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Princeling governor of Shanxi tipped to take over as China’s transport minister

Shanxi provincial governor Li Xiaopeng is tipped to be the transport minister amid a personnel reshuffle after the Beidaihe retreat, according to two sources.

A Beijing-based source told the Post that Li, the elder son of former premier Li Peng, had been named to succeed Yang Chuantong as transport minister, and that Li had told his subordinates in Shanxi that he was leaving for Beijing to work “in a ministry”.

Another source confirmed on Sunday evening that Lou Yangsheng, currently deputy party chief of Shanxi, will become the new governor of the resource-rich province. Lou is widely seen as one of President Xi Jinping’s allies.

Communist Party elites had gathered in the seaside resort of Beidaihe early in August for annual closed-door meetings to set the tone for major policies.

There had been speculation that Li, 57, would become Communist Party boss for the regulator of top state-owned enterprises. Li was later tipped to become the party chief of the eastern province of Shandong, succeeding Jiang Yikang, who was due to retire soon.

Shanxi is one of the hotbeds targeted by President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign, and has been described as suffering under a “landslide of corruption” involving provincial officials. It is also the home of disgraced presidential aide Ling Jihua, who was allegedly the leader of the “Shanxi Gang” of senior officials and businesspeople with ties to the province.

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Li Xiaopeng became Shanxi’s first-ranked deputy governor in 2010 and took over as governor two years later. He is the lowest ranked of the Central Committee’s 171 alternate members, meaning he received the fewest votes of those members in an internal election in 2012.