As China approaches a once-in-a-decade leadership transition, and President Hu Jintao prepares to retire from the Chinese Communist Party later this year, Reuters reports that he may have already begun to take steps to retain influence by pushing ally and Beijing mayor Guo Jinlong as the capital’s next party chief:
Guo Jinlong, 64, the capital’s mayor since 2008 and a Hu ally, is tipped to replace Liu Qi, 69, as Beijing party boss at the municipal party congress that opened on Friday, the sources with ties to the leadership told Reuters, requesting anonymity because of the political sensitivity of leadership changes.
The city’s party boss outranks the mayor.
If confirmed, Guo would be a shoo-in to join the party’s decision-making Politburo during the leadership change at the 18th national party congress later this year, the sources said.
It was unclear when the Beijing congress would end and the announcement of the appointment made. The Beijing city government declined immediate comment.
The report notes that another possible choice as Beijing party boss is Hu Chunhua, who currently serves as the party’s top official in Inner Mongolia.