China Leadership Monitor

New Provincial Chiefs: Hu's Groundwork for the 17th Party Congress

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Understanding the kinds of leaders Hu Jintao currently promotes reveals the political and policy objectives he will most likely pursue in the future. Throughout 2004, especially after Hu consolidated his power at the Fourth Plenum of the 16th Central Committee in September, China's provincial leadership underwent a major reshuffling. Most of the newly appointed provincial leaders advanced their political careers primarily through the Chinese Communist Youth League (CCYL), received postgraduate education (usually in economics and management), and were leaders in less developed inland provinces. Their recent promotions are attributable not only to their political ties with Hu, but also to the fact that they share Hu's populist vision for China's development. Some of these provincial chiefs will be Hu's nominees for Politburo seats at the next party congress, as well as part of Hu's team to carry out political reform and socioeconomic policies in line with his perceived mandate.