China promotes senior woman to lead financial hub Tianjin

BEN BLANCHARD
Last updated 16:00 21/11/2012

Relevant offers

Asia

Samsung heir's prison life: no smartphone, cannibal neighbour Cool kindergarten in Japan takes 'playing house' to a whole new level Kim Jong Nam death: Alleged assassin an entertainment worker Kim Jong Nam death: North Korea blames Malaysia, says it changed its story When parking a car is a struggle The strange route Benjamin Netanyahu took to get from Singapore to Sydney Kim Jong Nam death: Body targeted in morgue break-in; suspects coated hands in chemicals Japanese zoo kills 57 monkeys with 'alien' genes Malaysia identifies N.Korea embassy official among suspects of Kim Jong Nam murder Indian teenager wakes up on the way to his own funeral

China has promoted one of its most senior female leaders to Communist Party chief of the northern port city of Tianjin, which the government is trying to turn into a global financial centre, state media said on Wednesday (local time).

Sun Chunlan, 62, will move from the southeastern coastal province of Fujian, where she had been party boss since 2009, the official Xinhua news agency said in a brief statement. The appointment had been widely expected.

Sun is one of only two women on the Politburo, a 25-member body that is a mix of military and civilian leaders which reports to the party's elite decision-making core, the seven-man Standing Committee.

She replaces Zhang Gaoli, who was last week raised to the Standing Committee following a once-every-five-year party congress that unveiled a generational leadership change.

Sun worked her way up through various factory jobs in China's northeastern industrial heartland and spent time in the late 1990s and early 2000s in Liaoning province, where the then up-and-coming Bo Xilai also worked and with whom she reputedly clashed, sources say.

Bo, once a top contender for senior leadership, is currently being investigated for corruption and abuse of power after his wife murdered a British businessman.

Tianjin, about 30 minutes southeast of Beijing by high-speed train, was a lively trade centre in pre-Communist days, before becoming a grubby backwater overshadowed by its close neighbour the Chinese capital.

But investment in Tainjin accelerated under Zhang's leadership, which began in 2007.

In the past three years alone, Tianjin has seen more than US$160 billion in fixed asset investment in the development zone housing Yujiapu, billed as China's Manhattan - almost three times the amount spent on China's Three Gorges Dam, one of the nation's most expensive projects.

Yujiapu helped Tianjin to record 16.4 percent growth in 2011.

But critics see Tianjin as typical of the kind of debt-financed infrastructure splurges that have succeeded in getting politicians noticed inside China's ruling Communist Party but have left behind mixed economic blessings.

They say the local government employed cheap state capital and high levels of debt to fund the goal of turning the port city into a global financial centre.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content