(TibetanReview.net, Oct29, 2017) – It seems that all is not lost for Hu Chunhua, once seen as the top contender for the unofficial status of designated-successor to President Xi Jinping but who failed to make it to the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) during the just-concluded party congress. He has just been replaced by Li Xi as the secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Committee of the CPC, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Oct 28.
Although the Xinhua report is silent on where Hu goes next, Reuters Oct 28 cited unnamed sources with ties to the leadership as saying he is likely to be promoted to be a vice premier, part of a reshuffle after the end of a Communist Party Congress. Announcement was also made of new party secretaries for Fujian, Hebei, and Liaoning Provincial Committees.
Hu started and built his career and rose through the ranks in Tibet Autonomous Region and was in his time there said to have gained fluency in Tibetan. This does not carry any implication, however, that he is any better Chinese leader on the Tibet issue.
Both Hu, 54, seen as a protégé of former President and party general secretary Hu Jintao, and current top leader Xi Jinping’s protégé Chen Min’er, 57, did not make it to the Politburo Standing Committee during the recent party congress, leaving China’s top decision making body without an obvious or apparent successor to Xi. However, Hu remained in the larger 25-member Politburo for a second term while Chen made it for the first time. Min’er remains the party chief of Chongqing.
Both Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping had been Politburo Standing Committee members and state vice-presidents for five years before taking charge as China top leader.