Chongqing, a Slippery Stepping Stone

The CPC Central Committee has appointed Sun Zhengcai to fill Bo Xilai’s former position as Chongqing’s Party chief, following interim secretary Zhang Dejiang’s appointment to the Politburo Standing Committee last week.

Sun, 49, was elected as a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee after the 18th CPC National Congress last week. Born in Shandong Province, he served as Minister of [agri]Culture for three years before being transferred to Northeast China in 2009 as secretary of the CPC Jilin Provincial Committee.
Zhang Dejiang, vice premier and former member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, covered Bo’s position from March as secretary of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, after Bo’s wife Bogu Kailai was found to have been involved in the murder of British citizen Neil Heywood.
[…] According to media reports, Zhang had been trying to differ from Bo’s tenure by redirecting Chongqing’s economic and social development in a low-profile manner. Bo’s red song campaign was also discontinued. Zhang urged Party officials to draw lessons from the Bo scandal, take better care of their spouses, children and staff and ensure they are held to the highest standards.

With the transition to a new generation of leadership still underway, Sun’s assignment will prepare and test him for an anticipated key role in the next. From Brian Spegele at The Wall Street Journal:

The appointment of Mr. Sun, a former agriculture minister and party chief of northeast Jilin province, is an early indication that rising party leaders will be given reins of some of the country’s most important—and most problematic—areas, analysts say. In Chongqing, for example, Mr. Sun will face deeply vested business interests, continuing concerns over organized crime and still-strong support for the ousted Mr. Bo.
The appointment—and a number of others that are expected

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