Graft-buster Wang Qishan not on China's new leadership line-up: Report

China's top graft-buster Wang Qishan is the central commission for discipline inspection secretary and has been engaged in a sweeping anti-corruption crackdown as Xi's close aide.
China's top graft-buster Wang Qishan is the central commission for discipline inspection secretary and has been engaged in a sweeping anti-corruption crackdown as Xi's close aide. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (Yomiuri Shimbun/Asia News Network) - China's top graft-buster Wang Qishan is not among the latest candidates for China's seven-member apex decision-making body, the Yomiuri Shimbun has learnt from related sources.

Whether Mr Wang would remain on the Political Bureau Standing Committee has been a focus of the reshuffle efforts.

Chinese President Xi Jinping's administration is to enter its second term at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party to be held this autumn.

Mr Wang, 69, is the central commission for discipline inspection secretary and has been engaged in a sweeping anti-corruption crackdown as Mr Xi's close aide.

Mr Wang may be resigning from the standing committee in line with the party's custom of retirement at the age of 68.

According to people related to the party and close to the administration, as well as diplomatic sources, the latest list of candidates is believed to have been drafted after the Beidaihe retreat, an unofficial meeting of Mr Xi and other party elders at the Beidaihe summer resort town in Hebei Province in mid-August.

Some had thought Mr Wang would remain in his post regardless of the standard retirement age. Arguments are said to have been made for and against his remaining, and wheeling and dealing on the final candidates, as well as other issues, is expected to continue until the National Congress.

According to the latest list, Mr Xi, 64, and Premier Li Keqiang, 62, are to stay in office. Mr Chen Miner, 56, who is Mr Xi's close aide and Chongqing municipal committee secretary, will be promoted two ranks from his membership in the Central Committee.

Four officials - Vice-Premier Wang Yang, 62; Shanghai municipal committee secretary Han Zheng, 63; Guangdong provincial committee secretary Hu Chunhua, 54; and general office director Li Zhanshu, who will turn 67 this month - will be promoted from the Political Bureau.

According to the list, Vice-Premier Wang will become chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, and Mr Han will be chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Mr Hu will become vice-premier, Mr Li is to become central commission for discipline inspection secretary, and Mr Chen is to be in charge of publicity and ideology.

Mr Han, Mr Li and Mr Chen are close to Mr Xi, while Premier Li, Vice-Premier Wang and Mr Hu are influential members of the China Youth League faction, which had been a political base for former president Hu Jintao.

Mr Xi aims to further concentrate his political power by considering the resumption of the party presidential system that was adopted during the time of Mao Zedong. The latest list, however, seems to indicate Mr Xi's efforts to strike a balance with Mr Hu's faction.

According to people related to the party, former presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, among others, attended the Beidaihe meeting. To prioritise solidarity within the party, Mr Xi's proposals on personnel were basically approved, according to the sources.