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Top Shenzhen Communist Party boss takes over as Acting Governor of Guangdong

Wang Weizhong has reputation for stamping out corruption, expected to promote expansion of Greater Bay Area.

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Wang Weizhong has reputation for stamping out corruption, expected to promote expansion of Greater Bay Area.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:46 am

The Communist Party chief of Shenzhen has been promoted to acting governor of Guangdong, the province’s legislature announced on Monday.

Wang Weizhong, 59, takes over from Ma Xingrui. Ma was named as the new party secretary of the far western Xinjiang region on Saturday, replacing Chen Quanguo, according to state media. As Wang is already a member of the party’s policymaking Central Committee, the promotion is likely to pave the way for him to become a full member at next year’s national congress – a twice-a-decade event that is expected to usher in major leadership changes.

Wang was appointed Shenzhen party chief in 2017. A year later the city’s economy overtook Hong Kong’s and it has continued to expand at a relatively fast pace.

When President Xi Jinping visited Shenzhen last year to mark the 40th anniversary of the city becoming China’s first special economic zone, he hailed its pioneering role and said he expected it to continue powering growth in the Greater Bay Area development zone.

Wang discussed the zone with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor at a meeting in September, in particular the newly expanded Qianhai economic zone and strengthening financial cooperation between the two cities. The overall plan aims to link Hong Kong, Macao, Shenzhen and eight other Guangdong cities into an integrated economic and business hub.

In 2014, Wang was among a raft of officials who were parachuted into the central province of Shanxi in the wake of a “landslide of corruption scandals” that brought down nearly half of the resource-rich region’s leadership. He became a member of the provincial party committee in September that year, and party boss of Taiyuan two years later. Wang has previously held positions at the Ministry of Water Resources and the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Peng Peng, vice-president of the Guangdong System Reform Research Society, a think-tank, noted that Wang and his predecessor Ma had similar technical backgrounds and both had been Shenzhen party secretaries, the South China Morning Post reported.

“This shows that Beijing’s key expectation and demand for Guangdong is [to maintain] stability,” Peng said. But he said as acting governor of the province, Wang would face new challenges amid an increasingly competitive and uncertain external environment. Guangdong was the country’s top exporter, he said, and the province would be under pressure to keep its economy on a steady course next year, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to rage. “Furthermore, consumption has been poor this year. As a major economic province with more than 120 million people, Guangdong needs to do more to ensure stable incomes for its people and [to support] consumption,” he said.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:46 am

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