Wang Zhonglin took over as secretary of the Wuhan Municipal Party Committee in February last year and was promoted to deputy secretary of the Hubei Provincial Party Committee in early May. (Video screenshot)
Recently, Wang Zhonglin, former member of the Standing Committee of the Hubei Provincial Committee and Secretary of the Wuhan Municipal Committee, moved from the position of Acting Governor of Hubei Province to become the Governor of Hubei Province. Wang Xiaodong, the former governor of Hubei Province, and Jiang Chaoliang, the former secretary of the Hubei Provincial Party Committee, went to an unknown destination.
According to the Hubei Provincial Government Information Office WeChat public number “Hubei Release”, Wang Zhonglin was “elected” as governor of Hubei Province at a meeting of the Hubei Provincial People’s Congress on the afternoon of May 30.
Wang Zhonglin, 59, was formerly director of the Development and Reform Commission of Shandong Province, mayor of Jinan and secretary of the municipal party committee. Wang Zhonglin took over as secretary of the Wuhan Municipal Party Committee in February last year and was promoted to deputy secretary of the Hubei Provincial Party Committee in early May.
Wang Xiaodong, who stepped down as governor of Hubei Province, and Jiang Chaoliang, secretary of the Hubei Provincial Party Committee, both faced criticism for their ineffective response to the epidemic, with Jiang stepping down in February 2020. Wang Xiaodong resigned on May 7, 2021. The two are currently unsure of their movements.
Jiang Chaoliang, 64, considered a close associate of Wang Qishan, had a long career in China’s state-owned financial institutions, serving as chairman of the Bank of Communications, president of the China Development Bank and chairman of the Agricultural Bank of China; in 2014, he served as deputy secretary of Jilin Province, governor of Jilin Province and secretary of the Hubei Provincial Party Committee.
On February 13, 2020, Jiang Chaoliang was removed from his post as Secretary of the Hubei Provincial Party Committee, and on March 6, 2020, resigned from his post as Director of the Standing Committee of the Hubei Provincial People’s Congress. Beijing has also not announced his other appointment so far
Wang Xiaodong, 61, is a native of Xinfeng, Jiangxi, and has served in Jiangxi and Guizhou, as secretary of the Guiyang Municipal Party Committee and executive vice governor of Guizhou Province. 2011 transferred to the Standing Committee of the Hubei Provincial Party Committee, and since September 2016 has been vice governor and acting governor of Hubei; since January 2017, he has been governor of Hubei Province until his resignation.
According to the land media, Wang Xiaodong left the political scene in Hubei quietly, and even the public handover procedure has not been disclosed. This is very similar to what happened a year ago after Jiang Chaoliang was removed from office.
The official scene in Hubei has been shaken by a major Communist Party virus epidemic. After the outbreak in Wuhan in December 2019, local underreporting and late reporting of the epidemic led to its rapid global spread, causing more than 169 million infections and more than 3.6 million deaths worldwide by now.
At the peak of the epidemic in February 2020, then Hubei Provincial Party Secretary Jiang Chaoliang and Wuhan Municipal Party Secretary Ma Guoqiang were removed from their posts. Ying Yong, the former mayor of Shanghai, and Wang Zhonglin, secretary of the Jinan Municipal Party Committee, took over as secretary of Hubei and secretary of Wuhan, respectively.
Wang Xiaodong has been criticized by the public for claiming that “there are sufficient supplies in stock” in an interview with CCTV when medical supplies were in short supply during the critical period of the epidemic. In late May last year, during the two sessions of the Communist Party, Wang Xiaodong appeared in the Hubei delegation with white hair, attracting attention from the outside world.
In September of the same year, Wang was rumored to have suffered a stroke and was hospitalized due to the stress of fighting the epidemic.
The mainland media reported that on May 7, the Standing Committee of the Hubei Provincial People’s Congress resolved to accept Wang Xiaodong’s resignation as governor of Hubei Province. But Wang Xiaodong has not shown up since, and Wang Xiaodong has not reached the age of retirement, and Beijing has not announced that he has another appointment. There are rumors that Wang Xiaodong or “in Beijing” was placed in an idle position until retirement.