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Shandong natives take most seats in reshuffle

By Wang Huazhong (China Daily)

08:56, July 05, 2012

Officials from Shandong province, the home of Confucius, took the largest number of top seats in the provincial Party leadership.

The reshuffle of standing committees of the Communist Party of China in 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions on the mainland wrapped up on Tuesday and produced 404 leadership members.

Fifty-four, or 13.3 percent, of them are from East China's Shandong.

Members from the political center Beijing only occupied five seats. Those from economic powerhouse Guangdong province took seven seats, and Shanghai natives got four seats.

Members of the provincial-level standing committees of the Party are elected every five years. The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which is scheduled for the second half of this year, will follow the local congresses.

One scholar attributed the popularity of Shandong natives to Confucianism.

"Shandong officials seem to be followers of traditions and Confucius philosophy," said Shandong scholar Yan Shengdong.

Yan, an assistant professor at the Qilu Culture Research Center of Shandong Normal University, said natives of the province value political careers and practice the tradition of "building morals, building contributions and building opinions".

But Mao Shoulong, a professor in governance at Renmin University of China, said people from the populous province spread across the country during wars over the last century, and that may explain the Shandong majority.

"Moreover, most cities of the province have achieved strong development, and therefore the career development of city officials has hit a fast track."

Mao said Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong have long been destination areas for immigrants, which is why so few members of the committees are from the political and economic centers.

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