By Zhang Xiaohui & Wei Liming
Published: 2007-12-20

From Nation pages 11 & 13, issue no. 345, Dec 10th 2007
Translated by Ren Jie
Original article:

On November 30th, Bo Xilai, member of China's politburo and son of a former vice-premiere, was appointed chief of the Communist Party committee in Chongqing municipality. He replaces Wang Yang, who will become the party chief of Guangdong province. The latter is a fierce proponents of reform and opening up, and using private business to fuel economic growth.

In China, party provincial committee secretary or party chief is the highest in hierarchy for a province, in charge of determining the direction of policy, implementing party guidelines and arranging the annual budget for a given region.

Bo Xilai Comes to Chongqing
At his inauguration, aside from stressing his intent to adhere to the highest standards of discipline and work ethic, Bo Xilai noted that he will absolutely not permit nepotism in government.

City residents told the EO that they hope the former head of the Ministry of Commerce will bring into play his 20-plus years of both political and trade experience, and kick-start reform in Chongqing. A poll from a popular Chinese website showed that the three issues Chongqing residents most wanted Bo to deal with were economic development, corruption, and improving the education system.

His relationship to the Ministry of Commerce has already proved useful. As early as October 23, the Ministry and the Chongqing government signed a memorandum of economic development for Chongqing. Chen Jian, vice-president of the Chongqing Association of Trade and Commerce, told the EO that just a few days ago, nine foreign ambassadors joined a meeting to discuss the future development of Chongqing's trade.

Wang Yang Takes the Helm of Guangdong

Bo's predecessor, Wang Yang, on the other hand will become the Secretary of the Party's Guangdong Provincial Committee. Previous to that Wang was known as the"child mayor" of Tongling in Anhui province, a post which he took up when he was 33. In Chongqing, Wang strongly supported the development of the private sector, and was tolerant of "non-standard situations" of the nascent private economy, which is the same as the policy executed by Zhang Dejiang in Guangdong.

In 2003, after premier Wen Jiabao took his post, Wang was moved from his position as the vice-director of the State Planning Commission to become deputy secretary of the State Council, where he took part in drafting the eleventh five-year plan. When he worked in Chongqing in the post Bo has now assumed, he championed economic growth by encouraging private business, and emphasized tolerance and leniency during this initial period of what he called its "non-standard" development.

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