The Financial Times reports that authoritative sources in Beijing are telling it that Su Shulin (left), chairman of state oil giant Sinopec, is to become governor of Fujian province, a plum post Xi Jinping, the assumed successor to President Hu Jintao, held in 2001-02.
Su, 49, has long been tagged as a potential political leader. A spell at the top of one of the big state-owned enterprises is regarded as a rite of passage for such rising-star technocrats. Su comes from a farming family in northern China and qualified as a petroleum engineer, making his career at CNPC before being drafted in as chairman of Sinopec in 2007. He has been an alternate member of the Party’s Central Committee since 2002 and was a member of the Party committee in CNPC from 1997 until leaving for Sinopec, where he was Party secretary as well as chairman of the company. He has also been a member of the Party’s standing committee in Liaoning province, all of which underlines the close connection between state-owned industries and the Party.