China’s national legislature announced a Cabinet reshuffle on Friday. Three newly appointed ministers have close ties with President Xi Jinping.
The Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress has named a new minister of commerce, justice minister and director of National Development and Reform Commission.
He Lifeng was promoted from the deputy director to the director of the NDRC, which sets macroeconomic policy.
Zhong Shan became the minister of commerce, promoted from the deputy minister.
Both He and Zhong have long worked under President Xi, since Xi was a senior official in local governments in Fujian and Zhejiang Province.
New justice minister Zhang Jun was a high-level official in the Communist Party’s anti-corruption agency. President Xi initiated the anti-graft campaign.
Last month, close aides of Xi were elected as mayors of Beijing and Shanghai.
The latest moves are viewed as Xi’s efforts to consolidate his grip on power. This is ahead of the Communist Party convention scheduled for later this year, when a major reshuffle of the party leadership is expected.