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China replaces finance and secret police ministers, plus three others

China replaces finance and secret police ministers, plus three others

China replaced five Cabinet ministers _ including the finance minister and the head of the secret police _ the government said Thursday, just weeks ahead of a major Communist Party meeting that will set the country's policies for the next five years.
Jin Renqing, finance minister since 2003, has been replaced by Xie Xuren, government spokesman He Shaoren told a news conference. He also announced that Geng Huichang had replaced Xu Yongyue as state security minister in charge of China's secret police.
The others replaced were the ministers of supervision and personnel, and the minister in charge of the State Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, He said.
The changes were announced at the end of a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's legislature. The committee meets to decide laws and personnel changes when the legislature is not in its annual sitting.
One official said Jin stepped down for personal reasons, but no reasons were given for the other changes.
"For personal reasons, Jin Renqing requested to resign. The central government agreed to his request and approved appointing him to be deputy director of the Development Research Center of the State Council," a spokeswoman for the State Council told The Associated Press earlier on routine condition of anonymity.
The State Council is China's Cabinet.
Jin's transfer comes six weeks before the opening of a twice-a-decade Communist Party congress. Besides setting policy, the meeting is also expected to result in new appointments of senior party and government positions.
Xie has been director of the tax administration since March 2003. He is also an alternative member of the party's Central Committee.
Jin, 63, is one of about 200 members of the Communist Party's Central Committee, and formerly headed the tax administration.
There was no immediate word on what factors had influenced Jin's resignation, but similar cases in the past have been attributed to marital, health or family problems. Jin is still two years below the official retirement age for officials at the central government level.
Geng was vice minister of the State Security Ministry. Few other details were known about him.
Ma Wen was appointed supervision minister, replacing Li Zhilun, who died of an illness in April, He said.
Zhang Qingwei was appointed director _ a ministerial-level position _ in charge of the State Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, replacing Zhang Yunchuan.
The fifth change was the appointment of Yin Weimin as minister of personnel, replacing Zhang Bolin, who is retiring.
As China's top tax collector, Jin modernized his agency to keep pace with capitalist-style economic reform as Beijing increasingly turned to revenues from private business to fund development.
Jin oversaw a highly publicized crackdown on tax evasion by the rich as part of efforts to ease public anger at the growing gap between rich and poor. A film star was arrested, and others targeted included entrepreneurs and professionals.
Jin's time in office saw huge growth and development in the economy as well as concerns about overheating.
Wednesday, the central bank said inflation was likely to exceed the government's 3 percent target for the year despite a series of credit tightening measures to tamp down prices and cool enthusiasm for buying shares.
Jin's tenure at the Finance Ministry also saw China's foreign currency reserves surge past US$1.3 trillion (


Updated : 2021-04-16 18:57 GMT+08:00