One name who is drawing eyes is Vice Premier Hu Chunhua, Nikkei Asia reported.
Notably, in a bid to consolidate power to secure the third term at the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), scheduled for November 2022, China President Xi Jinping held this major conclave, the run-up to which is marked by developments seemingly aimed at reinforcing Xi’s authority.
This comes as, after a 2 week of stalemate in Xi’s activities, the Chinese President visited Jinzhou City, Liaoning province. Moreover, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also attended a meeting in Guangdong province.
All of this suggests that the two leaders have returned from the seaside resort near Beijing where top officials and retired party elders meet unofficially each year to discuss important matters.
One of the major agendas of the meeting included major appointments at the twice-a-decade party Congress this fall where Xi is set to seek a rare third term as leader.
If Hu, still relatively young at 59, succeeds in becoming a member of the elite Politburo Standing Committee, he could be seen as a potential successor to Xi at the 2027 party congress.
Hu, currently one of four vice premiers and part of the 25-member Politburo, has a reputation within the party as a skilled, hands-on administrator. He entered the prestigious Peking University with top marks and led the Communist Youth League, and his career has included serving as party secretary of Inner Mongolia and Guangdong province.
Hu’s career course has put him in a strong position to aim for a top leadership post. Some even see him succeeding Li as premier, which would give Hu responsibility for economic planning at a time when a real estate slump has dragged down China’s economy.
An article by Hu praising Xi’s leadership on agricultural policy was published in the People’s Daily on July 27, in which he mentions the leader’s name more than 50 times.
As per the media outlet, Xi has been wary of the Communist Youth League’s power since taking office as party leader in 2012, and has kept Hu at arm’s length. There is widespread speculation that Li, another Youth League alumnus, may remain in the party’s top ranks as head of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
Vice premier Hu Chunhua has all the eyes on him