The Straits Times
Published on Sep 02, 2012

China starts reshuffle ahead of leadership change


BEIJING (AFP) - China's ruling Communist Party has announced a reshuffle to a key post, state press said on Sunday, a move widely seen as ushering in a once-a-decade leadership transition later this year.

Mr Li Zhanshu, 62, former head of the south-west province of Guizhou, was Saturday named to head the party's powerful Politburo general office, the People's Daily reported, a job that puts Mr Li in charge of the party's day-to-day workings.

Mr Li replaces Mr Ling Jihua, outgoing President Hu Jintao's top aide, who has been named to head the party's United Front Work Department, the paper said.

As part of the leadership transition, Mr Hu will step down as the party's general secretary - the top party post - at a Party Congress expected to take place in the coming weeks and resign from the presidency at a parliamentary meeting next March, ending his 10 years as China's top leader.