Son of former Chinese premier promoted to transport minister

September 2, 2016 10:54 PM EDT

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China's parliament on Saturday named the son of former premier Li Peng as transport minister, part of an on-going reshuffle of senior officials by President Xi Jinping ahead of a once-every-five-years congress in 2017.

The largely rubber-stamp legislature approved the appointment of Li Xiaopeng, who replaces Yang Chuantang as minister of transport, the official Xinhua news agency said in a brief statement.

It gave no other details.

His father, Li Peng, was deeply involved in the military crackdown on student-led demonstrations for democracy around Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989.

His son had been the governor in Shanxi, a coal-rich northern province beset by corruption scandals, before being promoted to his new role.

Reuters reported on Monday that Li Xiaopeng would move to Beijing to take over as transport minister.

The ministry is responsible for road, air, rail and water transport in the world's most populous country, areas which have been the focus of heavy investment in recent years as China seeks to build a world-class transport infrastructure.

The party congress, expected to be held next autumn, will see Xi further cement his hold on power by appointing close allies into the party's ruling inner core, the 25-member Politburo and the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee.

Xi, who doubles as Communist Party and military chief, is ranked number one in the Standing Committee – the apex of power in China.

The year leading up to that will focus on Xi appointing more new people into major provincial party and government positions, sources with ties to the leadership say.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)



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