China has appointed rising star Hu Chunhua as Communist Party boss for the southern export powerhouse of Guangdong, the country’s richest and most liberal province.
Mr Hu, 49, will take over from reform-minded politician Wang Yang, who worked to cut Guangdong’s reliance on exports and grappled with tensions among migrant workers and villagers fighting land grabs and graft.
The Guangdong Party Secretary post is one of the most prominent provincial leadership roles in China, and has served as a springboard for many politicians towards more senior national posts.
Mr Hu’s appointment was announced in a statement carried by the official Xinhua news agency. It did not say where Wang Yang, seen by many in the West as a beacon of political reform, will be moved to.
Hu Chunhua spent two decades in Tibet, where he came under the wing of Hu Jintao, the outgoing Chinese president.