On August 1, Ms. Wang Lixia was appointed Deputy Party secretary of Inner Mongolia. Reports are that she is likely to take over as Chairwoman (i.e. head of government) of this nominally autonomous region. Wang Lixia will replace current chairperson Bu Xiaolin – herself one of only three women to hold a top leadership job in the provinces, the others are in Guizhou and Ningxia. Bu Xiaolin has been rumoured to have health issues since passing out at a government meeting this year.

(Comment: Wang Lixia was born in Liaoning and is of Mongolian ethnicity. She started off in academia, at the Xi’an Institute of Statistics (1985-2000). After earning a doctorate degree in finance, Wang Lixia served at the Shaanxi Statistics Bureau for 11 years (2000-2011), ultimately as director. She was then appointed Vice Governor of Shaanxi (2013-2016) and head of Inner Mongolia’s United Front Work Department (2016-2019). In August 2019, Wang Lixia was appointed  Party Secretary of Inner Mongolia's capital, Hohhot. She also became the only female Party secretary of a provincial capital in China. Wang Lixia is an alternate member of the 19th Central Committee (2017-2022). She is almost certain now to be a member of the 20th CCP CC.)

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