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China promotes conservative to propaganda minister

Published on Nov 21, 2012 5:49 PM
China appointed a loyal ally of President Hu Jintao, Mr Liu Qibao (pictured), formerly the party boss of south-western Sichuan province, as propaganda minister on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters) - China appointed on Wednesday a loyal ally of President Hu Jintao as propaganda minister and promoted one of its most senior female leaders to Communist Party chief of the northern port city of Tianjin.

The new propaganda minister, Mr Liu Qibao, formerly the party boss of south-western Sichuan province, replaced Mr Liu Yunshan, who was last week raised to the Standing Committee following a once-every-five-year party congress that unveiled a generational leadership change.

While media-savvy, Mr Liu is unlikely to loosen media controls as China's leaders, nervous about stability and the need to ensure one-party rule, are likely to keep domestic media on a short leash and clamp down on China's increasingly unruly Internet, which has over 500 million users.

The brief Xinhua announcement confirmed a Reuters report last month that said Mr Liu Qibao was tipped to replace Mr Liu Yunshan. The two are not related despite sharing a surname.

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