhejiang from 2002 to 2007. Particularly, it was under Xi’s watch that Lou was promoted to become Lishui party secretary in 2003, the second full-prefectural job and the first prefectural party secretary job of Lou. In June 2014, Lou was transferred to Shanxi to help clean up the corruption mess of the province. The prevalent corruption activities and deeply-rooted corruption networks uncovered by central inspection in 2014 took down an incumbent Shanxi vice party secretary, four Shanxi Party standing committee members, one former Shanxi Party standing committee member, one vice governor, and one Shanxi CPPCC vice chairman, alongside dozens of departmental/prefectural-ranking officials in the province. Lou played a vital role in restoring political order in the province and has been sinced rewarded with positions in Shanxi.
On 29 November 2019, Central Organization Department (COD) announced the appointment of Yu Hongqiu (喻红秋, b.1960) as the new chairman of All-China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives. Prior to the latest appointment, Yu was Henan vice party secretary, and was the province’s political and legal affairs commission (PLAC) chairwoman until 9 October 2019 (please see our briefing on 12 October 2019). Her concurrent appointment at PLAC was taken away on 9 October, signaling her promotion as the COD does not want to create two vacancies (Henan vice party secretary and PLAC chairmanship) at the same time following her then-upcoming promotion. The latest promotion makes Yu Hongqiu one of the only four full-ministerial-ranking female officials born after 1960. The others include Jiangsu CPPCC chairwoman Huang Lixin (黄莉新, b.1962), Zhejiang CPPCC chairwoman Ge Huijun (葛慧君, b.1963), All-China Women Federation party secretary Huang Xiaowei (黄晓薇, b.1961). Under the existing political rules, each one of the four branches of Chinese government, the Party, the State Council, the National People’s Congress (NPC), and the CPPCC, is required to have a female leader. The incumbents are Politburo member and vice premier Sun Chunlan (孙春兰, b.1950), NPC vice chairwoman Shen Yueyue (沈跃跃, b.1957), and CPPCC vice chairwoman Li Bin (李斌, b.1954). Sun and Li will retire on 20th Party Congress due to age limit, leaving at least two state-ranking vacancies to be filled by female leaders of provincial ranking.
In the middle of a provincial corruption shakedown, Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the Party’s top anti-corruption watchdog, replaced its chief liaison in Jilin on 20 November. The former Jilin CCP Standing Committee (CCPSC) member and Commission for Discipline Inspection (CDI) chairman Tao Zhiguo (陶治国) was transferred to General Administration of Customs China (GACC) as CCDI’s chief liaison, and has been replaced by Zhang Zhong (张忠), former vice-ministerial-ranking inspector of Central Leading Group for Inspection Work, who spent most of his career in Central Organization Department (COD).
On 15 November, Guangdong Commission for Discipline Inspection announced on its website that Dongguan CCPSC member and Songshan Lake Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone Party Secretary Huang Shaowen (黄少文) is under investigation. Huang has been the official in charge of Dongguan’s hi-tech zone, as well as an ecological industry park, since May 2017. Beforehand, he also served as Dongguan CCP Committee’s Secretary-General and Political and Legal Affairs Commission. Notably, Huang’s wife Liang Fengming (梁凤鸣) is the incumbent Dongguan Bureau of Education Director, and once served as Dongguan Government Vice Secretary-General. We expect Liang to be investigated as well.
On 11 November, Zhubai People’s Congress’s standing committee appointed Zeng Jinze (曾进泽), former Guangzhou Development and Reform Commission Chairman, as Zhuhai CCPSC member and Executive Vice Mayor. Zeng has spent his entire career prior to this latest appointment in Guangzhou. Most notably, Zeng spent six years from 2013 to 2019 in Guangzhou Nansha Economic and Technological Development Zone, working on free trade and development of the zone. Nansha currently ranks No.16 among all national economic and technological development zones.
Following the transfer of former Tianjin Vice Mayor Yao Laiying (姚来英) to Hunan in mid-October, Shenyang-Fushun New District (SFND) CCP Committee Vice Party Secretary and SFND Work Committee Chair Lian Maojun (连茂君) was transferred into Tianjin to be Yao’s replacement on 5 November. Tianjin officialdom has witnessed a series of high-profile personnel reshuffle in recent weeks, including the ouster of a retired statistics bureau head, the demotion of an incumbent finance bureau head, the outbound-transfer of a former vice mayor, and the inbound-transfer of a number of officials from Jiangsu. Lian’s appointment is just the latest.
On 24 October 2019, Central Organization Department announced a series of senior leadership reshuffle in China’s central SOEs. To request more details on the transfers, please contact us.
On 21 October 2019, Tianjin’s anti-corruption watchdog announced on its website that the already-dismissed Tianjin Bureau of Statistics Director-General Wu Junding (武军定) is under investigation. Born in November 1964, Wu was only 54 when he was dismissed in July 2019, from Tianjin Bureau of Statistics Director-General position, an anomaly among departmental/prefectural-ranking officials, who would usually retire in their late 50s or early 60s. This deviation from common practice suggests that Wu’s dismissal might be the result of his wrongdoings. Before the dismissal, Wu spent the entire 30 years of his career, from 1989 to 2019, in Tianjin Bureau of Statistics working on different sectors including infrastructure, fixed asset investment, and industry and transportation. He was appointed deputy director-general in 2004, and then director-general in 2016.