PEKING — A special conference of the Chinese Communist Party on Sunday selected 64 relatively young leaders as new members of the party Central Committee, a majority of them supporters of Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's economic reform policies.
The newly promoted members will replace veteran Communist Party officials who retired last week. Their elevation apparently gives Deng a solid bloc of support on the Central Committee for his continuing effort to introduce market reforms and to reduce the role of central planning in China's socialist economy.
The official New China News Agency reported that new members have an average age of 50.1 years and that 76% of them have had some form of college education. Overall, only 4% of the 40 million members of the Chinese Communist Party have a college education.
'Continuity of Policies'
"The succession from the old to the new in the party's central leadership aims at keeping the party's cause in full bloom, meeting the demand of increasingly heavy tasks and organizationally guaranteeing the continuity of the party's principles and policies," the news agency said.
The agency added that the new Central Committee members were elected "by secret ballot" but provided no further details of the selection process.
The Central Committee, which includes more than 300 full and alternate members, will meet later this week to choose new members for the Politburo, the 25-member group that sets policy for the party.
The list of new names made public Sunday includes many party officials in their late 40's and 50's who have worked their way up to positions as the heads or deputy chiefs of government ministries in Peking or as Communist Party secretaries and governors in China's 29 provinces. At least eight commanders of the People's Liberation Army were also elevated to the Central Committee.
Former Attache Named
The list included Ruan Chongwu, 52, recently named minister of public security and thus head of the nation's main law-enforcement agency. Ruan has previously served as science and technology attache in the Chinese Embassy in Bonn and as the deputy mayor of Shanghai.
Of the 64 new appointees, 29 will serve as full members of the Central Committee and 35 as alternate members.
In addition, 27 alternate members of the Central Committee were elevated to full membership. These included Ye Xuanping, former mayor of Canton and currently governor of Guangdong province. He is the son Ye Jianying, 88, a military leader who agreed to step down from the standing committee of the Politburo last week.
Vice Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, who is in charge of China's negotiations with the Soviet Union, was also elevated to the Central Committee as was Wang Meng, a novelist who was exiled for two decades.