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Media reports have named Beijing’s new top official for Macao affairs

News outlets in Hong Kong have made unconfirmed reports that Ding Xuexiang, recently described as President Xi’s “most trusted aide”, will take over from Han Zheng.

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News outlets in Hong Kong have made unconfirmed reports that Ding Xuexiang, recently described as President Xi’s “most trusted aide”, will take over from Han Zheng.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:28 am

Hong Kong’s Chinese language Sing Tao newspaper reported Tuesday that Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang had been put in charge of affairs in Macao and Hong Kong.

A similar report was carried on the government-funded Radio Television Hong Kong.

Neither outlet named sources, but Ding has been widely expected to take the job. 

Three weeks ago, the South China Morning Post tipped Ding as one of two frontrunners to take over from Han Zheng at the Central Leading Group on Hong Kong and Macau Affairs – the apex body for formulating policy toward China’s two Special Administrative Regions (SAR).

Ding has been described as President Xi Jinping’s “most trusted aide”. If confirmed, the reports of his appointment are another indication of the increased importance being placed by the central government on the running of Macao and Hong Kong.

[See more: Macao’s affairs are becoming a higher priority for the central government]

On 16 March, officials announced that the central government bureau overseeing SAR affairs was to be overhauled into a new body that reports directly to the Communist Party’s top leaders.

Under the revamp, the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO), which answered to the State Council, will become the Hong Kong and Macau Work Office of the Communist Party Central Committee.

Hailing from the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu, and an engineer by training, Ding was the director of the General Office of the Chinese Communist Party between 2017 and 2023 and served as secretary of the Party Secretariat between 2017 and 2022.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:28 am

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