Liu Yunshan, left, confers a degree on a graduating official on Jan. 15. (Photo/Xinhua)
Liu Yunshan, one of the new members of the Chinese Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee, has been sworn in as president of the Central Party School, the state news agency Xinhua reported on Jan. 15.
The post was formerly held by the party's new general secretary, Xi Jinping. Liu has also succeeded Xi to chair the party's construction project task force.
Past presidents of the school, set up to train party cadres in governance, include such former leaders as Mao Zedong, Hua Guofeng, Qiao Shi and Hu Jintao, as well as Xi.
Born in Xinzhou in Shanxi province in 1947, Liu's parents were party cadres in Inner Mongolia. His father was a subordinate of Bo Yibo, the father of disgraced politician Bo Xilai.
After graduating from Jining Normal School in the province, Liu worked as a teacher, a clerk at the local propaganda department and a reporter for the Inner Mongolia bureau of the state mouthpiece Xinhua.
Between July 1982 and February 1984, Liu served as deputy secretary of the Communist Youth League in Inner Mongolia, while Hu was the secretary of the Secretariat of the Communist Youth League Central Committee. Liu is therefore seen as belonging to Hu's Youth League or Tuanpai faction.
Liu rose to be a member of the standing committee of Inner Mongolia party committee and secretary of the Chifeng municipal committee. After graduating from the Central Party School in 1992, he became deputy head of the Central Committee's Propaganda Department. In 2002, he became head of the Propaganda Department and a member of the Politburo.
Liu is reported to have ingratiated himself with former president Jiang Zemin by organizing pro-Jiang propaganda in the domestic and foreign press. He is viewed as opposing democratic reforms.
As one of the country's leading propaganda officials he has long been responsible for manipulating the media to uphold the Communist Party's rule. When internet users once held a straw poll on "the agency you would most like to see removed," the two at the top of the list were the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee, which controls the country's security forces, and the Central Propaganda Department, which Liu will be heading up in his new job.
Liu Yunshan 劉雲山
Xi Jinping 習近平
Mao Zedong 毛澤東
Hua Guofeng 華國鋒
Qiao Shi 喬石
Hu Jintao 胡錦濤
Bo Yibo 薄一波
Bo Xilai 薄熙來
Jiang Zemin 江澤民