Two more Xi allies named to key party positions

Mr Huang Kunming (top), 60, is the new head of propaganda of the Chinese Communist Party, while Mr Ding Xuexiang, 55, is director of the General Office of the party's Central Committee.
Mr Huang Kunming (above), 60, is the new head of propaganda of the Chinese Communist Party, while Mr Ding Xuexiang, 55, is director of the General Office of the party's Central Committee.
Mr Huang Kunming (top), 60, is the new head of propaganda of the Chinese Communist Party, while Mr Ding Xuexiang, 55, is director of the General Office of the party's Central Committee.
Mr Huang Kunming, 60, is the new head of propaganda of the Chinese Communist Party, while Mr Ding Xuexiang (above), 55, is director of the General Office of the party's Central Committee.

BEIJING • Another two allies of Chinese President Xi Jinping have been appointed to senior positions in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as head of propaganda and chief of staff.

Mr Huang Kunming, 60, is the new head of propaganda, while Mr Ding Xuexiang, 55, is the director of the General Office of the party's Central Committee, the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong reported yesterday.

Both were formerly second in command of their respective departments. They were among some of Mr Xi's allies promoted to the powerful 25-member Politburo at the 19th party congress last week.

A native of Fujian, Mr Huang followed Mr Xi when the future Chinese leader was moved from Fujian to Zhejiang province in 2002. He was appointed provincial propaganda chief in 2007, the final year Mr Xi was in charge of Zhejiang. Before moving to Beijing, Mr Huang was party chief of Zhejiang's capital Hangzhou for three years.

Mr Ding, a low-profile politician, served as a secretary to Mr Xi when the latter was party boss in Shanghai for seven months in 2007. Mr Ding moved to Beijing in 2013 after being appointed deputy director of the General Office of the party's Central Committee. The General Office oversees day-to-day operations of the Politburo and the itineraries of all top leaders.

Xinhua news agency quoted Mr Huang as saying on Monday that China's publicity, ideological and cultural departments will "initiate the study and implementation of the spirit of the 19th CCP National Congress across the country". They will focus on the "study and implementation of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era", he said.

The five-yearly congress last week unanimously passed amendments to the party charter, the most important of which was the inclusion of Mr Xi's political thought.

Mr Huang and Mr Ding are the latest of Mr Xi's allies to be appointed to key positions. On Sunday, Mr Li Qiang, 58, was named the top party official in Shanghai, replacing Mr Han Zheng who joined the elite Politburo Standing Committee. Last Saturday, Mr Li Xi, 61, was appointed Guangdong party secretary, replacing Mr Hu Chunhua, 54.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2017, with the headline 'Two more Xi allies named to key party positions'. Print Edition | Subscribe