Personnel Watch: January Reshuffle Sees Once Vacant Key Provincial Posts Filled

In the first week of 2018, personnel reshuffles took place in provincial-level administrations of Tianjin, Shaanxi, Chongqing, Jilin, and Fujian.  

The reshuffle: The five local governments mentioned above were assigned new deputy leaders.

Tang Dengjie, former Ministry of Industry and Information Technology deputy minister, was appointed acting governor of Fujian.

Zhang Guoqing, former Chongqing mayor, was transferred to Tianjin to serve as acting mayor.

Tang Liangzhi, former Chongqing deputy Party secretary, was appointed acting mayor of Chongqing.

Jing Junhai, former Beijing municipal deputy Party secretary, was appointed acting governor of Jilin.

Liu Guozhong, former Shaanxi deputy Party secretary, was appointed Shaanxi deputy and acting governor.

The backdrop: In the week after the 19th Party Congress in October, seven provincial Party secretaries were reshuffled. Four of the seven new provincial Party secretaries were promoted from the rank of governor. Only Liaoning Province received a replacement governor soon after that personnel swap (Ningbo Party secretary Tang Yijun was transferred to Liaoning in October). Shaanxi, Fujian, and Tianjin continued to lack an official in the provincial number two spot until the January personnel movement.  

Our take: The factional alignment of the five new provincial deputy leaders is unclear. Xi Jinping has made sweeping personnel reshuffles like the recent one at least twice since he took office in 2012. New officials are only appointed after Xi has examined their performance for a period of time.