Wang Zhonglin appointed Party chief of Wuhan amid coronavirus outbreak

By GT staff reporters Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/13 12:06:16

Wang Zhonglin

Wang Zhonglin, a member of the Standing Committee of Shandong Provincial Party Committee and Party Chief of Jinan, was named Wuhan's new Party chief, replacing Ma Guoqiang, according to a decision by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Thursday.

The official announcement of the reshuffle came after a series of problems were exposed in the epidemic prevention and control work amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Since the outbreak, the central government sent an inspection group to guide the epidemic control work in Hubei, and a number of local officials have been questioned and punished for failing to fulfill their duties in the prevention and control work.

Faced with the sudden COVID-19 outbreak, problems such as sloppiness and poor management of work have been exposed among Wuhan and Hubei authorities, reflecting severe loopholes in local governance. The appointment of new officials will not only enhance prevention and control measures against the outbreak but also aim to highlight the urgency of improving crisis-handling capability among officials, analysts said.

Born in 1962, Wang spent most of his career as a civil servant in East China’s Shandong Province. After graduating from the department of criminal law in East China’s University of Political Science and Law in early 1980s, he worked at the public security bureau in Zaozhuang, a city located about a two-hour drive from Jinan, the capital city of the province.

Wang was appointed as Party chief and director of Shandong Development and Reform Commission in 2015 and then became a member of the Standing Committee of Shandong Provincial Party Committee and Party chief of Jinan in 2018.

“He is very energetic, decisive and highly motivated, usually responding to questions very quickly,” a former official close to the Shandong government told the Global Times. At such a crucial moment in fighting the disease, the appointment aims to allow the official to use his experience in dealing with problems.

In the fight against the outbreak in Shandong, Wang also served as the general commander in giving instructions to the prevention and control work in Jinan, and showed up at different public places including markets, residential areas, and railway stations without reminding local officials in advance, according to media reports.

He also required no one to accompany him and no briefing in the office but made an inspection in the field to guide prevention and control work.

Shandong’s efforts in strengthening the prevention and control work while also ensuring agricultural production and export-driven business have been highly praised by the public as it set an example for provincial-level governance and crisis management capability amid the outbreak, according to analysts.

During the outbreak, the province also donated a large amount of food, vegetables, fruit and medical supplies to Hubei, which some netizens saw as a way of “moving home” to support the most severely coronavirus-hit area.

As of Monday, a medical team composing of 129 medical personnel from Shandong were dispatched to support Wuhan and Huanggang, another city hit by the outbreak, and in total 2,500 tons of fruit and vegetables have been donated to the region, media reports said.


blog comments powered by Disqus