On 24 April, the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress of Shenzhen announced the departure of eight senior officials and their replacement by cadres from other cities. The list included Shenzhen's Mayor,  59-year-old Chen Rugui. His successor is Deputy Governor of Guangdong Qin Wei-zhong, a 49-year-old ex-manager of oil giant CNPC. Indicating that the transfer was not routine, the local state media did not carry a photo of their handover, which was a sharp deviation from the protocol; nor did the news report mention the presence of Chen Rugui at the committee meeting. Seven other officials, in particular the heads of three powerful law enforcement bodies in Shenzhen, were also removed. They are Zhang Zixing of Shenzhen's top anti-corruption agency, the Municipal Supervisory Committee; Wang Yanlin of the Shenzhen Intermediate Court; and Wan Guoying of the Shenzhen People’s Procuratorate. All three have been serving Shenzhen since 2015 and were succeeded by their peers from Guangzhou. The other four are heads of various important departments, including the Commerce Bureau as well as the Industry and Technology Bureau. With no exception, they have spent their whole career in Shenzhen. There is speculation that such an overhaul involving the political and legal affairs system in China, signals a weeding out in the system. This system—covering the court, prosecution, police, and intelligence agency—is overseen by the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission and its officials are considered untouchable without orders from the very top.

(Comment: A likely explanation could be that this is a shake-up of the powerful law enforcement system.  The official media had revealed that a Party inspection group was sent into the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) late last year. In its 3 February report, the inspection group criticized the MPS for “not doing enough to remove the remaining poison” of ex-Commission head Zhou Yong-kang and Vice Ministers of Public Security Meng Hongwei and Sun Lijun. A campaign was launched to “cleanse” the country’s security apparatus.)

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