News: Three of Guangdong’s prefectural-level cities have their new Party Secretaries reshuffled today. Ma Wentian (马文田) was appointed Shantou Party Secretary, Li Yalin (李雅林) was appointed Chaozhou Party Secretary, and Ye Niuping (叶牛平) was appointed Jieyang Party Secretary. Notably, all Shantou, Chaozhou and Jieyang are identified as Teoswa region, located in the east of the province and distinguished by its dialect.
Quick Take: Guangdong has always been a region with vast factional network, mainly characterized by its dialects. Local officials identified with different factions have thus been highly divided into different gangs, which was indeed the root cause of the province’s entangling corruptional network that has been troubling Xi over the years. The situation only started to change since 2012 when CCP started transferring officials from outside to the province, a major remedy to break down the regional gangs. However, such personnel reshuffling has indeed only remained on the provincial level—due to regional particularities in different localities, the major posts in prefectural-level cities are mostly taken by locals. Interestingly, even though all three newly appointed officials today have previously served in the province, none of them are Guangdong local—Ma is from Henan, Li from Shandong, and Ye from Anhui. As the province turns into an increasingly significant region both economically and technologically, the antigraft campaign comes along strong too. Such trend to transfer non-local officials to cities with clear factional identification is likely to continue within the province.