Caught in the middle of rumors of being replaced Liu He suddenly appeared

Foreign media have cited reports that Beijing intends to replace the head of U.S.-China trade talks with Hu Chunhua as Liu He’s special envoy, but the Chinese Communist Party has denied this. On May 15, Liu He, who is in the center of public opinion, appeared to host a meeting on science and technology innovation.

According to the official media of the Communist Party of China, Liu He, vice premier of the State Council of the Communist Party of China, presided over the 18th meeting of the Leading Group of National Science and Technology System Reform and Innovation System Construction on May 15. Liu He said that the current domestic and international environment is undergoing profound changes, the economy and society continue to put forward significant and urgent needs for scientific and technological innovation, requiring high-quality preparation of the “14th Five-Year Plan” national science and technology innovation plan, and so on.

Just two days ago, on May 13, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Chinese Communist Party intends to replace Liu He with Hu Chunhua to represent Beijing in economic and trade negotiations with Washington, but no decision has been made yet.

The report also said that Liu He is Xi Jinping’s main think tank, in charge of financial affairs, and will still hold an important position even if he is replaced.

On the same day the news broke, Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng denied at a regular press conference that the report was untrue and that China was neither considering nor discussing the matter.

Hu Chunhua, 58, is seen as a candidate for the next Standing Committee of the Communist Party’s Politburo as the 20th CPC National Congress approaches.

Singapore’s Union-Tribune earlier analyzed that Liu He, who will turn 69 next year, is expected to step down from the new CPC Politburo after the 20th CPC National Congress, and will step down as vice premier in 2023 when the CPC’s two sessions are held.

The newspaper also quoted sources as saying that He Lifeng, the current head of the National Development and Reform Commission, is likely to replace Liu He as vice premier in charge of finance.