CCP cadres have begun competing for elevation to the Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee at the 20th Party Congress in 2022. A strong, leading contender is Chen Yixin, an Alternate Member of the CCP's 19th CC and current secretary-general of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission (PLAC). A Peking University political analyst told South China Morning Post (July. )“Chen would be ‘at the right age and one of the most likely candidates’ to take over the [PLAC] from current security chief Guo Shengkun in 2022. He’s an important member of Xi’s leadership team, especially in terms of security matters,’ said the analyst, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.” Other senior cadres in the running for the top slots in the security apparatus will be Minister of State Security Chen Wenqing and Hubei Party Secretary Ying Yong among others. All are loyalists and close associates of Xi Jinping.

(Comment: Chen Yixin is a loyalist of Xi Jinping and served with him when he was Party Secretary of Zhejiang. Usually, the State Councilor in charge of public security would take over the Political and Legal Affairs Commission (PLAC), but the current State Councilor, Zhao Kezhi, is set to retire in 2022. Li Zhanshu and Zhao Kezhi, both Xi Jinping loyalists, are likely to also have a say in the appointment.)

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