BEIJING -- Chen Miner, who is a close ally to President Xi Jinping and has been named a member of the Chinese Communist Party's highest body, is expected to succeed Xi whose term will expire in 2022, several sources told the Mainichi Shimbun on Aug. 27.
If Chen secures the position as Xi's successor, the current president then would be able to influence the government after he steps down.
Chen, who has recently joined the Communist Party's top leadership Central Political Bureau Standing Committee, served as the PR chairman for the party under Xi between 2002 and 2007 when Xi was the party secretary of Zhejiang province. According to the sources, Chen gained the trust of Xi through editing work for the then secretary's column he was writing on his political beliefs for the party's local official paper.
Chen was transferred from Zhejiang province to the inland province of Guizhou in 2012 and was promoted to a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. In July this year, he was named as the party secretary for the city of Chongqing, a politburo position.
The party leadership under President Xi dethroned Sun Zhengcai from the secretary of Chongqing in July, leaving a key post vacant before the National Congress of the Communist Party scheduled for this fall.