Factbox-China’s new lineup of senior government leaders

By Yew Lun Tian and Ziyi Tang

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s parliament on Sunday approved the cabinet line-up nominated by Premier Li Qiang, who took office on Saturday in a reshuffle that takes place every five years.

Also during the National People’s Congress (NPC), Xi Jinping was re-elected president for a third five-year term.

Here are other important personnel moves made during the NPC, which ends on Monday.

China’s four new Vice Premiers:

Ding Xuexiang, 60, is the senior vice premier who also sits on the Politburo Standing Committee of the ruling Communist Party, China’s top tier of power. He is a trusted follower of Xi, having initially served as Xi’s chief of staff in Shanghai in 2006 and in Beijing for the past 10 years.

He Lifeng, 68, will succeed Liu He as the next economic czar. A longtime Xi ally, he used to head the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the powerful state planning agency.

Zhang Guoqing, 58, has a doctorate in economics and worked in defense companies for 20 years before turning to politics, holding top positions in provincial cities of Chongqing and Tianjin and Liaoning Province.

Liu Guozhong, 60, was a former Communist Party leader for Shaanxi Province, where Xi has ancestral roots.

China’s five new state councils, who are below the deputy prime ministers but above the cabinet ministers:

Li Shangfu, 65, will also become defense minister. He had worked in China’s satellite program and is under US sanctions for buying fighter jets and equipment from Russia’s main arms exporter, Rosoboronexport.

Wang Xiaohong, 65, also holds the post of public security minister or police chief. He is considered a close ally of Xi, having worked as a police chief in the city of Fuzhou when Xi was party chief there in the early 1990s.

Wu Zhenglong, 58, is Secretary-General of the State Council and was a former Jiangsu Provincial Party chief.

Shen Yiqin, 63, becomes the highest-ranking woman in China. Observers were surprised when the Communist Party broke with tradition by not appointing a woman to its 24-strong politburo in October.

For the first time in decades, there were no female deputy prime ministers either. Shen, the former Guizhou Provincial Party chief, is the only female state councilor.

Qin Gang, 57, is also the foreign minister. The former ambassador to the United States had worked closely with Xi when he was chief protocol officer between 2014 and 2018.

The only cabinet-level personnel changes were in the NDRC and the Department of Defense.

The following cabinet ministers retained their posts:

Yi Gang, 65, unexpectedly stays on as governor of the People’s Bank of China. It had been widely expected that Yi, who was appointed governor of the PBOC in 2018, would retire after being expelled from the ruling Communist Party’s Central Committee during the party’s five-year congress in October.

Zheng Shanjie, 61, takes over from He Lifeng as head of the National Development and Reform Commission. Zheng has spent most of his career in his home province of Fujian, where he served as Director of the Fujian Provincial Development and Reform Commission and Vice Governor of Fujian Province.

Liu Kun, 66, remains finance minister, another surprise given that he is past the usual retirement age of 65.

Wang Wentao, 58, remains Minister of Commerce. He had served as governor of Heilongjiang Province and was once Xi’s colleague in Shanghai.

Jin Zhuanglong, 59, remains Minister of Industry and Information Technology.

Wang Zhigang, 65, remains Minister of Science and Technology.

Huai Jinpeng, 60, remains Minister of Education

Pan Yue, 62, remains head of the National Ethnic Affairs Commission

Wang Xiaohong, 65, remains Minister of Public Security

Chen Yixin, 63, remains Minister of Domestic Security. He was considered an ally of Xi and had worked with Xi when he was party chief of Zhejiang Province from 2002 to 2007. Chen was sent to downtown Wuhan in 2020 to help lead anti-COVID efforts and has led to the purge of corrupt security and judicial officials in recent years.

Tang Dengjie, 63, remains Minister of Civil Affairs

He Rong, 60, remains Minister of Justice

Wang Xiaoping, 59, remains Minister of Human Resources and Social Security

Wang Guanghua, 59, remains Minister of Natural Resources

Huang Runqiu, 59, remains Minister of Ecology and Environment

Ni Hong, 60, remains Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development

Li Xiaopeng, 63, remains Minister of Transport

Li Guoying, 63, remains Minister of Water Resources

Tang Renjian, 60, remains Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs

Hu Heping, 60, remains Minister of Culture and Tourism

Ma Xiaowei, 63, remains head of the National Health Commission

Pei Jinjia, 59, remains Minister of Veterans Affairs

Wang Xiangxi, 60, remains Minister of Emergency Management

Hou Kai, 60, remains Comptroller of the National Audit Office

(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian, ​​Ziyi Tang, additional reporting by Albee Zhang; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)


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