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Sun Zhengcai, the former Communist Party chief in Chongqing, is seen during the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's parliament, in Beijing in March. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

Xi tears up succession script with Chongqing shocker

Chinese president promotes yet another protege defying consensus candidates

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

TOKYO -- In a surprise move that sent shock waves through China's political sphere, the Communist Party announced on July 15 that Sun Zhengcai, once a front-runner of the next generation of leaders, had been removed as Chongqing party chief.

His replacement was Chen Min'er, a protege of President Xi Jinping, and party chief of Guizhou, a relatively poor and economically backward province.

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