Friday, June 1, 2007

Chinese ranked No. 6 leader dies

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Vice Premier Huang Ju, a key ally of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin who climbed the ranks of Shanghai politics to join the Communist Party's inner sanctum of power, died early Saturday, the official Xinhua News Agency said. He was 68.

Xinhua did not disclose the cause of death, though Huang had reportedly been ill with pancreatic cancer for much of the past two years.

Huang ranked No. 6 in the party hierarchy. His death creates a vacancy in the Politburo and gives President Hu Jintao an opportunity to increase his hold on power by filling it with a supporter.

Because of his illness, Huang had been expected to retire later this year at an important party congress, a once-every-five-years event that normally occasions sharp infighting for senior posts. It's unclear whether Hu, unrivaled for power after five years as party head, will now move to fill Huang's Politburo seat ahead of the congress.

A technocrat and administrator, Huang was not associated with particular policies or reforms. Rather he was best known for his relationship to former President Jiang......

Source : msnbc




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