BEIJING (Reuters) – Hu Haifeng, son of former Chinese President Hu Jintao, was appointed on Tuesday by the cabinet as a vice minister of civil affairs, making a leap into the senior ranks of the central government from a small city in an eastern province.
Prior to his central government appointment based in Beijing, Hu, 51, had served for five years as head of the Communist Party of the city of Lishui in Zhejiang province.
Born in November 1972, Hu was among the youngest vice civil affairs ministers to be appointed.
During his tenure as Lishui party chief, Hu even received open praise from President Xi Jinping for the city’s green development.
Hu entered Chinese politics after a major Communist Party Congress in 2012, becoming the deputy Party head of Jiaxing, another city in Zhejiang province.
His debut coincided with his father’s stepping down as general secretary of China’s ruling Communist Party as Xi took the helm.
His father Hu Jintao, 81, reached China’s pinnacle of power as Communist Party chief in 2002 after a decade as heir apparent, and became the country’s president in 2003.
Hu Jintao himself was a political star, picked to join the party’s seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, the country’s highest tier of political power, in 1992 at the age of just 49.
The younger Hu graduated with a degree in computer science from Northern Jiatong University in Beijing and later obtained an executive Master of Business Administration at the prestigious Tsinghua University.
He later became president of Nuctech, a major manufacturer of security inspection scanners owned by Tsinghua University.
(Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Kim Coghill)