The standing committee of China's parliament today promoted two important proteges of Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping to new power in the Chinese government, while removing discredited holdovers from the [WORD ILLEGIBLE] of the late Communist Party chairman Mao Tsetung.
The Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress failed to go through with what some Chinese sources said would be resignations by Deng himself and by Congress Chairman Ye Jianying in order to clear the way for younger men in the government. The committee did announce, however, that the full congress will meet in August. Additional resignations may occur then.
The committee announced the selection of Zhao Ziyang, 61, formerly party chief in Sichuan Province, and Wan Li, 64, formerly party chief in Anhui Province, as new vice premiers.
It accepted the resignations of Mao-era holdovers Ji Dngkui and former Peking Army Region Commander Chen Xilin as vice premiers and the resignation of another holdover former Peking mayor Wu De, as a vice chairman of the National Peoples Congress.
Ji, Chen and Wu had all cooperated with Mao's removal of Deng from power for a second time in 1976. All three have been steadily losing government and party positions since Deng returned to power after Mao's death. Their removal, far gentler than previous purges in the government, is designed to encourage middle-level officials to proceed with pragmatic reform supported by Deng, such as use of material incentives to increase production and promotion by merit rather than party loyalty.
The week-long committee meeting session went on longer than expected, indicating some disagreement. Zhao and Wan become two of 17 vice premiers, but Zhao has been rumored ready to assume Deng's role as senior premier, while Deng retains his more important post as party vice chairman.