The reshuffle came three years ahead of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Congress, when incumbent Party leader Hu Jintao, 67, finishes his second five-year term in 2012, the maximum tenure according to Party rules, and the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau will have a new make-up, based on the Party’s conventional practice.
Monday’s Party-secretary appointment in five provinces involved officials all born after the founding of the New China in 1949, with an average age of 54. The oldest are new Henan Party chief Lu Zhangong, 57, and Liaoning Party chief Wang Min, 59.
Another highlight is Sun Chunlan, 59, who became the first female provincial Party secretary in more than two decades. She replaced Lu Zhangong as secretary of the Fujian Provincial Party Committee.
“The reshuffle could be seen as a preparation for the rejuvenation of the party’s leadership in the run-up to the 18th Party Congress in 2012,”Zhang Liangui, professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, told the Global Times Tuesday.