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Politics

Beijing party chief set to be replaced: report

Cai Qi criticized for clearing out dwellings of low-income workers

Cai Qi

BEIJING -- The Communist Party chief overseeing the Chinese capital will soon be removed from his post following a stint that only began last year, a Hong Kong newspaper reported Friday.

Cai Qi, a longtime ally of President Xi Jinping, was appointed to the city's top position -- party secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee -- in May. He later drew criticism for the mass evictions of low-income workers following a deadly fire.

Cai will be replaced by Sun Chunlan, director of the United Front Work Department, Hong Kong daily Ming Pao said Friday. Cai will likely keep his spot in the 25-member Politburo, the party's leadership body, and take over Sun's department post.

Cai's controversial policies, including a skyline beautification drive that forced the removal of signs deemed to be eyesores, are said to be the cause of the impending reshuffle.

Cai served under Xi during his days as a senior official in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces. Cai's promotion to the Politburo last year capped an unusually swift rise up the political ladder.

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